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    Being ‘good enough’: perfectionism and well-being in social workers

    Kinman, Gail and Grant, L. (2022) Being ‘good enough’: perfectionism and well-being in social workers. British Journal of Social Work 52 (7), pp. 4171-4188. ISSN 0045-3102.

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    Abstract

    Perfectionism refers to a tendency to set unrealistically high standards for oneself and others. Although often seen positively, perfectionism can threaten health, relationships and performance. This study examined the effects of three types of maladaptive perfectionism on burnout in 294 UK social workers: self-oriented (having excessively high standards for oneself), other-oriented (having excessively high expectations of others) and socially prescribed (perceiving external pressure to excel). In line with previous research, we predicted that socially prescribed perfectionism would have particularly powerful effects on well-being, but significant relationships with self and other-oriented perfectionism were also expected. We also examined whether maladaptive perfectionism intensified the negative impact of workrelated emotional demands on burnout. Significant positive relationships were found between socially prescribed and other-oriented perfectionism and burnout. A higher level of socially prescribed perfectionism was found than self and other-oriented and its relationship with burnout was particularly strong. We found no evidence, however, that perfectionism was an additional risk factor for burnout when emotional demands were high. Early career social workers were found to be at greater risk of dysfunctional perfectionism and burnout. The implications of the findings for the well-being of social workers are considered and potential interventions outlined to reduce maladaptive perfectionism.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication following peer review. The version of record is available online at the link above.
    School: School of Business, Economics & Informatics > Organizational Psychology
    Research Centres and Institutes: Sustainable Working Life, Centre for
    Depositing User: Gail Kinman
    Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 06:33
    Last Modified: 25 Nov 2022 18:09
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/47320

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