Why did perfectionist teenagers suffer more stress and depression during Covid?

perfectionist That is, people who are excellent in every respect are sometimes given the status of superheroes. These are people who achieve great things and seem to have got it all together. Perfectionism is different from simply trying to do a good job or trying to excel. Rather, perfectionism means working hard to get the best and self-critical is by necessity of being.

Child Development Journal A recent study published in Scientific American examined how perfectionism is affecting the mental health and stress levels of adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study is done by Professor Don Zinga, Associate Professor Daniel S. Molnar and PhD student Melissa Blackburn at Brock University. Let us understand this study in detail.

precision standard

While research shows that some forms of perfectionism are related to smaller achievement gains, it also shows that perfectionism is generally associated with relationship difficulties as well as experiencing more health problems. The functioning of the immune system of people with high perfectionism is also flawed.

Perfectionist people do not perform well in relation to their mental health. Research indicates that perfectionist individuals are affected by symptoms of depression, stress, disordered eating, and higher levels of anxiety than their less perfectionist peers.

Perfectionists are especially more susceptible to experiencing these adverse consequences when they are under stress or unable or at least unwilling to adapt to difficult and uncertain situations. Perfectionists have more than enough reason to be extremely worried during the pandemic that has been stressful since.

personality trait

When measuring perfectionism as a personality trait, psychology researchers identify different forms of perfectionism. Self-oriented perfectionism means a need for perfection from oneself. People high in self-oriented perfectionism demand perfection from themselves and are incredibly hard on themselves when those demands are not met.

Socially prescribed perfectionism refers to the belief or belief that others have a need for perfection. Individuals who are high in socially prescribed perfectionism think others expect perfection from them, are critical of them, and believe they will never live up to others’ expectations.

These forms of perfectionism are commonly seen in adolescents, a group that tends to experience relatively high levels of perfectionism. Research shows that almost one in four youths are extreme perfectionists.

missed opportunity

It is important to pay attention to how the youth are doing in these difficult times. Unlike adults who have already regained their sense of independence, the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it have left teenagers stuck in a state of suspended reality.

For example, many teens completely miss out on important milestones like graduation and prom, which makes them feel like they haven’t completed important life chapters, which makes them feel left out.

Government-mandated lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of COVID-19 left young people isolated, where they were often separated from friends and family for long periods of time. School closures have also led to significant disruptions in youth schooling, which is associated with gaps in educational achievement.

It’s not hard to imagine how difficult the gap must be for young perfectionists, who often define themselves by their ability to achieve.

effects of lockdown

Our study shows that the lockdown has had a significant impact on the mental health of adolescents. We assessed the levels of perfectionism, symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression in 187 adolescents in Ontario, Canada, from the period after the start of the pandemic to the first and second mandatory government lockdowns.

The results showed an interesting pattern of change in relation to depressive symptoms and stress levels. Depressive symptoms and stress decreased slightly from the start of the pandemic until the first lockdown, and then increased dramatically from the first to the second lockdown.

Although we cannot be certain, one possible explanation of these findings could be that adolescents were able to take a much-needed break from their busy and potentially scheduled lives during the first lockdown, resulting in a reduction in depressive symptoms and stress. Got some relief.

However, by the time the second lockdown took place, teens may have been feeling depressed as the effects of the pandemic continued, resulting in higher levels of stress and symptoms of depression.

Performance of the Perfectionists

An important finding is that teen perfectionists are not doing as well during the pandemic as compared to their non-perfectionist peers. Teens who demanded perfection from themselves (self-oriented perfectionists) were more depressed, anxious and stressed during the pandemic than those who did not demand perfection from themselves.

The results also showed that when adolescents experienced higher than their typical levels of self-oriented perfectionism, they were more anxious, but not more depressed or stressed.

Teens who believed that others wanted perfection from them were more depressed and stressed than those who did not have such beliefs during the pandemic. We also found that when adolescents experienced these beliefs more than usual, they were more depressed, but not more anxious or stressed.

struggle behind the mask

Taken together, these findings support the idea that perfectionist teens are more vulnerable to mental health problems and greater stress during the pandemic than their non-perfectionist peers.

It is important to recognize that although teenage perfectionists often appear to be doing well on the surface, they are not superheroes who are impervious to difficulties. Instead, they are young people who are often in crisis and are struggling behind their facade of perfection and they need help during this difficult time.

Get the more Knowledge information