Perfectionistic self-presentation and body dysmorphic features in a sample of community-dwelling adult women

Serena Borroni, Giulia Ruotolo, Valentina Grazioli, Andrea Fossati

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Faculty of Psychology, Milan, Italy

DOI 10.36148/2284-0249-473


Perfectionism is considered a vulnerability factor for distress and psychopathology. It has also been linked to Obsessive Compulsive disorder-related disorders, including Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). Moreover, previous studies showed that BDD features were associated to personality pathology. To our knowledge, there are no studies investigating the associations between perfectionistic self – presentation, the interpersonal dimensionn of perfectionism, and BDD features.


In a sample of 494 Italian community-dwelling adult female participants, we investigated the contribution of Perfectionistic Self- Presentation (PSP) and DSM-5 dysfunctional personality domains in predicting BDD features. Furthermore, we evaluated the associations between PSP and BDD features over and above the role of dysfunctional personality domains. The participants were administered the Perfectionistic Self-Presentation Scale, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5-BF (PID-5-BF), the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Dimensional Scale and the Appearance Anxiety Inventory.


The regression analyses results showed that PSP was significantly associated with BDD features and produced a modest but significant increase in the prediction of BDD features when controlling for the PID-5-BF domains. 


Our data seem to support the usefulness of considering PSP as a clinical marker for BDD vulnerability, over and above the role of personality domains, and suggest to assess both dysfunctional personality features and the interpersonal dimensions of PSP in prevention and early intervention programs for BDD. 

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