Year: 2016 Source: Canadian Journal of School Psychology.(2015). 30(4):273-287. doi: 10.1177/0829573515594372 SIEC No: 20160547

In the current study, we investigated whether adolescents high in perfectionism are prone to experiencing self-stigma for seeking psychological help. This work is based on the premise that the need to seek help for psychological difficulties is not consistent with idealistic personal goals of perfectionistic young people and their desire to retain an idealistic self-image. A sample of 85 high school students completed the Child and Adolescent Perfectionism Scale, the Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale, and a measure of contact with individuals with mental illness. Results indicated that perfectionism was associated with self-stigma among those students with little to no experience with people with a history of mental illness. These findings suggest that certain perfectionistic students have a propensity toward low self-acceptance and judge themselves negatively for needing help. Implications are discussed for prevention and intervention programs that emphasize contact and experiential opportunities with individuals who have mental illness.