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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/11299/135573

Title: The role of self-compassion and emotional approach coping in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress among East Asian international students.
Authors: Seo, Heweon
Keywords: East Asian international students
Emotional approach coping
Perfectionism
Psychological Distress
Self-Compassion
Educational Psychology
Issue Date: Jul-2012
Abstract: This study investigated the mediating and moderating roles of self-compassion and emotional approach coping in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress among East Asian international students. Data were collected through an online survey completed by 255 East Asian international students in a large public Midwestern university. It was hypothesized that self-compassion and emotional approach coping would predict psychological distress, and would both mediate and moderate the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress among the sample of East Asian international students. Hierarchical regression analyses showed that maladaptive perfectionism and self-compassion were strong predictors for depression and anxiety for the sample of East Asian international students, while emotional approach coping did not contribute unique variance in the prediction of depression and anxiety. An exploratory factor analysis for the Self-Compassion Scale yielded two factors: the Self-Compassion factor (i.e., Self-Kindness, Common Humanity, and Mindfulness), and the Self-Disrespect factor (i.e., Self-Judgment, Isolation, and Over-Identification). Additionally, emotional approach coping was not significantly correlated with psychological distress; thus, emotional approach coping did not serve as a mediator or a moderator. Taken together, the original model was revised to incorporate two Self- Compassion factors as separate mediators in the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress, with Emotional Approach Coping as an exogenous variable. Results from Structural Equational Modeling (SEM) showed that Self-Disrespect partially mediated between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress. The finding indicates that East Asian international students with maladaptive perfectionism can alleviate psychological distress. They can do this by being less self-judgmental and socially isolated, and by not over-identifying with their own negative thoughts and emotions, which develops self-compassion. In addition, Self-Disrespect moderated the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and psychological distress, indicating that East Asian international students with maladaptive perfectionism seem to suffer from greater psychological distress when experiencing high levels of Self-Disrespect (i.e., being self-judgmental, isolated, and over-identifying). Implications for counseling and future research directions are discussed.
Description: University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2012. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Dr. Thomas M. Skovholt. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 120 pages, appendices A-G.
URI: http://purl.umn.edu/135573
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