School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Pamela Moore


perfectionism, adverse childhood experiences, trauma, African American


Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Decades of research have confirmed an association between family dysfunction, adverse parentchild relationships, and perfectionism. However, to date, only one study has confirmed a link between perfectionism and specific types of ACEs. There are no studies that have examined the relationship between ACEs and perfectionism in predominately racial/ethnic populations. The purpose of this non-experimental quantitative survey research was to investigate the relationship between conventional and expanded ACES and perfectionistic traits and behaviors. Additionally, this study aimed to determine if the experience of ACEs is associated with higher levels of perfectionism in African Americans. Data was collected using the Hewitt Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (HMPS), Perfectionistic Self-Presentation Scale (PSPS), and the Philadelphia Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (PHL ACEs). A one-way MANOVA and independent t-test were performed to analyze the data. For the independent t-test, the target sample size was 118. For the MANOVA, the target sample size was 126. Results from the MANOVA found that the experience of conventional and expanded ACEs did not have a significant difference in the level of perfectionism in African Americans. Results from the independent t-test found African Americans with three or more ACEs had higher levels of perfectionism when measured by the HMPS but not the PSPS. Results also found a difference between the number of ACEs and socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) and self-oriented perfectionism (SOP). This study contributed to the gap in the literature on ACEs and perfectionism in African Americans. Future studies are recommended to expand investigations with culturally sensitive measures of ACE and perfectionism, and other protective factors.

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