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Asian American Journal of Psychology 2010, Vol. 1, No.

3, 186 199

2010 American Psychological Association 1948-1985/10/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/a0020732

The Family Almost Perfect Scale: Development, Psychometric Properties, and Comparing Asian and European Americans
Kenneth T. Wang
University of Missouri-Columbia This article describes two studies related to the development and psychometric evaluation of the Family Almost Perfect Scale (FAPS), which measures the perceived level of perfectionistic standards and evaluation from ones family. In Study 1 (N 283), exploratory factor analysis was used to determine the FAPS scale items. In Study 2, the FAPS was cross-validated through conrmatory factor analyses with an Asian/Asian American sample (N 252) and a European American sample (N 386). These two samples were compared on study variables and Asians/Asian Americans reported modestly higher personal and family discrepancy and lower self-esteem. Participants were also grouped into different perceived perfectionistic family types. Those that perceived having maladaptively perfectionistic families reported greater depression and lower self-esteem. Implications for counseling and future directions for research are also discussed. Keywords: perfectionism, family, scale, Asian American, collectivism

Perfectionism has attracted signicant research attention over the past two decades due to its association with psychopathology. For example, Shaw and Segal (1999) suggested that perfectionism was one of the strongest predictors of suicide. In addition, perfectionism has been associated with higher levels of depression, anxiety, eating disorders, interpersonal problems, and obsessive compulsive disorders (see Shafran, Cooper, & Fairburn, 2002, for a review). Although perfectionism studies initially focused on its negative impact (Burns, 1980), perfectionism was later found to have both negative and positive features through factor analyses of perfectionism scales (Frost et al., 1993; Suddarth & Slaney, 2001). Slaney, Rice, Mobley, Trippi, and Ashby (2001) identied two major perfectionistic denitionsextreme or excessive striving for perfection and a disposition to regard anything short of perfection as unacceptable (p. 131) through sampling dictionaries and developed the Almost

Kenneth T. Wang, Department of Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology, University of Missouri-Columbia. The author would like to thank Robert B. Slaney and Puncky P. Heppner for their invaluable support and comments. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Kenneth T. Wang, 16 Hill Hall, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211. E-mail: wangk@missouri.edu 186

Perfect ScaleRevised (APS-R; Slaney, Mobley, Trippi, Ashby, & Johnson, 1996). In the APS-R, two subscales reect these two perfectionistic features. High Standards measures the standards one sets for performance and Discrepancy measures the perceived difference between the standards one has set for ones behavior and ones performance. Simply put, High Standards is a positive variable, while Discrepancy is negative. In this study, perfectionism is dened as having excessive striving for high standards, with discrepancy as a core factor differentiating whether a persons perfectionism is adaptive or maladaptive. Based on their levels of high standards and discrepancy, people can be categorized into two types of perfectionistsadaptive and maladaptive (Rice & Slaney, 2002). Adaptive perfectionists, those with high standards but low discrepancy, have reported higher self-esteem, positive affect, and better achievement (Rice & Slaney, 2002). In contrast, maladaptive perfectionists possess both high standards and high discrepancy; they have reported higher levels of depression, anxiety, and more interpersonal problems (Grzegorek, Slaney, Franze, & Rice, 2004; Mobley, Slaney, & Rice, 2005; Slaney, Pincus, Uliaszek, & Wang, 2006; Wang, Slaney, & Rice, 2007). Family environment and parenting styles have been logical areas to study based on the



hypothesis that perfectionism develops through being raised in a family environment where love is conditionally based on ones performance (Hamachek, 1978). Blatt (1995) suggested that doubts about ones performance, that is, feeling that ones performance is not good enough, are associated with having parents who are nonapproving, controlling, and authoritarian. Maladaptive aspects of perfectionism have been found to be associated with perceived authoritarian (Kawamura, Frost, & Harmatz, 2002) and less encouraging (Rice, Ashby, & Preusser, 1996) parenting styles. Flett, Hewitt, Oliver, and Macdonald (2002) suggested that in studying the development of perfectionism to distinguish parents who expect perfectionism but are also accepting from those that are more critical and rejecting. This suggestion appears to parallel and expand the adaptive and maladaptive perfectionist literature to encompass perceived family perfectionism. Therefore, developing a scale that measures ones perceived level of family perfectionism would be essential in differentiating the types of perfectionistic families to explore their impact on the development of perfectionism. Two widely used perfectionism scales have touched upon the concept of family perfectionism peripherally. Frosts Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS; Frost, Marten, Lahart, & Rosenblate, 1990) included subscales measuring Parental Expectations and Parental Criticism, and Hewitt and Fletts Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (HFMPS; Hewitt & Flett, 1991) has a Socially Prescribed Perfectionism subscale measuring the perceived level of expected perfectionism from others. However, a major critique of the FMPS and HFMPS is that they assess a broader range of features than those that have been described as characteristics of perfectionism by clinicians and early theorists (Shafran et al., 2002). For example, Slaney et al. (2001) noted that several FMPS subscales seem to address causes (Parental Criticism and Parental Expectations) rather than perfectionisms essential nature. Given the value of understanding parenting and family factors related to perfectionism, the APS-R was modied into a family form measuring perceived level of perfectionism from ones family named the Family Almost Perfect Scale (FAPS). Although there is a parallel between the FAPS and the HFMPS Social Prescribed Perfectionism sub-

scale, the advantage of the FAPS is that it measures the distinct adaptive and maladaptive elements from a family perspective. In addition, it provides the opportunity to conduct studies comparing the effects of adaptive versus maladaptive perfectionistic families. Using both the APS-R and FAPS makes assessing and comparing the positive and negative aspects of perfectionism possible from both the individual/ personal and perceived family perspectives. This scale may also be valuable when studying populations with stronger collectivistic or family values. This article includes two studies and the purpose is twofold: (a) to develop a family perfectionism scale, and (b) to compare Asians and Asian Americans (AAs) with European Americans (EAs) on how family perfectionism is related to individual perfectionism and other psychological variables. Study 1 describes the scale development process and conducts an initial examination of the psychometric properties of the FAPS. Study 2 cross-validates the FAPS with two ethnic samples. The relationships between perceived family perfectionism and ones level of depression and self-esteem between AAs and EAs were also examined. Study 1: Scale Development The purpose of the rst study was to develop and rene the FAPS. The FAPS items were developed by altering the items in the original APS-R item pool to reect the level of perceived perfectionistic expectations and evaluations from family. For example, the APS-R item I set very high standards for myself was modied into My family sets very high standards for me for the FAPS. In order to assure the appropriateness of the FAPS items, two other researchers were involved in the scale transformation process. A doctoral student in psychology transformed the APS-R scale items for the FAPS and then the items were then examined and revised by R. B. Slaney, who developed the APS-R. In Study 1, I conducted an exploratory factor analysis and examined convergent-divergent validity through correlations of subscales scores with other study variables. I hypothesized that Family Standards would have a stronger relationship with Parental Expectations than Parental Criticism and vice versa for Family Discrep-



ancy. I also hypothesized that Family Standards and Family Discrepancy would have moderate and positive relationships with personal High Standards and Discrepancy, respectively. Method Participants Study 1 had 283 college students (59 men & 224 women) from a northeastern public university. They were recruited from undergraduate classes in the College of Education and provided with extra credit for participating. They were predominantly European Americans (91.5%), with 8.5% racial minorities. Their ages ranged from 18 to 45 (M 19.67, SD 2.39). Measures Personal perfectionism. Perfectionism was measured using the APS-R (Slaney et al., 1996). The APS-R has three subscales: High Standards, Order, and Discrepancy. The High Standards subscale measures the possession of high standards for achievement and performance. The Order subscale measures a preference for neatness and orderliness. The Discrepancy scale measures the degree to which the respondents perceive themselves as failing to meet their standards for performance. Items are responded to by using a 7-point Likert scale. Cronbachs coefcient alphas ranged from .82 to .92 for the three subscales (Grzegorek et al., 2004; Rice & Slaney, 2002; Suddarth & Slaney, 2001). All 23 APS-R items were included during initial analyses, but to better examine the relationships between Discrepancy and other mental health variables, 7 items with affective components were excluded from the current analyses. Parental aspects of perfectionism. The Parental Expectations and Parental Criticism subscales of Frosts Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale (FMPS; Frost et al., 1990) were used. The Parental Expectations subscale consists of 5 items and the Parental Criticism subscale consists of 4 items. The items are rated on a 5-point Likert scale. Cronbachs alphas were .84 for both subscales and the correlation between these subscales was .63 (Frost et al., 1990).

Depression. Depression was assessed with the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D; Radloff, 1977). The CES-D consists of 20 items and is rated on how often participants experienced each scale item during the previous week using a 4-point Likert scale that ranges from 0 rarely or none of the time through 3 most or all of the time. The CES-D has been a widely used measure for depression and Cronbachs coefcient alphas for the total CES-D score have ranged from .84 to .90 (Radloff, 1977). Anxiety. Anxiety was measured using the StateTrait Anxiety Inventory (STAI; Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1970). In this study, the 20 items measuring State Anxiety were used. Items were rated using a 4-point Likert scale. Strong internal consistency was supported by the average Cronbachs alpha of .91 from 52 studies that used the State Anxiety subscale between 1990 to 2000 (Barnes, Harp, & Jung, 2002). Self-esteem. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1965) was used to measure self-esteem in this study. The RSES consists of 10 items and is rated on a 4-point Likert scale with higher score representing higher self-esteem. The internal consistency reliability has ranged from .86 to .93 (Goldsmith, 1986). Results Exploratory Factor Analysis and Reliability Analysis An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted with the initial item pool for the FAPS. A principle-axis factor analysis was performed on 24 items that were transformed from the long version of the APS-R. Items that were reverse stated or contained affective components were initially included in the survey but omitted during the analyses. A three-factor solution with a promax rotation was conducted. The three factors accounted for 55.1% of the variance before rotation. Seventeen items that achieved loadings above .50 on one factor with no cross-loadings over .30 were retained. A summary of the EFA results with the nal 17 items and Cronbachs alphas are presented in Table 1.



Table 1 Summary of Pattern Matrix for Principle Axis Factoring/Promax Rotation of FAPS Items
Factor loadings Factor 1 13. My performance rarely measures up to my familys standards. 4. My best just never seems to be good enough for my family. 9. Doing my best never seems to be enough for my family. 15. I am seldom able to meet my familys high standards of performance. 7. I rarely live up to my familys high standards. 11. Nothing short of perfect is acceptable in my family. 16. I am aware that my family sets standards that are unrealistically high. 1. My family has high standards for my performance at work or at school. 10. My family sets very high standards for me. 17. My family expects me to have a strong need to strive for excellence. 6. My family has high expectations for me. 14. My family expects me to try to do my best at everything I do. 12. My family expects the best from me. 3. Neatness is important to my family. 5. My family thinks things should be put away in their place. 2. My family expects me to be an orderly person. 8. My family expects me to always be organized and disciplined. .90 .85 .85 .77 .77 .66 .65 .00 .10 .00 .02 .16 .03 .03 .08 .08 .10 Factor 2 .00 .02 .06 .02 .04 .07 .03 .79 .77 .73 .66 .65 .63 .09 .06 .16 .21 Factor 3 .14 .05 .08 .10 .02 .03 .12 .04 .07 .04 .04 .01 .10 .86 .73 .55 .50 h2 .78 .73 .72 .57 .58 .47 .49 .60 .60 .50 .47 .39 .45 .66 .47 .45 .44 M 2.18 2.10 2.08 2.23 2.15 2.14 2.34 5.82 4.91 5.41 5.81 6.15 5.73 4.80 4.75 4.92 4.40 SD 1.24 1.46 1.42 1.35 1.25 1.24 1.42 1.20 1.55 1.16 1.16 1.06 1.27 1.50 1.51 1.39 1.47 r2 .81 .82 .80 .71 .72 .65 .66 .70 .69 .65 .63 .55 .60 .67 .56 .57 .55

Note. Final 17 FAPS items. Unique factor loadings .50 are in bold. N 283 participants. Factor 1 Family Discrepancy; Factor 2 Family Standards; Factor 3 Family Order; h2 item commonalities at extraction; r2 item-total correlations. Cronbachs alphas are .91 for Discrepancy, .85 for High Standards, and .78 for Order.

Associations Among FAPS Subscales and Other Study Variables Correlations between the FAPS subscales and other variables supported my hypotheses (see Table 2). The family perfectionism dimensions correlated signicantly with their corresponding personal perfectionism dimensions at the p .001 level. Convergent-Divergent validity was supported for Family Standards that had a stronger correlation with Parental Expectations than Parental Criticism (t 5.25, df 181). Family Discrepancy had a stronger correlation with Parental Criticism than Parental Expectations (t 2.64, df 181). In addition, Parental Expectations correlated more highly with Family Standards than personal High Stan-

dards (t 6.17, df 181). Similarly, Parental Criticism had a higher correlation with Family Discrepancy than personal Discrepancy (t 5.29, df 181). Discussion The purpose of Study 1 was to nalize the items for FAPS through exploratory factor analysis. Results yielded three factors with a total of 17 items with adequate Cronbachs alphas. Correlations between the scores of the FAPS, APS-R subscales, the FMPS Parental Criticism and Parental Expectations subscales provided support for convergence-divergence validity. Among the FAPS subscales, only Family Discrepancy scores correlated signicantly with the

190 High Standards, Order, Range 642 428 749 749 428 535 525 420 060 480 440


Note. Coefcient alphas are presented in boldface along the diagonal. FAPS Family Standards, Family Order, Family Discrepancy; APS-R Discrepancy; FMPS Parental Expectations, Parental Criticism; CES-D Depression; STAI Anxiety (state); RSES Self-Esteem. p .05. p .001, two-tailed.

depression (r .41), anxiety (r .34), and self-esteem scores (r .36) at the p .001 level. However, the correlations between FAPS Family Discrepancy scores and these variables were slightly lower than the correlations between APS-R Discrepancy and these variables. Family Discrepancy appears to measure negative aspects of perfectionism, while Family Standards seem more neutral. This differs from the Parental Expectations and Parental Criticism subscales of FMPS that are both categorized as negative aspects of perfectionism. Overall, results of Study 1 support the FAPS as a measure of perceived family perfectionism with promising psychometric properties. The correlations among study variables also suggest that Family Discrepancy may be a strong predictor of psychological distress. Further crossvalidation of the FAPS in samples of diverse populations is needed. Study 2: Scale Validation and Comparing AAs With EAs Another sign of progress in the perfectionism literature is the increased numbers of studies conducted with various cultural groups. Differences in perfectionism have been found across different ethnic groups in the United States and researchers have raised the question of whether Asian Americans are at a heightened risk of the detrimental affects of being perfectionistic (Yoon & Lau, 2008). Compared with European Americans, Asian Americans reported having more doubts about their actions and being more concerned about their mistakes (Castro & Rice, 2003; Chang, 1998; Chang & Chang, 2009; Kawamura et al., 2002) which are both associated with maladaptive perfectionism. In addition, Asian Americans have also reported higher levels of parental expectations and parental criticism (Castro & Rice, 2003). Chang and Chang (2009) suggested that Asian Americans higher negative perfectionism is possibly related to having greater demands from others to achieve and therefore more negative experiences around social expectations. Yoon and Lau (2008) also found that interdependence moderated the relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and depression; specically, there was a stronger positive relationship between maladaptive perfectionism and

Table 2 Intercorrelations Between Study Variables and Descriptive Statistics

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Family Standards Family Order Family Discrepancy High Standards Order Discrepancy Parental Expectations Parental Criticism Depression Anxiety Self-Esteem


.85 .47 .19 .51 .16 .12 .57 .26 .06 .09 .12

.78 .18 .30 .42 .07 .35 .21 .02 .00 .09

.91 .11 .14 .56 .61 .73 .41 .34 .36

.84 .41 .01 .20 .02 .10 .05 .18

.88 .05 .01 .04 .00 .03 .07

.89 .42 .48 .59 .52 .51

.77 .53 .26 .23 .08

.89 .38 .35 .28

.91 .71 .57

.94 .54




283 283 283 283 283 283 184 184 283 184 283

33.74 18.80 15.34 40.53 21.10 15.57 14.75 7.37 14.45 38.69 31.89

5.71 4.56 7.66 5.44 4.50 6.31 3.66 3.21 9.72 11.23 5.15




depression among Asian American students with higher interdependence. In addition to the differences on perfectionism scores, traditional Asian cultural is more collectivistic in nature and value family reputation and conforming to familial expectations more than Western cultures (Triandis, 1995). Asians are also inuenced more by external forces, such as social context and relationships, than internal forces (Yeh & Huang, 1996). Yu and Yang (1994) noted that in a collectivistic culture, external expectations are important because the family or other in-group members set the standards and evaluate the outcomes. Thus, taking into account how external expectations impact Asian Americans appears important. Studies have also found that Asian Americans reported perceiving less success in fullling their parents expectations (Oishi & Sullivan, 2005) and more pressure from their parents to achieve academically than their European American counterparts (Aldwin & Greenberger, 1987). Moreover, cross-cultural studies indicated that Asian and Asian American parents were more dissatised with their childrens performances (Aldwin & Greenberger, 1987; Oishi & Sullivan, 2005). In a sample of college students in Taiwan, Wang and Heppner (2002) also found that perceived degree of living up to parental expectations was a stronger predictor of psychological distress than perceived parental expectations or perceived self-performance. They suggested that it is imperative to understand the relationship between childrens perceptions of how they are meeting their parents expectations and their psychological wellbeing. The concept of living up to parental expectations seems quite similar to the idea behind the FAPS scale that measures the discrepancy between the childrens performance and the parents expectations. This may imply that family discrepancy, the perception that one is not meeting the standards set by ones family, may be particularly relevant to the psychological distress of Asians or Asian Americans. However, it is important to note that factors such as generational status, acculturation, and ethnic identity may inuence ones level of adherence to these traditional Asian values. In this study, the FAPS factor structure is examined through multiple group conrmatory factor analyses (CFA) across a sample of AAs and a sample of EAs. AAs and EAs are com-

pared on how personal and family perfectionism are related to self-esteem and depression. In comparing AAs with EAs, I hypothesized that (a) AAs would report higher levels of personal discrepancy and family discrepancy than EAs, based on AAs reporting higher maladaptive perfectionism in past studies (Castro & Rice, 2003; Chang, 1998; Chang & Chang, 2009; Kawamura et al., 2002). Assuming that Asian values are more collectivistic and give greater consideration to their families and signicant others in making decisions (Kim, Atkinson, & Umemoto, 2001; Triandis, 1995), I expected that (b) AAs would report higher collectivism scores than EAs and that (c) family discrepancys correlations with depression and self-esteem would be stronger among AAs than EAs. Participants were clustered into different types of perceived family perfectionistic groups that paralleled the adaptive, maladaptive, and nonperfectionist groups of perfectionists. These groups were compared on depression and self-esteem and I hypothesized that (d) the maladaptive group would have the lowest self-esteem and highest depression scores. Method Participants Participants in Study 2 consisted of two groups. The rst group was 252 Asian/Asian American (AA) college students (48 men & 204 women) who originated from East Asian countries such as China (n 83), Taiwan (n 44), Japan (n 26), and Korea (n 40). Seven students indicated being multiethnic and 52 students either did not indicate a specic national original or misunderstood and reported United States or Canada. Only including participants with national origins from East Asia was an effort to reduce the heterogeneity of AAs with a focus on the inuence of Confucian values. Sixty-two percent of the participants in this sample were born in the United States and 38% were born in another country. Eighty-one percent of the participants in this sample identied as American, while the other 19% did not. Among the 203 participants that identied as American, 56 reported being born in a foreign country, 116 reported being a second generation Asian American, 31 identied as being a third or more generation Asian American. The ma-



jority of participants (74%) were from universities located in the Western region of the United States and 21% were from the Northeast region of the United States. Nineteen percent of the participants were graduate students and 79% were undergraduate students. The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 54 (M 21.97, SD 5.00). Seventy-ve percent of the participants fathers had college educations, while 70% of the participants mothers had completed college. The second group consisted of 386 European American (EA) college students (68 men & 317 women). The majority of participants (57%) were from universities located in the Northeast region of the United States and 41% were from the Western region of the United States. The majority of participants (99%) in this sample were undergraduate students. The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 40 (M 20.05, SD 2.31). Seventy-nine percent of the participants fathers had college educations and 79% of the participants mothers had college educations. Data Collection Procedure Participants were recruited through (a) listserv emails sent to Asian American and international student organizations, (b) yers posted on campus, (c) two undergraduate classes at a large northeastern public university with extra credit offered, (d) a psychology department subject pool at a large private university on the west coast, and (e) word of mouth. Data were collected online through www.psychdata.com. Measures Demographic questionnaire. The following information was requested on the demographic questionnaire: age, gender, race, marital status, academic year in school, major, type of school, childhood community, campus environment, years in the United States, national origin, generation status, parents education levels, parents expectations, and grade point average. Perceived family perfectionism. The nal 17-item version of the FAPS (Wang, Methikalam, & Slaney, 2010) based on Study 1 was used to measure participants perceptions of the level of perfectionism in their families. Subscale scores were the sum of the corresponding items for each

subscale. Cronbachs alphas were high and comparable across the two samples of this study for Family Standards (AA .88; EA .85), Family Discrepancy (AA .91; EA .94), and Family Order (AA .84; EA .86). Collectivism. The Individualism-Collectivism Scale (INDCOL; Triandis, 1995) was used to measure collectivism in this study. In this study, the overall collectivism score was used. Responses are reported on a 9-point Likert scale. Cronbachs alphas ranged from .78 to .79 for the combined Collectivism scale (Kim, Atkinson, & Yang, 1999; Triandis, 1995). Cronbachs alphas of the two samples in this study for Collectivism were .80 (AA) and .77 (EA). Other measures. Personal perfectionism, depression, and self-esteem were measured by the APS-R, CES-D, and RSES, respectively, and reviewed in Study 1. Results Conrmatory Factor Analyses FAPS Multiple Group CFA was conducted with the scores of two samples to cross-validate the measurement qualities of the FAPS. The AMOS 18 program was used to analyze covariance matrices with maximum likelihood as the estimation method. Following guidelines from Kline (2005), model t was assessed by the comparative t index (CFI), the standardized rootmean-square residual (SRMR), and the rootmean-square error of approximation (RMSEA). First, I tested an unconstrained model where all estimated parameters were allowed to differ across the two samples (Model 1). The t statistics for this model were: 2(df 232) 806.79, p .001, CFI .92, SRMR .069, RMSEA .062 (90% Condence Interval .058-.067). The CFI, SRMR, and RMSEA indices supported a less than ideal but modestly good t of the model. The factor loadings for both samples are presented in Figure 1. Next, I tested the invariance of measurement weights by constraining the factor loadings to be equal across the two samples (Model 2). The t statistics for this model were: 2(df 246) 819.18, p .001, CFI .92, SRMR .070, RMSEA .061 (90% Condence Interval 2 .056 .065). The (df 14) 12.39, p .575 between Model 1 and Model 2 was insignicant, which indicated invariance of factor



Figure 1. Conrmatory Factor Analysis for the FAPS (Unconstrained Model). Note. Standardized estimates with * were for the EA sample; those without were for the AA sample. Stands Family Standards; Order Family Order; Disk Family Discrepancy.

loadings. The nal step was testing the invariance of the structural covariances (Model 3). The t statistics for this model were: 2(df 252) 843.54, p .001, CFI .92, SRMR .095, RMSEA .060 (90% Condence Interval 2 .056 .065). The (df 20) 36.75, p .013 between Model 1 and Model 3 was signif-

icant, which indicated that the factor correlations and variances were nonequivalent. Overall, the CFA t indices indicated an adequate t for both samples and the multiple Group CFA results suggest that the FAPS factor loadings across the AA and EA samples are invariant.



Descriptive Statistics and Correlations Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) were conducted to compare men and women on all study variables for both the AA and EA samples and there were no signicant differences between men and women at the p .005 level (.05/9, Bonferroni adjustment) for any of the nine variables for either group. ANOVAs were also conducted to examine generational status and national origin differences for the nine study variables in the AA sample. No signicant generational status differences were found, but there was a difference on national origin. Students originally from Japan had signicantly lower Family Discrepancy (Japan 17.15, Taiwan 20.66, Korea 21.45), and Family Order (Japan 15.11, Korea 23.27, China 25.21) scores at the p .005 level. Since the sample size for Japan was small (n 26), I did not run separate follow up analyses for this group, but did examine group distribution differences after the cluster analyses. Means and standard deviations for each sample are presented in Table 3. AAs reported signicantly higher scores on Family Order, Family Discrepancy, and personal Discrepancy; and lower scores on Self-esteem. Cluster Analyses Separate cluster analyses were conducted with the AA and EA samples to identify differTable 3 Means and Standard Deviations by Ethnic Samples
Asians and Asian Americans, n 252 Subscale Family Standards Family Order Family Discrepancy Personal High Standards Personal Order Personal Discrepancy Depression Self-esteem Collectivism M 34.03 20.35 21.75 40.70 21.16 19.15 15.92 30.42 97.51 SD 6.13 4.69 10.60 6.01 4.66 7.54 11.18 6.16 14.89

ent groups of perceived perfectionistic families. The analysis procedures followed past APS-R studies (e.g., Grzegorek et al., 2004; Mobley et al., 2005). For the AA sample, the rst large agglomeration coefcient increase (42%) occurred when three clusters were combined into two, suggesting a three-cluster solution. Similarly, for the EA group there was a sharp increase (34%) at that step as well. The rst cluster consisted of participants from adaptive perfectionistic families (high-Family Standards and low-Family Discrepancy). The second cluster appeared to consist of participants from maladaptive perfectionistic families (high on both Family Standards and Family Discrepancy). The third cluster appeared to consist of participants from nonperfectionistic families (low on both Family Standards and Family Discrepancy). The gender distribution across the FAPS groups did not differ signicantly for either the 252) 1.80, p .40] or EA AA [ 2(2, N [ 2(2, N 386) 0.55, p .76] sample. In addition, the AA FAPS groups did not differ in their distributions across generational status [ 2(10, N 252) 12.66, p .24] and national origin [ 2(6, N 193) 9.90, p .13]. Univariate ANOVAs were conducted to examine group differences on the dependent variables for each sample. These results with Tukey post hoc comparisons are presented in Tables 4 and 5. For both AA and EA samples, participants with perceived maladaptive perfectionis-

European Americans, n 386 M 34.62 19.05 17.18 41.58 20.91 16.78 14.21 32.36 98.94 SD 5.31 4.76 9.02 5.25 4.72 6.84 9.29 5.34 13.26 F 1.64 11.53 34.06 3.84 .45 16.89 4.40 17.82 1.60

.00 .02 .05 .01 .00 .03 .01 .03 .00

Note. F test for Family Order was signicant at p .002 level. Other F tests were nonsignicant at the critical p-value of .005 (.05/9) that was made after Bonferroni adjustment to control for family-wise error rate. FAPS Family Standards, Family Order, Family Discrepancy; APS-R High Standards, Order, Discrepancy; CES-D Depression; RSES Self-esteem; INDCOL Collectivism. F tests for Family Discrepancy, Personal Discrepancy, and RSES were signicant at p .001 level, based on df 1, 637.



Table 4 Means and Standard Deviations by Cluster Groups (Asians and Asian Americans)
Adaptive perfectionistic family, n 105 Subscale Family perfectionism High Standards Order Discrepancy Personal perfectionism High Standards Order Discrepancy Depression Self-esteem Collectivism M 35.99a 21.38a 15.15a 41.74a 22.39a 16.62a 12.40a 32.34a 99.80a SD 3.42 3.13 4.85 4.80 3.68 6.84 7.91 5.35 12.70 Maladaptive perfectionistic family, n 72 M 38.26b 24.15b 34.75b 41.92a 21.69a 23.75b 21.37b 27.60b 100.80a SD 3.89 2.69 7.62 6.04 4.28 7.06 11.86 6.21 15.55 Nonperfectionistic family, n 75 M 27.23c 15.26c 18.52c 38.05b 18.94b 18.29a 15.62a 30.42ab 91.16b SD 5.18 3.48 7.48 6.72 5.44 6.99 12.43 6.18 15.32 F 150.38 158.56 203.93 11.19 13.99 23.33 15.39 14.01 10.56

.55 .56 .62 .08 .10 .16 .11 .10 .08

Note. All univariate F tests were signicant at p .001. F tests for the variables were based on df 2, 249. Values with different subscripts indicate signicant within-row differences between the clusters using Tukey post hoc comparisons, signicant at p .005. FAPS Family Standards, Family Order, Family Discrepancy; APS-R High Standards, Order, Discrepancy; CES-D Depression; RSES Self-esteem; INDCOL Collectivism.

tic families reported signicantly higher mean scores on personal Discrepancy and depression than the other two groups and lower scores on self-esteem than the adaptive group. Discussion One of the main purposes of Study 2 was to cross-validate the psychometric properties of

the FAPS with different populations. The results supported the 3-factor structure of the FAPS in both the AA and EA samples with Cronbachs alphas ranging from .84 to .94. The psychometric data were fairly similar between these two samples. It appears that the FAPS can be used as an adequate measure of perceived family perfectionism for both AA and EA college students.

Table 5 Means and Standard Deviations by Cluster Groups (European Americans)

Adaptive perfectionistic family, n 179 Subscale Family perfectionism High Standards Order Discrepancy Personal perfectionism High Standards Order Discrepancy Depression Self-esteem Collectivism M 36.87a 20.90a 12.24a 43.10a 21.78a 14.09a 12.02a 34.00a 100.94a SD 3.15 3.24 4.23 4.09 4.36 6.14 8.56 4.95 12.54 Maladaptive perfectionistic family, n 75 M 37.95a 22.11a 31.35b 42.12a 21.38a 23.13b 21.18b 28.40b 100.38ab SD 3.64 4.11 6.24 4.90 4.69 6.19 10.62 5.79 13.12 Nonperfectionistic family, n 132 M 29.67b 14.80b 15.82c 39.20b 19.46b 16.83c 13.22a 32.38a 95.41b SD 4.89 3.82 6.56 5.97 4.89 5.63 7.42 4.37 13.66 F 162.12 141.10 322.26 24.07 10.10 60.32 31.01 33.93 7.38

.46 .42 .63 .11 .05 .24 .14 .15 .04

Note. All univariate F tests were signicant at p .001, with the exception of Collectivism ( p .002). F tests for the variables were based on df 2, 383. Values with different subscripts indicate signicant within-row differences between the clusters using Tukey post hoc comparisons, signicant at p .001. FAPS Family Standards, Family Order, Family Discrepancy; APS-R High Standards, Order, Discrepancy; CES-D Depression; RSES Self-Esteem; INDCOL Collectivism.



Comparisons between AAs and EAs partially supported the hypotheses. AAs reported significantly higher personal Discrepancy and Family Discrepancy scores than EAs. This result is consistent with past ndings in which AA samples reported signicantly higher scores than EA samples on the APS-R Discrepancy subscale (Wang, Yuen, & Slaney, 2009), the FMPS Parental Criticism subscale (Castro & Rice, 2003; Chang, 1998; Kawamura et al., 2002). In addition, the lack of signicant group differences on the APS-R and FAPS High Standards scores between AAs and EAs, is also consistent with past ndings (Castro & Rice, 2003; Chang, 1998; Kawamura et al., 2002). This may suggest that AAs are more self-critical than EAs. Similarly, AAs view their families as being less satised with their performances, despite not perceiving higher family standards. One explanation is that in Asian culture it is more common and acceptable to present yourself as not being good enough, which is consistent with the highly valued virtue of modesty (Kim et al., 1999) and self-criticism (Kitayama, Markus, Matsumoto, & Norasakkunkit, 1997). The high personal Discrepancy may also be a result of internalizing Family Discrepancy. Although these results are similar across various studies, it is worth noting that the effect sizes in this study were small and warrants further examination before reaching conclusions. In addition, whether Discrepancy is viewed as a stable perfectionistic trait (Slaney et al., 2001) or a uctuating self-evaluative state (Flett & Hewitt, 2002) also needs further examination. A related question is whether this higher selfreported Discrepancy has the same detrimental effect on mental health among AAs as it has with EAs. I compared the correlations of personal Discrepancy with Depression (AA: r .56; EA: r .47) and Self-Esteem (AA: r .63; EA: r .62) and found them similar for AAs and EAs. Likewise, Family Discrepancy correlated with Depression (AA: r .38; EA: r .41) and Self-Esteem (AA: r .43; EA: r .47) similarly across two samples. Based on the correlations, my third hypothesis that family perfectionism would have a stronger impact on depression and self-esteem in AAs compared to EAs was not supported. This hypothesis was based on the assumption that AAs would have higher collectivistic values. However, there were no signicant differences be-

tween AAs and EAs on their collectivism scores even after controlling for age and school location. Based on these results, it seems to be that AA and EA college students, at least in these two samples, were not as different on their collectivistic values as expected. However, due to the majority of the AAs being second generation, it is important to note that a bilinear and domain specic acculturation model should be used to examine this issue before making further conclusions (Miller, 2010). In both samples, three different types of perceived family perfectionistic types emerged through cluster analysis using the FAPS. These three groups parallel the groups of adaptive, maladaptive, and nonperfectionists. The pattern of the dependent variable scores was mostly similar across the two samples. One noticeable result was that for AAs the groups that perceived their family as being perfectionistic had higher Collectivism scores than the group that had not perceived their family as perfectionistic, however, this exploratory nding needs replication. As expected, the maladaptive group that perceived their family as having both high standards and discrepancy reported signicantly higher depression levels and lower self-esteem than the other two groups. It is also worth noting that this group was the only one to report a CES-D mean score greater than the clinical cut-off (16). These ndings indicate that for both AAs and EAs, perceiving ones family as being maladaptively perfectionistic is associated with higher depression and lower selfesteem. There were no differences on the depression and self-esteem scores between the groups that perceived their family as being adaptively perfectionistic and nonperfectionistic. It appears that perceiving ones family as having perfectionistic standards does not have a detrimental effect on ones depression or selfesteem. Instead, it is the perception of high family discrepancy that negatively impacts ones mental health. General Discussion Clinical Implications Results of Study 1 and 2 provide support of the FAPS as a promising measure of perceived family perfectionism. In addition, this scale can



also be used to categorize different types of perfectionistic families (adaptive, maladaptive, and nonperfectionistic). The FAPS in combination with the APS-R may be used to discern between external and internal perfectionistic standards, expectations, and evaluations. This would be particularly helpful when treating clients who are struggling with perfectionism, but are unclear of the source of their perfectionism. Although results of this study did not reveal major difference between AAs and EAs on how they are affected by family perfectionism, it seems apparent that ones family discrepancy is strongly associated with ones self-esteem and depression in both groups. This also points to the importance of focusing on clients perceived family discrepancy rather than family standards when treating someone who lacks self-esteem or is depressed because of family perfectionism. Rather than judging whether the family standards are appropriate, it is more relevant to help clients realize that the perception of not living up to family expectations is more likely the problem. In other words, perceiving ones family as setting high standards seems to be a neutral aspect of family perfectionism. It would also be helpful to differentiate between the impact of ones personal perfectionism and ones family perfectionism as well as become aware of how the two are associated. Clients may not be aware of how they have internalized family standards and criticism. Understanding and being aware of the process may facilitate change. Limitations This study has several limitations. There were more female participants and differences between AA and EA in age, region, and academic class. The AA sample included international students and AAs of various generational statuses. Caution should also be taken when generalizing results to the larger Asian American community because four fths of the participants identied as American and their parents were highly educated. There are also a few research-design-related limitations. First, this study was cross-sectional and whether depression and self-esteem are causes or the results of family discrepancy and family standards cannot be concluded from this study. Second, the APS-R and FAPS Discrepancy items with affective components were omitted during analy-

ses. It is unclear whether respondents also viewed the remaining nonaffective discrepancy items as getting at an affective dimension while completing the original scales. Therefore, further replication using the scales without those affective items included from the beginning is needed. Lastly, the FAPS was based on reports of perceived family standards and discrepancy rather than actual family standards and discrepancy. It also used the broad family term instead of specifying family members. Future Directions The FAPS may be used for further validation in different cultural and ethnic groups, especially those with a strong focus on fullling family expectations (e.g., Latino/a, African Americans, and international students). Comparing perceived family perfectionism with the perfection that ones family actually reports would be a way to examine whether the perceptions are congruent. It would also be important to explore the source of higher discrepancy in AAs. In addition, further examination of different combinations of family and personal adaptive, maladaptive, and nonperfectionist groups would be valuable. In particular, it would be worth exploring the characteristics of adaptive perfectionists that perceived their family as maladaptively perfectionistic to understand ways that one can be more adaptive despite being from a perceived maladaptive family. Overall, FAPS has potential for use in perfectionism studies examining the impact of perceived family perfectionism on mental health issues and achievement with various cultural groups. References
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