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Jennifer L. Crowe is a 2013 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology, Antioch University, New England.

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

This study explored whether characteristics of the sibling relationship are related to the level of perfectionistic tendencies that an individual reports. The framework of this study was based on Tesser's Self-Evaluation Maintenance Model, which says that the effects of comparisons with a close other, such as a sibling, can be mediated in one of three ways: (a) by reducing the closeness of the relationship, (b) by improving one's performance/impeding on the other's performance, or (c) by decreasing the relevance of the performance to one's self-concept (pursuing different areas and interests). Several hypotheses were offered which were based on the presumption that individuals with high levels of closeness and similarity in their sibling relationships might attempt to reduce the effects of sibling comparison by improving their performances. In turn, continually striving for high level of performance might be evident in the form of perfectionistic tendencies. A total of 186 participants completed an online questionnaire containing demographic questions, the Perfectionism Inventory, the Warmth/Closeness composite scale of the Sibling Relationship Questionnaire, and the Sibling Similarity Scale. Results suggest that sibling similarity and closeness are related to perfectionistic tendencies, but in different ways than originally anticipated. In particular, each sibling type (non-twins, identical twins, and fraternal twins) demonstrated a different pattern of relationships with perfectionism, suggesting it is important to consider sibling types when studying sibling relationships.

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