The predictive relationship of perfectionism and alexithymia towards depression and anxiety
(2016) The predictive relationship of perfectionism and alexithymia towards depression and anxiety, no. 51.
Diagnoses of depression and anxiety are rising and perfectionism and alexithymia are known risk factors for these disorders. However, the extent to which perfectionism and alexithymia may predict these disorders has not yet been studied. Therefore, this research aims to investigate the extent to which high scores on these variables explain variance in depression and anxiety. Through an online survey using a non-clinical sample, 212 participants were recruited. They were asked to complete three questionnaires: The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (MPS-F), The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Perfectionism scores accounted for 16% of the variance in depression, and 29% variance in anxiety. When alexithymia was included in the model, variance explained increased to 26% and 35%, thus supporting the hypothesis that perfectionism, when symptoms of alexithymia are also present increases the variance in depression and anxiety. These findings have enabled further understanding of these predictive disorders, suggesting that those higher in perfectionism and alexithymia may be at a higher risk of depression and anxiety. This study provides implications for future interventions for anxiety and depression. Targeting the identification and expression of emotions as well as managing and setting realistic expectations and standards would be suggested, based on the findings that alexithymia increases the predictive variance for depression and anxiety.