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COVID-19 Research: Personality Dysfunction; Perfectionism and Personality Dysfunction: Influence of Social Isolation

COVID-19 Research Area(s): Mental Health & Wellbeing

The study seeks to investigate the interactions between multidimensional perfectionism, personality dysfunction, and social isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous research has indicated that social isolation is closely and complexly associated with personality pathology (Liebke et al., 2017; Mushtaq et al., 2014), though there exists somewhat of a gap in the literature regarding the direct impact of social isolation on specific aspects of personality dysfunction. The present study intends to fill this gap by inspecting the psychological effects of COVID-19-related social disconnection on the psychodynamic structure of personality. Given that perfectionism is also often associated with personality disorders and dysfunction (Hewitt & Flett, 1991; Sherry et al., 2007), and is itself exacerbated by the effects of loneliness and social isolation (Chang et al., 2008), the construct of perfectionism provides a useful framework with which to examine the influence of social isolation on personality. The current study aims to contribute to the understanding of the roles played by perfectionism and social isolation in personality structure and dysfunction. We are interested in whether the rates of perfectionism and personality dysfunction would be heightened in comparison to general group norms due to COVID-19 self-isolation. Moreover, we are also interested in whether specific components of perfectionism (e.g. perfectionism traits, perfectionistic self-presentation, and/or automatic perfectionistic thoughts) are associated with certain types of personality dysfunction (e.g. issues with sense of self, forming contact with others, and/or relationship models) in the context of COVID-19 self-isolation.