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York University scientists link perfectionism to postpartum depression

As reported by Science News, York University researchers have made important inroads into understanding the physiological impact of perfectionism. In a study presented at a May 30 meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, the Toronto scientists found that women with perfectionist standards were more likely to develop postpartum depression.

"Perfectionists often try to impress others by bragging or trying to promote their faultless qualities, avoid situations in which they might show imperfections and refuse to admit failures to others, said Gordon Flett of York University in Toronto. Flett reported his findings on how perfectionistic tendencies contribute to the risk of postpartum depression in new mothers."

"Using questionnaires, Flett queried 100 women during the final month of their pregnancies and one month after giving birth about their perfectionism, personality and mental health."

"Postpartum depression occurred substantially more often among women who had demanded perfection of themselves while pregnant than among those who had cited few or no signs of perfectionism. This association held after accounting for pregnant women's feelings that others demanded perfection of them and for any depression symptoms that had been present during pregnancy."

"This is the first evidence that new mothers who need to seem like a perfect parent are at risk for depression," Flett said.

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original source Science News

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