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Is it possible to manipulate perfectionism in children?

Reducing unhelpful perfectionism has been shown to produce transdiagnostic outcomes in adults, reducing depression, anxiety and weight concerns. There is limited evaluation of the impact of reducing unhelpful perfectionism in adolescents but no evaluation in children. The aim of the current pilot study was to investigate whether perfectionism could be manipulated in children aged 10-12 years. Classes of school students were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: perfectionism (N=57) and assessment only-control (N=68). Students in the active condition participated in 2 lessons. Assessment occurred on three occasions: baseline, post-intervention, and 2-week follow-up. Relative to control, the perfectionism condition was found to decrease unhelpful perfectionism, suggesting that children benefited from the intervention.

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Correspondence to Tracey Wade.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Wade, T., Fairweather-Schmidt, K. Is it possible to manipulate perfectionism in children?. J Eat Disord 3 (Suppl 1), O27 (2015).

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