Correlations between perfectionism and coping strategies in response to researcher-selected vignettes or participant-selected events

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Participants, taking classes that met general learning requirements, were 133 men and 240 women from two private, Catholic, liberal arts college campuses. The sample consisted of 131 first-year students, 91 sophomores, 70 juniors, and 81 seniors. The sample was 95.2% Euro-American, consistent with the populations of these campuses, and 98.1% were between 18 and 22 years old. There were five different survey packets. One packet asked participants to report how they coped with a self-selected situation from their own past (Standard Condition). The other four packets asked participants how they would cope with one of four vignettes developed by the researchers. Two vignettes described common social situations, and two described common academic situations a college student would find stressful. The packets were randomly distributed among participants. Several significant correlations between perfectionism and coping strategies were found for the 4 vignettes, but none were found under the Standard Condition. Were there a self-serving bias in participants' reports of past situations in which they remember coping successfully, correlations would be diminished between coping and perfectionism in the Standard Condition.