Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Micah L. McCreary


The influences on perfectionism and procrastination of race, gender, cognitive-affective and academic self-appraisals, and academic performance expectations were studied. The sample consisted of 155 Introductory Psychology students (57 African Americans, 41 Asian Americans, and 57 European Americans; 51.6% women) with a mean age of 19.4 years (SD = 3.6). Data were collected during the final week of the Fall 2007 semester. Consistent with previous research indicating that men are more likely to procrastinate than women, men were over-represented in this sample. Self-esteem, measured with the Rosenberg (1965) Self-Esteem Scale, was conceptualized as having two components: self-liking and self-competence (Tafarodi & Milne, 2002). Guilt- and shame-proneness were measured with the Test of Self-Conscious Affect, Version 3, Short-form (TOSCA-3S; Tangney & Dearing, 2002). Academic self-confidence was measured with the Personal Evaluation Inventory (Shrauger & Schohn, 1995). A number of single-item questions concerning aspects related to students' Grade Point Average (GPA) were included. The High Standards and Discrepancy scales of the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R; Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, & Ashby, 2001) represented the criterions of adaptive (AP) and maladaptive perfectionism (MP), respectively. The Aitken (1982) Procrastination Inventory was used as the criterion for procrastination. Components of self-esteem differentially predicted perfectionism. African Americans were significantly lower in shame-proneness. While there were non-perfectionists and AP's/MP's in each race and gender, African Americans were significantly higher in AP and Asian Americans were significantly higher in MP. Additionally, Asian American men were more likely to procrastinate. These results counter the "model minority" stereotype of Asian Americans, showing that they are at higher risk for personal and academic distress than their Black and White classmates. While women had higher GPA's and were more likely to be AP's, men had higher levels of academic self-confidence and expected to achieve higher GPA's. Regardless of race or gender, students with GPA's of 3.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) were more likely to be both types of perfectionists. Academic self-confidence was a significant positive predictor of AP and a negative predictor for MP and procrastination. This suggests that helping students improve their academic self-confidence could have many benefits.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008

Included in

Psychology Commons