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The Impact of meta-cognition instruction on perfectionism and the life quality of high school students/O Impacto da instrucao de meta-cognicao sobre o perfeccionismo e a qualidade da vida dos estudantes do ensino medio/El impacto de la instruccion de metacognicion en el perfeccionismo y la calidad de vida de los estudiantes de secundaria.

1 Introduction

Adolescence and youth are a critical stage in identity formation process an awareness of whose characteristics and attention to the factors shaping the youngster's identity structure are considered amongst the introductory and crucial needs of young people. For all of those people who have passed from youth and entered the other stage, this is a tangible and palpable experience. It is clear that the formation of one's identity structure starts from the beginning days of life and even before that. Feeling independent while being in the society at the same time and forming their social relationships, young people live a critical period of their lives; if the beginning of this period is not accompanied by the necessary teaching and the required awareness plus rationality, it will be full of harms and dangers which may completely change their lives and bring about bitter experiences (Mashayekh and Heydari, 2014.)

Everyone has a tendency for perfectionism and prosperity. By actualizing their potential abilities, human beings attempt to succeed and reach a higher level than they are currently at. In the beginning, perfectionism was thought of an ineffective attribute in which the need for success indicated itself in the form of high and unrealistic personal criteria which results in a situation with a fear of making mistakes at the center of it (Yavariyan, Haghighi, Ramezanpour, and Radfar, 2017). Basically, there is a tendency for prosperity and perfectionism in people's nature, and this tendency shows itself in the form of a positive feature because it creates energy that brings about progress and success. Great scholars' insistence on creating their works and the efforts they make in this regard springs from their perfectionism; however, perfectionism process does not proceed positively in all people's lives. It can be stated that perfectionism benefits the person till when it concerns the person himself, herself and is aimed at activating all his.her potentialities and skills. When the tendency for perfectionism appears in the form of competing with and defeating others merely to get approval and make them happy, it will be negative and unnatural (Aghamohammadiyan Shaarbaf, Zare' Zadeh Kheibari, Horuf Ghannad, and Hokm Abadi, 2014). Those who are naturally, positively perfectionist consider some criteria for themselves, but instead of reaching their goals or not, what matters most of all to them is to make attempts to obtain their objectives. In contrast, negatively, unnaturally perfectionist people or psychopaths are always worried as to whether they will make mistakes, so they never feel winning. Those who are negatively perfectionist, are not satisfied with themselves and scold themselves all the time even if they work better than the others (Mousavi-Moghaddam et. al. 2016).

Quality of life is one of today's issues in health-care and one of the biggest hygienic objectives in order to increase people' health; in recent years, quality of life has been regarded as one of the most important factors in individuals' lives especially the students' lives (Valiyan, 2015). According to Albert Bandura and Quality of Life theory which is the basis of improving quality of life therapy, controlling awareness, thoughts, feelings, and physical senses are the greatest challenges for psychiatrists. Regarding the emphasis of quality of life theory on life satisfaction and experiencing mental health, quality of life refers to the quality of awareness, namely, the degree of positiveness of human beings' inner experiences (e.g., thoughts and feelings). The question posed by this theory is "Are you basically happy and satisfied with your life?" The definition of quality of life based on inner, mental, and personal experience, mental health research indices in general, and quality of life theory in specific which is obtained from a totally objective approach to quality of life, differs from the way health and its measurement is materialistically defined according to welfare. Meanwhile, inner or mental experience approach never ignores the relation of the objective conditions of life, and these conditions form only a part of happiness equation (Seraji, Nasr Abadi and Amirkhani, 2015).

There are various approaches to improve perfectionism and quality of life of the students including meta-cognition therapy. Meta-cognition is defined as any cognition or cognitive process which plays its own role in measurement, introspection, and controlling cognition. At one time, meta-cognition can be considered as a general aspect of cognition which intervenes with all of cognitive processes. Meta- cognition is a multi-dimensional concept which includes knowledge (beliefs), processes and strategies which assess or control cognition (Gorzelsky, G., Driscoll, D. L., Paszek, J., Jones, E., & Hayes, C, 2016).

The majority of cognitive activities rely on meta-cognitive factors. Moreover, information gathered from metacognitive inspection is often experienced as mental senses which can affect the behavior. Most of the theoreticians distinguish between meta-cognitive knowledge and meta-cognitive regulation. Meta-cognitive knowledge comprises knowledge which people have about their own knowledge, cognition and factors related to influential activities and strategies which bear on their cognition (Trauelsen, A. M., Gumley, A., Jansen, J. E., Pedersen, M. B., Nielsen, H. G. 2016).

In their study titled "A comparison of the efficacy of meta-cognition therapeutical group and group learning of life skills on depression, quality of life, rumination response style, and divorced women's meta-cognition" Razavi Zade Tabakan and Share (2015) concluded that meta-cognitive therapeutical group help enhance positive beliefs about depression, quality of life, rumination response style, and divorced women's metacognitions in an influential way. Shakeri, Parhun, Mohammad Khani, Hasani, and Parhun (2015) in their article "The impact of meta-cognition therapy on depression symptoms and the quality of life of depressed patients" came up with the conclusion that meta-cognition therapy has a major influence on depression symptoms and the quality of life of depressed patients. Therefore, given what has been stated so far, the aim of current is to find the impact of meta-cognition learning on perfectionism and the quality of life of high school students.

2 Methodology

In this research, a quasi-experimental plus pre-test and post-test design was used with a control group. The experimental and control groups were selected by convinent sampling method. Pre-tests were carried out on experimental and control groups before and after the intervention, then a post-test intervention was performed. The difference between pre-test and post-test in each group was studied based on the meaningfulness. The population of this study was all students of high school in Larestan city in the academic year 2017- 2018. The sample of this study was 30 people who were selected using convenience sampling method. They were divided into two groups: experimental (15) and control group (15).

Hill's Perfectionism Questionnaire: Hill et al (2004) Perfectionism Measurement Questionnaire was used in this study (as cited in Jamshidi et. al, 2004, 2009). This scale has 59 items and 8 sub-scales as follows. Items 4, 12, 20, 28, 36, 44, 51, 56 assess order and organization sub-scale, items 5, 13, 21, 29, 37, 45, 52 assess purposefulness, items 1 , 9, 17, 25, 33, 41 assess struggle for being the best, items 3, 11, 19, 27, 35, 43, 50 assess the subscale of criteria for others, items 2, 10, 18, 26, 34, 42 49, 59 asses sub-scale for the need to be confirmed, items 6, 14, 22, 30, 38, 46, 53, 57 assess sub-scale focusing on mistakes, items 7, 15, 23, 31, 39, 47, 54, 58, assess subscale for the parental pressure and questions 8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, and 55 form the subscale of the rumination of thought. Items were based on a five point Likert scale as follows: 5) totally agree, 4) agree, 3) neither agree nor disagree, 2) disagree, 1) totally disagree. On this scale, compatibility aspect of perfectionism is made by combining the first four dimensions, incompatibility aspect of perfectionism is formed by combining the next four dimensions. Jamshidi et al. (2009) found that the validity of this construct was confirmed by a factor analysis and its Cronbach's alpha coefficient for subscales was estimated to be in the range of 61 .. - 91.

Quality of Life Questionnaire (SF-36): this questionnaire was made by Veer and Sherbon (1992) in order to investigate the quality of life and health and consists of 36 items which covers and assesses 8 themes ranging from physical function, social function, performing physical role, performing emotional role, mental health, liveliness, physical pain to general health.

Furthermore, the 36-SF also provides two overall measurements: the overall physical component score (PCS) which measures the physical dimension of health, and the overall score of the mental component (MCS) which evaluates psychosocial dimension of health. The subject's score in each of these territories varies from 0 to 100, and higher scores represent a better quality of life. The credibility and reliability of this questionnaire has been confirmed in the Iranian population (Montazeri et al., 2005; Asghari and Faghihi, 2003), and the internal consistency coefficients of the 8 subscales are between 0.70 and 0.85 and their retest coefficients with a one week interval have been reported between 0.43 and 0.79. This questionnaire can also distinguish healthy people from patients in terms of all indices (Asghari and Faghihi, 2003). Descriptive statistics such as mean, standard deviation and inferential statistics of single-variable and multi-variable were used to analyze the data.

3 Results

The null hypothesis is accepted for the equality of the variances of the two groups in the variables of the research. That is, the assumption of equality of scores variance was confirmed in both experimental and control groups. Moreover, the null hypothesis for the normal distribution of the scores of the two groups in the research variables is confirmed. Namely, the normality assumption of the distribution of scores was confirmed in the pre-test and in both the experimental and the control groups. The F value of the interaction for the sameness of the slope of the regression line is meaningless for all the research variables. In other words, the homogeneity of the slope of the regression line is accepted. By controlling the significant levels of all tests pre-test, it is indicated that there is a significant difference (P<0.0001 and F=14.40) between the experimental and control groups in terms of one of the dependent variables (perfectionism and quality of life). The degree effect or difference is equal to 0.80; that is to say, 80% of the individual differences in post-test scores of perfectionism and quality of life are related to the effect of meta-cognitive therapy (group membership).

4 Discussion

The findings of this study are compatible with the results of studies done by Parhun et al. (2012), Neshat Dust et al. (2009) who have shown that psychological interventions improve the quality of life of students. Quality of life consists of indices such as: physical health, mental health, social health, and environmental health. There was a significant difference between experimental and control groups in terms of physical health. In other words, given the fact that depression is related to the perceptions, and negative thoughts about physical health, it can be stated that after the reduction of depression in the thepeutical group, positive thoughts and positive thinking grows among the people in a way that they can better appraise their health. As a result, their score increase in this index of quality of life too.

One of the other influential indices in physical health is liveliness and being energetic which has a reversed relation with sadness and hopelessness considering the fact that sadness, hopelessness, boredom, and less energy are amongst the symptoms of depression. The more the patient feels depressed the less she will be lively and energetic. In this study, the fewer the symptoms of severe depression in the experimental group, the more the signs of liveliness. In conclusion, they can better assess their physical health. As the main source of meta-cognitive therapy is overcoming mental rumination and positive. negative beliefs about them, as a result of the reduction of mental ruination and positive. negative beliefs about them, depression decreases and the symptoms of depression disappear; hence, they can better assess the quality of their life.

There was also a significant difference between experimental and control groups in terms of perfectionism in post-test. In fact, perfectionist people reduce their activities in order to increase their mental rumination and their relaxation. That is because, they wrongly believe that mental rumination is a valuable opportunity for their health. Therefore, patients who undergo meta-cognitive therapy, the depressed person will not have a lot of time to get huddled over their negative thoughts, memories, and mental rumination as a result of doing meta-cognitive therapeutical techniques and activities. Consequently, this causes the patient to focus more on other aspects of his.her life and broaden his.her social relations. The current study also had the following limitations and delimitations: low sample size, accessible sampling method, selection of sample from among the high school students, three months of follow- up, and not controlling intelligence variable. In the end, in order to enhance the external validity of the findings, interested researchers in this area are recommended to study meta-cognitive therapy in a group with a higher number of samples and continue with follow-up studies It is also suggested that the effectiveness of this treatment should be compared with other therapies, including drug therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.


Although it is not the time to conclude the effectiveness of various therapeutical methods in the form of cognitive therapy, it seems that with an emphasis on the mutual relation between mental rumination, depression, and meta-cognition, metacognitive therapy of perfectionism and enhancing the quality of life stand in a better position in comparison with other theoretical models and is effective in reducing the severity of perfectionism and increasing the quality of life of high school students.

5 Acknowledgement

All the participants are thanked for their participation in this study.


Aghamohammadiyan Shaarbaf, H., Zarezadeh Kheibari, Huruf Ghannad M., Hokmabadi, M. (2014J. A Study of the relation between perfectionism and sterile women's sexual function, Iranian Journal of Obsterics, Gynecology, and Infertility, 17 (97), 9-17.

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Mashayekh, M., Heydari, H., (2014). Predicting the tendency to be addicted based on tolerance criteria, enthusiasm, and emotional intelligence among male students at a high school in Arak Province. 1st International Conference on Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, Tehran, Mehr-Eshraq Institute of Conferences, Center of Tehran University Conferences, retrieved from 302.html

Mosavi Moghaddam, S., Zahirikhah, N., Bavarsad Jani, A., (2016). Predicting the relation between spiritual intelligence and perfectionism with contrastive strategies among the students at Shush Payam Noor University. 26 (1). 56-60.

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Razavi Zadeh, Z., Share H., (2015). A Comparison of meta-cognitive therapy group and teaching living skills effect on depression, quality of life, rumination response style, and metacognitions of divorced women. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology. 20 (2), 108-120.

Seraji, A., Nasrabadi, T., Amirkhani, A. (2015). A Comparison of the quality of life of female medicine students living in dormitory and those who do not live in dormitory at Islamic Azad University, Medicinal Branch of Tehran. Aligudarz Nursing Faculty Analytic Research Journal. 3 (3 & 4). 67-76.

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Mozhgan Hayati

Assistant Professor, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran

Afsaneh Parto

MA School Counseling, Department of Educational Science, Payame Noor University,

Qazvin, Iran

Editor Cientifico: Jose Edson Lara

Organizacao Comite Cientifico

Double Blind Review pelo SEER/OJS

Recebido em 19.03.2018

Aprovado em 22.05.2018
Table 1.

Mean and standard deviation for the research variable in
pre-test and post-test

Variable                       Pre-tes

                Group          Mean      Standard
                               (x)       deviation

Perfectionism   experimental   99.95     12
                control        84.80     11.86

Quality         experimental   171.20    19.72
of life         control

                               186.50    14.60

Variable        Post-test

                Mean        Standard

Perfectionism   85.65       12.31
                85.40       12.84

Quality         189.70      20.50
of life

                187.15      12.93

Table 2

test results

Variable   source     sum of    Degree of   Mean      F
           of         squares   freedom     of
           changes              (df)        squares

Perfect    Pre-test   01.887    1           01.887    74.127
ionism                4                     4
           Group      36.307    1           36.307    20.44
                      0                     0
           error      18.257    27          46.69
Quality    Pre-test   76.460    1           76.460    98.111
of Life
           group      32.126    1           32.126    70.30
           error      23.152    27          11.4

Variable   Sig       squares   Statistical

Perfect    0001.     0.77      1.00
ionism     0
           0001.     54.0      00.1

Quality    0001.     0.75      1.00
of Life    0
           0001. 0   45.0      1.00
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Author:Hayati, Mozhgan; Parto, Afsaneh
Publication:Gestao & Tecnologia
Date:May 1, 2018
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