Added Title

Validation of perfectionism and autonomy support measures in the Philippine context
Can autonomy support moderate the effects of perfectionism on anxiety?
Testing the expanded social disconnection model on Filipino university students

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology major in Clinical Psychology

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


College of Liberal Arts



Thesis Adviser

Maria Guadalupe Salanga

Defense Panel Member

Melissa Lopez Reyes
Jesus Alfonso Datu
Ron R. Resurreccion
Homer J. Yabut
Marissa O. Calleja


This research is comprised of two studies. The first study was a validation of perfectionism and autonomy support measures on Filipino university students. The validation of the factor structure of the perfectionism and autonomy support measures was a preliminary study conducted prior to testing the hypothesis in Study 2. The success of any quantitative research endeavor heavily relies on the employment of tools that are valid and reliable for the specific populations where the samples are drawn from. The use of validated measures was aimed at strengthening the arguments and conclusions derived from Study 2 that endeavored to find evidence for the moderating effects of autonomy support (from parent, teacher, and peer) on the relationship between perfectionism and anxiety. The analysis of longitudinal data in both Study 1 and Study 2 enabled the researcher to address measurement concerns (longitudinal measurement invariance), and to test models of causal inference that was a major limitation mentioned in most of the perfectionism studies in Western and non-Western contexts alike. In Study 1, the factor structure and longitudinal measurement invariance of the following scales have been demonstrated: Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale-Brief (FMPS –Brief; Burgess, Frost, & DiBartolo, 2016), Learning Climate Questionnaire (LCQ; Williams & Deci, 1996), college student version of the Perceptions of Parents scale (POPS; Robbins, 1994) and Friendship Autonomy Support Questionnaire (FASQ; Williams et al., 1996). Confirmatory factor analyses displayed the two-factor structure of the FMPS-Brief, and the single factor structure of the POPS, LCQ, and FASQ. All of the scales demonstrated good internal consistency, and the FMPS-Brief in particular exhibited convergent validity with the abbreviated version of the Hewitt and Flett Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (HMPS; Hewitt & Flett, 1991; Cox et al., 2002). For the autonomy support measures, empirical and theoretical considerations prompted the testing of alternative models that yielded better fit than the original measurement models. The longitudinal measurement equivalence demonstrated by all of the scales across three time points imply that the meaning of the constructs remained stable for the respondents, and the repeatedly measured variables more or less represented the same constructs in the same metrics over time. The general usefulness and effectiveness of utilizing psychometrically sound versions of scales in research is widely acknowledged. The findings of Study 1 denote that the aforementioned scales are viable for use in future measurements of perfectionism and autonomy support in the Philippine setting. Perfectionism is an important clinical construct that has been linked to various conditions, one of which is anxiety. Between its two dimensions—Evaluative Concerns Perfectionism (ECP) and Personal Standards Perfectionism (PSP)—it is the latter that shows an inconsistent link to anxiety. This advanced a need to explore factors that moderate this relationship. Using the perfectionism expanded social disconnection model (Sherry, Mackinnon, & Gautreau, 2016), Study 2 hypothesized that perfectionism would not always lead to anxiety if students receive adequate autonomy support from their parents, teachers, and peers. The findings contributed to clarifying the long-standing debate among perfectionism researchers on the adaptiveness or maladaptiveness of PSP by showing how it interacted with parent autonomy support to predict anxiety. Specifically, the findings point to the detrimental effects of low parent autonomy support in interaction with high PSP, and the beneficial effects of high autonomy support in interaction with high PSP among Filipino university students. As Study 2’s sample is comprised of Filipino adolescents and young adults, findings were viewed in light of their developmental needs. This study showed the potential of perfectionism to become pathological if the individual is not granted the right kind of support from significant people necessary at a particular stage in his life. Findings that high PSP combined with high parent autonomy support could lower anxiety in this age group reflect the family-oriented culture of the Filipinos, particularly the value placed on maintaining a strong bond with parents while at the same time having room to grow and to operate based on one’s personal standards. For individuals in this particular developmental stage, being allowed to exercise their autonomy appears to be an important factor for their successful transition into adulthood and for the development of emotional competence. Ultimately, having used the findings to come up with clinical and practical implications that psychotherapists and counsellors could use to help perfectionist clients and their families is arguably the most valuable contribution this research has to the study on perfectionism. Equipped with an evidence-based knowledge of how personality dispositions and family dynamics could interact to affect the mental health and well-being of an individual, parents, educators, and psychologists are now in a better position to support perfectionists in their care. To expand this knowledge base, it is recommended that similar studies that extend the expanded social disconnection framework to different contexts and cultures be conducted.

Abstract Format



Running head: Validation of measures and test expanded PSDM





Physical Description

167 leaves


Perfectionism (Personality trait); Anxiety; Longitudinal method

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