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Academics' Experiences of a Respite From Work: Effects of Self-Critical Perfectionism and Perseverative Cognition on Postrespite Well-Being

Flaxman, P., Menard, J., Bond, F. W. and Kinman, G. (2012). Academics' Experiences of a Respite From Work: Effects of Self-Critical Perfectionism and Perseverative Cognition on Postrespite Well-Being. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(4), pp. 854-865. doi: 10.1037/a0028055

Abstract

This longitudinal study examined relations between personality and cognitive vulnerabilities and the outcomes of a respite from work. A sample of 77 academic employees responded to week-level measures of affective well-being before, during, and on 2 occasions after an Easter respite. When academics were classified as being either high or low in a self-critical form of perfectionism (doubts about actions), a divergent pattern of respite to postrespite effects was revealed. Specifically, during the respite, the 2 groups of academics experienced similar levels of well-being. However, during postrespite working weeks, the more perfectionistic academics reported significantly higher levels of fatigue, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety. The greater deterioration in well-being experienced by perfectionist academics when first returning to work was mediated by their tendency for perseverative cognition (i.e., worry and rumination) about work during the respite itself. These findings support the view that the self-critical perfectionist vulnerability is activated by direct exposure to achievement-related stressors and manifested through perseverative modes of thinking.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright APA 2012, published in Journal of Applied Psychology. This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Publisher Keywords: perfectionism, recovery, well-being, burnout, worry, rumination
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Related URLs:
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/6323
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