In this study gender differences in mathematics anxiety and writing anxiety as a function of high school studentsâ levels of active and passive perfectionism are examined. Results for 307 year 10 students revealed main effects for gender and passive perfectionism with respect to mathematics anxiety and to writing anxiety. Girls had higher mathematics anxiety than boys. Students with higher levels of passive perfectionism had higher mathematics anxiety and higher writing anxiety than students with lower levels of passive perfectionism. An interaction between gender and active perfectionism showed that among girls, mathematics anxiety decreased as a function of increased active perfectionism. This interaction effect was not present for writing anxiety. This latter finding challenges previous conclusions that perfectionism is inherently, and exclusively, maladaptive.
KEYWORDS: passive perfectionism, active perfectionism, mathematics anxiety, writing anxiety.