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Pervichko E.I., Babaev Yu.A. (2018). Motivation for the achievement and structure of perfectionism in patients with anxiety disorders. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 4, 86–95


Introduction. The relevance of the subject is primarily due to the high frequency of anxiety disorders in the population. According to various schools of psychology and psychotherapy, the motivation of the patient, their deep-seated attitudes and values ​​play a significant role in the emergence and development of anxiety disorders. But nowadays there is a lack of empirical studies that consider achievement motivation and perfectionism in connection with anxiety disorders.

Objective. On the one hand, the study is focused on the relationship between the direction and the achievement motivation in motivational conflicts, and on the other hand, the authors illicit the general level and structural characteristics of perfectionism in people with anxiety disorders.

Procedure. The study involved 21 patients with anxiety disorders undergoing inpatient treatment at the Moscow Research Institute of Psychiatry, Moscow, Russia, and 20 healthy subjects. In order to measure achievement motivation, the authors used TAT (Thematic Apperception Test) modified by H. Heckhausen (Heckhausen, 1963, 1967; Magomed-Eminov, 1987). In order to identify the degree of manifestation and features of the structure of perfectionism, the Kholmogorova-Garanyan perfectionism questionnaire (Garanyan, Yudeeva, 2008, 2009) and the Hewitt and Flett Multidimensional scale of perfectionism were used (Hewitt, Flett, 1998; Gracheva, 2006). An intergroup comparison was performed in terms of the severity of the characteristics assessed, and also a correlation study of the perfectionism and motivation indicators was conducted in each group.

Results. Compared to healthy individuals, patients with anxiety disorders show a higher level of general perfectionism and socially prescribed perfectionism, as well as reduced achievement motivation. They revealed a greater discrepancy between the motives for achieving success and avoiding failure, which suggests that their activity is directed to the motive of avoidance than to the motive of achievement. The overall level of perfectionism in both groups negatively correlates with the severity of the achievement motive, however, in healthy people, perfectionism is associated with the hope of success, and in patients with anxiety disorders it is associated with the fear of failure.

Conclusion. The results can be used in psychotherapeutic practice treating patients with anxiety disorders. The study gives way for further research on patients with anxiety disorders, depressed patients, etc.

Received: 12/04/2018
Accepted: 12/22/2018
Pages: 86-95
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2018.0408

By: ; ;

Sections: Health Psychology;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no32-2018/npj_no32_2018_086-095.pdf

Keywords: perfectionism; achievement motivation; anxiety; anxiety disorders; Hekhausen TAT; Kholmogorov-Garanyan perfectionism questionnaire; multidimensional Hewitt and Flett perfectionism scale;

Available Online 30.01.2019

Fig. 1. Indicators of overall motivation and level of perfectionism according to Kholmogorova- Garanyan questionnaire

Table 1. Comparison of patients with anxiety disorders and healthy people according to anxiety, perfectionism and motivation parameters


Anxiety Disorders (n=21)

Control Group (n=20)



Anxiety (Spielberger Scale)




Magomed-Eminov Perfectionism Questionnaire

Self-Focused Perfectionism (SFP)




Outer-Oriented Perfectionism (OOP)




Socially Prescribed Perfectionism (SPP)




Overall level of perfectionism




Kholmogorova- Garanyan Perfectionism Questionnaire

The perception of other people as delegating high expectations




Inflated claims and demands to oneself




Overestimated expectations when targeting the “most successful” pole




Selecting information about own failures and errors




Polarized thinking




General level of perfectionism




ТАТ Heckhausen

Hope of Success (НS)




Fear of Failure (FF)




Overall Motivation (FF+НS)




Discrepancy between hope of success and the fear of failure (НS-FF)





* — Differences between groups are verified (p<0.05);

** — Differences between groups are verified (p<0.01).

Table 2. Perfectionism and achievement motivation correlation in healthy individuals. Significant correlations

Perfectionism Parameter

Hope to Success (НS)

Fear of Failure (FF)

Overall Motivation (FF+НS)

Kholmogorova-Garanyan Perception of others




Kholmogorova-Garanyan Overestimated expectations






Kholmogorova-Garanyan Selecting errors





Kholmogorova-Garanyan Polarized thinking






Kholmogorova-Garanyan Overall level of perfectionism





Table 3. Perfectionism and achievement motivation correlation in patients with anxiety disorders. Significant correlations

Perfectionism Parameter

Hope to Success (НS)

Fear of Failure (FF)

Overall Motivation (FF+НS)

Hewitt. Flett (SPP)





Kholmogorova-Garanyan Perception of others





Kholmogorova-Garanyan Polarized thinking






Kholmogorova-Garanyan Total







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For citing this article:

Pervichko E.I., Babaev Yu.A. (2018). Motivation for the achievement and structure of perfectionism in patients with anxiety disorders. National Psychological Journal, [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 4, 86–95

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