School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)


Fred Volk


adaptive perfectionism, maladaptive perfectionism, religious well-being, sense of belonging, instability with God


Counseling | Psychology


Perfectionism has predominately been linked to lower relational and religious well-being among young adults. Perfectionists who report more positive relationships with others, however, tend to experience better outcomes such as life satisfaction, lower self-criticism, and greater religious well-being. The perfectionism social disconnection model (PSDM) provides a framework for understanding how relational factors, such as a sense of belonging, may contribute to divergent outcomes among perfectionists. The purpose of this study was to explore (1) whether adaptive and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism have opposite effects on belonging and religious well-being, and (2) whether perfectionists who feel they belong experience greater religious well-being. A cross-sectional survey was used to explore perfectionism, belonging, and religious well-being among religious college students (N = 137). Data was analyzed using Pearson correlations and regression analysis using Hayes’s (2022) PROCESS macro. The results indicated that high personal standards made a small but significant contribution to higher belonging among students. Regression analysis also indicated that high personal standards did not affect religious well-being directly. Conversely, maladaptive perfectionism contributed to lower religious well-being independently and by lowering students’ sense of belonging. The results suggest that both adaptive and maladaptive aspects of perfectionism play a role in students’ religious well-being by influencing belonging in opposite directions. Maladaptive perfectionism also lowers religious well-being above and beyond the effects of belonging. The overall model accounted for a moderately small amount of variance, suggesting that while perfectionism and belonging are significant predictors of religious well-being, they should be considered in combination with other factors in future research.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 24, 2024