Zbornik Instituta za pedagoska istrazivanja 2011 Volume 43, Issue 2, Pages: 312-329
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Differences in perfectionism in Serbian and Macedonian students

Stojiljković Snežana, Todorović Jelisaveta, Dosković Zvonimir, Todorović Dušan

Perfectionism is defined as the pursuit of high achievement in some areas and the tendency of people to seek perfection and be too self-critical. A construct thus understood includes great preoccupation with mistakes, making the person prone to constant reworking and embellishing of one’s work. This may be the reason why the person constantly delays what should be done for the last moment. The research is aimed at comparing the level and structure of perfectionism in Serbian and Macedonian students. The sample consisted of 100 students, aged 19-22, studying psychology at the University of Nis and Skopje. The Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS, Frost et al., 1990) was used to measure the following aspects of perfectionism: concern over mistakes, personal standards, parental expectations, parental criticism, doubts of action, and organization. Data analysis showed the higher level of overall perfectionism in Macedonian than in Serbian students. Also, Macedonian students scored higher on those dimensions which are considered as dysfunctional perfectionism. An important finding is that, on the whole, the positive aspects are more strongly expressed than the potentially negative aspects of perfectionism. The research findings are discussed from the standpoint of cultural specificity and differences. Further research should include data on family and wider social context of growing youth.

Keywords: perfectionism, FMPS scale, students, cultural specificities