Effects of perfectionism on depression and suicide cognitions of university students in Hong Kong

Hoi Yan CHEUNG, King Fai Sammy HUI, Xinjie CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study aimed to elaborate and make clear the correlations and cause-and-effect relationships among the variables: depression, suicide cognitions, positive perfectionism, and negative perfectionism. The participants comprised 412 Chinese university students at two Hong Kong universities, who completed the 18-item Suicide Cognitions Scale, the depression subscale of the 21-item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, and the 12-item Positive and Negative Perfectionism Scale. The results of regression analysis indicated that depression is negatively predicted by positive perfectionism and positively predicted by negative perfectionism. Positive and negative perfectionism and depression were all found to be significant predictors of suicide cognitions. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that positive perfectionism and negative perfectionism have significant effects on suicide cognitions, and that suicide cognitions significantly affect depression. Individuals who exhibit healthy perfectionism may experience positive outcomes. It is critical for educators and parents to recognize the differences between positive perfectionism and negative perfectionism. When educators and parents convey negative perfectionist ideas to children, the outcomes can be extremely harmful. Copyright © 2015 The Special Education Society of Hong Kong Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-69
JournalHong Kong Journal of Special Education
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Hong Kong
Statistical Factor Analysis
Regression Analysis


Cheung, H. Y., Hui, K. F. S., & Chen, X. (2015). Effects of perfectionism on depression and suicide cognitions of university students in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Journal of Special Education, 17, 56-69.


  • Perfectionism
  • Depression
  • Suicide cognitions
  • Chinese
  • University students