Perfectionism in Gifted Students

in Gifted
We In Doubt Call
Perfectionism Defined
• Personality characteristics involves
o Tendency to place excessive emphasis on
o Setting of and striving for high personal
o Critical self-evaluation if these standards
are not reached
o High concern over mistakes
o Doubts quality of personal achievement
Definition Continued
Perfectionism, in psychology, is a personality
disposition characterized by an individual
striving for flawlessness and setting
excessively high performance standards,
accompanied by overly critical selfevaluations and concerns regarding others'
evaluations. It is best conceptualized as a
multidimensional characteristic, as
psychologists agree that there are many
positive and negative aspects.
• Wikipedia
Types of Perfectionism
1. Adaptive Perfectionism
2. Maladaptive Perfectionism
Types of Perfectionism
• Adaptive Perfectionism
o Adherence to high self-standards, order, and
o Freedom to be less precise
o Experience positive feelings when task is
Adaptive Behaviors
• Carefully attending to task and school work
• Keeping their rooms and workspace neat
• Engaging in limited acting out behaviors that
require few discipline referrals
Types of Perfectionism
• Maladaptive Perfectionism
o High standards that never seem achievable
o Excessive self-criticism
o Completed projects are not enjoyed
o Considerable anxiety about imperfections
Types of Perfectionism
• All or Nothing Thinking
• Transforming Desires into Demands
• Focusing on unmet goals and challenges rather
than success
Identifying Maladaptive
• Overly serious about their school work or task
• Frustrated when things do not go as they would like
• Hesitant to engage in activities that may result in a
“mess” of some sort
• Extremely self critical behaviors
• Anxiety or depression
Other Signs of
• How does your child respond to competition?
• How does your child respond to compliments?
• How are you modeling?
Frustration as Parents
• Engaging children with play materials they would
usually reject
o Toys and Art Material
Play doh
Finger Paints
Games like Fibber
• Students can learn many lessons from studying
famous people
• Involve your students in the community
A Little Love and Logic
Goes a Long Way
• Lock in Empathy
• Return Responsibility
• Turn your words into Gold
• Feeling followed by huh?
Turn Your Words Into Gold
What are you going to do about it….
I love you too much to argue….
That is something you can decide…
What would work best for you ____ or ______
You can _______ or _____________
Do you want to know what other kids say works___
You worked really hard on that…
How did you do that….
I noticed…….
• Kids that are gifted are often praised not for who
they are as people but for what they can do that
astounds others around them
• Consider what you are praising, their attempt or
• Before looking at grades ask your child, what are
you most proud of
• Ask, “What did you learn?” not “What did you
• Model Imperfection without apologizing
• Sometimes it Is easier not to try than to say I failed
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and depression symptoms in a community sample: A longitudinal test of the
mediating effects of person-dependent stressful life events. Journal of Cognitive
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process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52(3), 511-524.
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10(2), 1-12
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Frost MultidimensionalPerfectionism Scale in a clinical anxiety disorders sample.
Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55, 1271–1286
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with parents, and self-esteem. Individual Psychology, 52(3), 246-260.
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Sinem Akay, M.S.Ed.
University of North Texas

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