The patterns of perfectionism in Chinese graduate students and their relationship with educational environment, personality, encouragement, and creativity
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Through a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods, the current study examined the patterns of perfectionism in Chinese graduate students and their relationship with culture, personality traits, encouragement, and creativity. The current study found that Chinese graduate students should be classified into four types which were labeled "dysfunctional perfectionists," "healthy perfectionists," "sub-healthy perfectionists," and "non-perfectionists." This result was compared with Parker's (1997) study in which he found three clusters labeled "dysfunctional perfectionists," "healthy perfectionists," and "non-perfectionists." The current study compared Chinese graduate students in the United States with their counterparts in China and found they were similar in patterns of perfectionism. Studying in American culture did not significantly change Chinese graduate students' perfectionistic tendencies and patterns of perfectionism. However, studying in American culture extenuated some participants' psychological distresses elicited by their perfectionistic tendency. Gender difference was also investigated. Female Chinese graduate students were similar in their pattern of perfectionism to male students. Female Chinese graduate students were not more or less perfectionistic than male Chinese graduate students. Personality and encouragement moderately predicts types of perfectionism/nonperfectionism. Creativity did not predict the types of perfectionism well. Types of perfectionists/non-perfectionists were different in several personality traits and several dimensions of encouragement. In addition to answering research questions, the four types of perfectionists were examined on their differences on over-excitability. The result indicated that dysfunctional perfectionists were highest in over-excitability and non-perfectionists were lowest in over-excitability.