Date of Award

Summer 8-7-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Psychological Services

First Advisor

Jeffrey S. Ashby

Second Advisor

Kenneth B. Matheny

Third Advisor

T. Chris Oshima

Fourth Advisor

Gregory Brack

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between multidimensional perfectionism, shame and Trichotillomania (TTM) symptom severity in a sample of college students and a clinical sample of individuals with TTM. A total of 286 college students were recruited from a large, Southeastern public University and 114 individuals with TTM were recruited across at a conference for individuals with TTM and TTM-focused social media communities. The study sought to explore whether shame (characterological, behavioral or bodily) mediated the relationship between wither adaptive or maladaptive perfectionism and TTM symptom severity. Correlations and tests of means were conducted and the Preacher and Hayes macro with bootstrapping was utilized to test mediation and moderation with the following measures: the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R; Slaney et al., 2001), the Massachusetts General Hairpulling Scale (MGH-HPS; Keuthen et al., 1995, and the Experience of Shame Scale (ESS; Andrews, Qian, & Valentine, 2002). Results suggested that the clinical sample reported significantly higher levels of all three types of shame, as well as significantly higher scores for TTM severity than the student sample. No mediation or moderation was found among the variables for the student sample. In the clinical sample, no significant moderation was found, but behavioral shame was significantly mediated the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and TTM severity. A discussion of limitations, implications for practitioners, and directions for future research were provided.

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