Author ORCID Identifier

Renee Causey Upton ORCID iD icon


Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Document Type


Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to categorize perfectionism and determine how perfectionism impacts the occupations and perceived health of students in a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Science program.

A descriptive study with a survey component was conducted. Participants were categorized as perfectionists or non-perfectionists using the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised (APS-R). Time logs were collected to compare categories of time-use between groups over a one-week period. An online survey was conducted with a sub-sample of the perfectionists.


More students were categorized as perfectionists (N = 41) than non-perfectionists (N = 3). Both groups spent similar amounts of time engaged in productive, pleasurable and restorative occupations. Some perfectionists reported that perfectionism supported health, but others reported negative impacts on well-being.

Research limitations/implications

This study included a small sample size limited to one Occupational Science program in the USA.


Results demonstrated positive and negative health impacts because of perfectionism. The majority of participants were identified as perfectionists; rigorous academic programs may attract students with perfectionistic qualities. Findings are relevant for Occupational Therapy, as these students will become future occupational therapists after completing a Master’s program in Occupational Therapy and may be susceptible to negative outcomes associated with perfectionism such as workaholism and poor health.

Journal Title

Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy