This study was designed to explore the experiences of two groups of participants who had high scores on the positive dimensions of perfectionism (high standards) but who differed on a measure of worry. From a larger pool, 36 university students were selected based on their scores on the Standards and Order subscale of the Almost Perfect Scale and on the Penn State Worry Scale. Participants responded to open-ended questions eliciting their definitions of perfectionism and their views on its effects on various domains of their lives. Consistent with early theoretical work (e.g., Hamachek, 1978), the results of the study suggest that identified perfectionists may view their perfectionism as positive or negative. The results also suggest that the constructs of standards and order represent the positive dimension and the construct of worry a negative dimension. Discussed are the results and their implications for mental health counseling and further research.

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