Perfectionism more common among millennials than any other generation

More millennials suffer from perfectionism than any other generation, a new study of more than 40,000 uni students has revealed.

The study, which was published in the journal Psychological Bulletin in late December, analysed data on self-orientated, other-orientated and socially prescribed perfectionism in American, British and Canadian individuals who attended college between the years 1989 and 2016.

Having defined perfectionism as ‘an irrational desire to achieve along with being overly critical of oneself and others’, study authors Thomas Curran and Andrew P Hill found that perfectionism is increasing over time, with the millennial generation ranking higher across all three types of perfectionism than their predecessors.

Why is perfectionism on the rise?

In their conclusion, Curran and Hill suggested the current generation may be more susceptible to perfectionist tendencies because western societies are now more ‘individualistic, materialistic, and socially antagonistic’ than in the past.

They acknowledged that ‘young people [are] now facing more competitive environments, more unrealistic expectations, and more anxious and controlling parents than generations before’.

In an article published by CBS News, the researchers also suggested that social media could be partially to blame.