International Journal of Education and Psychological Research
(Print and Online Peer Reviewed Journal)
Authors:  Christopher H. K. Cheng  Bonnie K. Y. Lai
Perfectionism is known to be predictive of school burnout. However, the adaptive and maladaptive dimensions of perfectionism have yet to be examined with the specific aspects of school burnout. Little is known about the underlying mechanisms in such relationships. The current study aimed to investigate the effects of perfectionism and negative repetitive thoughts (rumination and worry) on school burnout among college students. A total of 318 Hong Kong college students were invited to participate in the study by completing a set of questionnaires. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that adaptive perfectionism did not predict emotional exhaustion, negatively predicted cynicism but positively predicted academic efficacy. Maladaptive perfectionism positively predicted emotional exhaustion and cynicism, and negatively predicted academic efficacy. Worry but not rumination predicted all aspects of school burnout. The subsequent mediation analyses revealed that worry mediated the effect of maladaptive perfectionism on all aspects of school burnout. The current study contributed to the understanding of perfectionism and the mediating role of negative repetitive thoughts (rumination, worry) and school burnout in the Chinese context. Lastly, implication for practical applications and preventive treatments was discussed.