The Relationship between Perfectionism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Self-Regulation Processes as Moderator

Mehdi Reza Sarafraz 1, PhD; Sarah Hemati 2, MSc; Hassan Asadi-Lari 3, MSc

1 Assistant Professor of Shiraz University, Clinical Psychology Department, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
‎2 Master of Clinical Psychology at Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
‎3 Master of Personality Psychology at Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Background: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can negatively impact human functions and bother the close people around the patients. Perfectionism is among the factors associated with OCD. Investigating this relationship and other concepts such as self-regulation processes influencing this relationship can help us find better approaches to treat OCD. This study aimed to determine the moderating role of self-regulation processes in the relationship between perfectionism and OCD in 2019.

Methods: In this correlational study conducted in Shiraz, Iran, we selected 535 10-to-18-year-old students with an average and SD of 14.15 and 2.75 by multi-stage sampling method. We selected 30 schools and three classes in each of them. Afterwards, six students in each class willingly filled the questionnaires. In order to gather the data, we made use of Tehran Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, Padua inventory for obsessive-compulsive disorder, integrative self-knowledge questionnaire, self-control scale, and self-compassion scale as research instruments. Data were analyzed by Pearson’s correlation coefficient and stepwise regression analysis.

Results: Perfectionism was an important predictor of OCD (B=0.38, Beta=0.08, S.E=0.39, P=0.001), self-control was a major predictor of OCD (B=-0.18, Beta=0.08, S.E=-0.19, P=0.04), and the interaction between perfectionism and integrative selfknowledge was a significant predictor of OCD (B=-0.24, Beta=0.09, S.E=-0.24, P=0.03).

Conclusions: Perfectionism and self-control are predictors of OCD, hence important mental concepts. Furthermore, integrative self-knowledge plays a moderating role in the relationship between perfectionism and OCD.

Keywords: Obsessive compulsive disorder; Perfectionism; Self-regulation; Integrative self-knowledge; Self-compassion