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Publication Detail
The roles of persistence and perseveration in psychopathology.
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Serpell L, Waller G, Fearon P, Meyer C
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    260, 271
  • Journal:
    Behavior therapy
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Medium:
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    Humans, Factor Analysis, Statistical, Personality, Psychopathology, Personality Inventory, Psychometrics, Adolescent, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult, Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Addresses:
    Department of Clinical, Educational & Health Psychology, University College London and Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, London. lucy@serpell.com
Two constructs were hypothesized to be of importance in psychological disorders: persistence (the ability to keep going to reach a goal, even when the task is difficult or drawn out) and perseveration (the tendency to continue a behavior, even when it ceases to be effective or rewarding). These are contrasted with perfectionism (having high standards for oneself or others). A measure was developed to address these constructs (the Persistence, Perseveration and Perfectionism Questionnaire; PPPQ). The PPPQ was administered to 325 nonclinical participants, alongside a measure of psychological disturbance. Factor analysis resulted in a 22-item version of the measure, consisting of subscales with good psychometric properties corresponding to the 3 theoretical constructs. Persistence was associated with lower levels of psychopathology, whereas perseveration was associated with higher levels of psychopathology. Perfectionism was weakly associated with psychopathology. Further work is needed to develop these constructs with clinical groups, but the findings support the hypothesis that persistence is an adaptive construct whereas perseveration is maladaptive.
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