Perfectionism and insomnia in adolescents: the role of vulnerability to stress and gender

Cele Richardson*, Michael Gradisar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Perfectionism is an often overlooked yet consistent construct related to insomnia in the scientific literature. Perfectionism and insomnia are both highly prevalent in adolescence. However, there is a dearth of research examining mechanisms linking perfectionism with insomnia, particularly in young people. The current study aimed to investigate whether vulnerability to stress, a factor common to both constructs, accounts for the relationship between perfectionism and insomnia symptoms in a sample of adolescents.

281 Australian participants (Mage = 16.53, SD = 1.91, range = 13–19 years, 78% female) completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, vulnerability to stress and insomnia on one occasion.

Vulnerability to stress accounted for the relationship between self-oriented striving perfectionism, self-oriented critical perfectionism and insomnia symptom severity in females, but not males. Females reported higher self-oriented critical perfectionism, vulnerability to stress and insomnia severity, with a stronger relationship between vulnerability to stress and insomnia symptoms observed for females.

These results may partly explain the preponderance of insomnia in adolescent females. Possible implications for the prevention and treatment of insomnia in young people are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • sleep reactivity
  • sleep
  • adolescents
  • self-oriented critical perfectionism
  • socially prescribed perfectionism


Dive into the research topics of 'Perfectionism and insomnia in adolescents: the role of vulnerability to stress and gender'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this