Perfectionism, Eating Disorders, and Anxiety - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-25
Perfectionism, Eating Disorders, and Anxiety - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Psychology Human Anxiety disorder Disorder
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1310 words
11 min read


This current research identifies the close relation of perfectionism with eating disorders and anxiety. Perfectionism is a complex personality trait that involves a restless drive to attain a specific setting through unrealistic high strand performance (Egan et al., 2013). The momentum and frequency of perfectionism explain problematic characteristics that affect individuals at the personal and social levels (Egan et al., 2013). There is less information known about the complexities of these links, and in this token, vast researchers have taken the step in demonstrating a strong relationship that these variables portray. The current research is sought to bring forth and investigate the initial role of perfectionism in eating disorders and anxiety with a concentration on adverse life events. The discussion includes how anxiety is a mediator in explaining the high order of the perfectionism and eating disorder variable links. Perfection can be either self-critical, personal standards, or socially prescribed. This study evaluates the real-life extent of the three perfectionism states and their relation to eating disorders and anxiety.

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Problem Statement

Eating disorder and anxiety are comorbid. The general factor of fear of negative personal evaluation and perfectionism is a proposed risk variable for anxiety and eating disorder. There is no recent research that has brought the three variables together; thus, the relation's topic is not fully exploited. Therefore, this paper analyses the variables' significant association as a shared risk and dependent attributes to perfectionism, weather high standard or maladaptive s factorial. Thus, the proposed hook focuses on the probability, tendency, and retaliations involved in the three variables.

Literature Review

Perfectionism difficulties exist on the matter of eating disorders and, in particular, to college students. The research done by the National eating disorder association (2006) found that there are more than 20% of college women who have an eating disorder accompanied by anxiety. Further, the poll found that the issue is brought by problematic perfectionism. In the research on attempted eating disorder control, the poll found more than 93% of the victims who engage in weight control measures. Other researchers report that eating disorder pathology is on the rise; most eating disorder victims try out to fight the state and create anxiety through these perfectionism processes. Pyle and colleagues (2007) presented a report of a study which portrayed that a large number, 33% of college women and more than 12% of college men, engage in purging behavior of perfectionism. Cleary, factionalism is a normal state that every person is concerned with regarding anxiety and eating disorders.

Stice (2002) conducted a meta-analysis that found that there is a perfectionism pathology that is created concerning the eating disorder and anxiety. He further explains the medium in the magnitude of effects where the bulimic eating disorder was his excellent example. Ennis, Cox ad Borger (2001) reported a potential difference in perfectionism compotation concerning the steps of perfectionism and the environment that victims of eating disorders and anxiety find themselves in during the process of perfectionism. In this token, Lilenfield and colleagues (2006) concluded a limited perspective in the predisposing of perfectionism as a personal trait and the risks engaged in eating disorder and anxiety. Beileing, Israeli, and Antony (2004) derived the measures that could face the perfectionism state. They found out that maladaptive evaluation is a concern that victims of eating and anxiety disorders should have through their derivation. The researchers suggest that perfectionism contains a mixture of achievements, adaptability, and striving virtues. The three mix composition is a perfectionism hybrid that can be defined as a maladjustment.. the research also found a significant concern in the dimension of association between physical distress and the two disorder factors. Further research establishes this relation as a unidimensional measure of certainty to the degree of the effects of eating disorders and anxiety.

Theoretical Considerations

Classic and modern theorists try to explain the pathology of eating disorder and anxiety by expanding theoretical postulations to the effects of perfectionism (Conroy, Kaye & Fifer 2007). The cognitive-behavioral theory is a standard theory that could explain this relation dimensionally. Christopher, the researcher in the cognitive behavior theory, explains that eating disorders are treated by a virtue that starts as an action but proceeds as a habit to a condition (Conroy, Kaye & Fifer 2007). The reveal of these eating habits develops anxiety, and the role of perfectionism can be to rectify or accelerate the effects of eating and anxiety disorders. Theoretically, perfectionism has to include the development of cognition behaviors to affect eating and anxiety disorder (Flett & Hewitt, 2002). The psychodynamic theory also considers perfectionism as the rising medium of an eating disorder. In theoretical explanation, the psychodynamic theory Sigmund Freud iterates the eating disorders as a sexually developed trait. Freud's contemporaries hypothesis that anxiety and eating disorders as an oedipal issue. He states that perfectionism is a channel of remedy, but the results could be two way, positive or negative (Flett & Hewitt, 2002). Current psychodynamic theorists argue that the eating disorder is a perspective that can be related to Freud’s stage of development. But persistent infections are as a result of unclear perfectionism responses (Flett & Hewitt, 2002).

Method and Participants

The current study involves real-life participants, where 540 college students volunteered to respond to the survey. The students fill the perfectionism inventory, college inventory of their recent life experiences, eating disorder questionnaire, and body shape attitude questionnaire. The current research depicts that European American students have a higher perfectionism state than the African American students who as an anxious-dominated attitude.


The current research's defining feature evaluates rural and ethnic differences in college women and analyzes the findings. Besides, this research estimates the self-evaluative perfectionism using multiple indices of an eating disorder and anxiety. The results are expected to range from dimensions having a difference in operationalism stages and adversity of life.


For the determination of the factorial correlation, statistical analysis has a role in this study. The path analysis of numbers and bivariate correlation are conducted to identify the rates and probability of significant relationships between the three variables. In use is the bootstrap method of statistical analysis, bootstrapping data with smaller sizes of power may be avoided, and the significant efficiency is rated up to 99%.


Conroy, D. E., Kaye, M. P., & Fifer, A. M. (2007). Cognitive links between fear of failure and perfectionism. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, 25(4), 237-253.

Egan, S. J., Watson, H. J., Kane, R. T., McEvoy, P., Fursland, A., & Nathan, P. R. (2013). Anxiety as a mediator between perfectionism and eating disorders. Cognitive therapy and research, 37(5), 905-913.

Eisenberg, D., Nicklett, E. J., Roeder, K., & Kirz, N. E. (2011). Eating disorder symptoms among college students: Prevalence, persistence, correlates, and treatment-seeking. Journal of American College Health, 59(8), 700-707.

Ennis, Cox, & Borger. (2001). An empirical investigation of depression symptoms: norms, psychometric characteristics and factor structure of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (Master's thesis, The University of Bergen).

Flett, G. L., & Hewitt, P. L. (2002). Perfectionism and maladjustment: An overview of theoretical, definitional, and treatment issues.

Halmi, K. A., Tozzi, F., Thornton, L. M., Crow, S., Fichter, M. M., Kaplan, A. S., ... & Plotnicov, K. H. (2005). The relation among perfectionism, obsessivecompulsive personality disorder and obsessivecompulsive disorder in individuals with eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 38(4), 371-374.

Kronenfeld, L. W., Reba-Harrelson, L., Von Holle, A., Reyes, M. L., & Bulik, C. M. (2010). Ethnic and racial differences in body size perception and satisfaction. Body Image, 7(2), 131-136.

Kugu, N., Akyuz, G., Dogan, O., Ersan, E., & Izgic, F. (2006). The prevalence of eating disorders among university students and the relationship with some individual characteristics. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 40(2), 129-135.

Liu, R. T., & Kleiman, E. M. (2012). Impulsivity and the generation of negative life events: The role of negative urgency. Personality and Individual Differences, 53(5), 609-612.

Stice, E. (2002). Risk and maintenance factors for eating pathology: a meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 128(5), 825.

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