Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Access Restrictions

Access restricted until 08/31/2019

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Foley-Nicpon, Megan

First Committee Member

Ehly, Stewart

Second Committee Member

Lehan-Mackin, Melissa

Third Committee Member

Ansley, Timothy

Fourth Committee Member

Liu, William


College students with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) must cope with the expected challenges of college in addition to managing health-related concerns. Therefore, they may navigate college in a different way than students without chronic health conditions, such as RA. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between perfectionism and quality of life among a sample of college students with RA (n=33) compared to students without RA or another chronic health condition (n=190). Students completed dimensional measures of perfectionism (self-oriented, socially prescribed) and quality of life (physical, psychological, social relationships, environment). Students with RA also completed questions related to illness perception. Major findings indicate that students with RA reported greater self-oriented perfectionism and poorer quality of life only related to their physical health and environment compared to their relatively healthy (non-RA) peers. While self-oriented perfectionism was not significantly correlated with quality of life among students with RA, greater self-oriented perfectionism predicted higher quality of life in psychological and environment domains of quality of life. Socially prescribed perfectionism among students with RA was significantly negatively correlated with physical-, psychological-, and environment-related quality of life. Furthermore, it predicted poorer quality of life in all four quality of life domains among students with RA. The results of this study highlight the need for counseling psychologists in university counseling centers or disability services to attend to perfectionism reported by students with RA, especially socially-prescribed perfectionism, and help students improve quality of life in the domains of physical health and environment.


vii, 96 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 84-96).


Copyright © 2017 Erica Lynn Behrens