Gordon L Flett


Canada Research Chair
Director, LaMarsh Centre for Child and Youth Research

Locations / Contact Info:

5022K Technology Enhanced Learning - TEL
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 33727

Email address(es):


Web site(s):

Canada Research Chair

Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - Department of Psychology


B.Sc. - Psychology - 1980
University of Toronto

Ph. D. - Psychology - 1988
University of Toronto

M. A. - Psychology - 1982
University of Toronto


Dr. Flett is most recognized for his seminal contributions to research and theory on the role of perfectionism in psychopathology. His collaborative work with Dr. Paul Hewitt of the University of British Columbia on perfectionism has received widespread national and international attention and has been the subject of numerous media stories, including coverage on CTV, CNN, and the BBC. This work has been supported by major research grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Other current research interests include the study of feelings of mattering to others in health and well-being. Also, in keeping with his interest in adjustment across the lifespan, Dr. Flett is conducting programatic research on the nature and correlates of suicidality in the elderly. Dr. Flett holds a Canada Research Chair in Personality & Health.

Selected Publications


Flett, G.L. (2018).  The psychology of mattering:  Understanding the human need to be significant.  Cambridge, MA:  Academic Press/Elsevier.

Leschied, A., Saklofske, D.H., & Flett, G.L. (2018).  The handbook of school-based mental health promotion:  An evidence informed framework for implementation (Edited volume).  New York:  Springer.

Flett, G.L., Kocovski, N., Davison, G., Blankstein, K.R., & Neale, J. (2017). Abnormal Psychology:  Canadian edition, Volume 6.  Toronto:  Wiley.

Hewitt, P. L., Flett, G. L., & Mikail, S. F. (2017).  Perfectionism:  A relational approach to assessment, treatment, and conceptualization.  New York:  Guilford.

Journal Articles

Hewitt, P. L., Mikail, S.F., Flett, G. L., & Dang, S. (2018).  Specific formulation feedback in dynamic-relational group psychotherapy of perfectionism.  Psychotherapy, 55, 179-185.

Smith, M. M., Sherry, S. B., McLarnon, M. E., Flett, G. L., Hewitt, P. L., Saklofske, D. H., & Etherson, M. E. (2018).  Why does socially prescribed perfectionism place people at risk for depression?  A five month, two-wave longitudinal study of the perfectionism social disconnection model.  Personality and Individual Differences, 134, 49-54.

Smith, M.M., Sherry, S.B., Chen, S., Saklofske, D.H., Mushquash, C., Flett, G.L., & Hewitt, P.L. (2018).  The perniciousness of perfectionism:  A meta-analytic review of the perfectionism-suicide relationship.  Journal of Personality, 86, 522-542.

Trudel-Fitzgerald, C., Savard, J., Slim, L.-M., Roy, R.-C., Flett, G.L., Hewitt, P.L., & Ivers, H. (2017). The relationship of perfectionism with psychological symptoms in cancer patients and the contributing role of hyperarousability and coping. Psychology and Health, 32, 381-402.

Flett, G.L., Hewitt, P.L., Besser, A., Su, C., Vaillancourt, T., Boucher, D., Munro, Y., Davidson, L., & Gale, O. (2016). The Child-Adolescent Perfectionism Scale:  Development, psychometric properties, and associations with stress, distress, and psychiatric symptoms. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 34, 634-652.

Flett, G.L., Hewitt, P.L., Su, C., & Flett, K.D. (2016).  Perfectionism in language learners:  Review, conceptualization, and recommendations for teachers and school psychologists.  Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 31, 75-101.

Heisel, M.J., & Flett, G.L. (2016).  Investigating the psychometric properties of the Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale (GSIS) among community-residing older adults.  Aging and Mental Health, 20, 208-221.

Heisel, M.J., Neufeld, E., & Flett, G.L. (2016).  Reasons for living, meaning in life, and suicide ideation: Investigating the roles of key positive psychological factors in reducing suicide risk in community-residing older adults.  Aging and Mental Health, 20, 195-207.

Nepon, T., Flett, G. L., & Hewitt, P. L. (2016).  Self-image goals in trait perfectionism and perfectionistic self-presentation:  Toward a broader understanding of the drives and motives of perfectionists.  Self and Identity, 15, 683-706.

Smith, M.M., Sherry, S.B., Chen S., Saklofske, D.H., Flett, G.L., & Hewitt, P.L. (2016).  Perfectionism and narcissism:  A meta-analytic review.  Journal of Research in Personality, 64, 90-101.

Flett, G.L., Mara, C., Hewitt, P.L., Sirois, F., & Molnar, D.M. (2016).  How should discrepancy be assessed in perfectionism research?  A psychometric analysis and proposed refinement of the Almost Perfect Scale—Revised.  Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 34, 718-732.


Recognized as top 25 authors in Psychology - 1996
American Psychological Society

Teaching Award - 1997
Dept. of Psychology, York University

Peel Board of Education Award of Excellence (for Community S - 1997
Peel Board of Education

Community and Leadership Award - 2006
Toastmasters International, District 60

City of Mississauga Certificate of Recognition awarded for “ - 1999
Faculty of Arts, York University, Dean’s Award For Outstanding Research

Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) - 2007


Currently available to supervise graduate students: Yes

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: Yes

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Yes

Current Research

Dr. Flett's research interests include the role of personality factors in depression, health problems, and interpersonal adjustment. Research on perfectionism compares personal and interpersonal aspects of perfectionism, including perfectionistic self-presentation.  This research adopts a life-span perspective in the sense that the role of personality in health and mental health is studied in children, adolescents, middle-aged individuals, and the elderly."  Other research examines the protective role of feelings of mattering to other people, and the role of risk and resilience factors in well-being.

Research Projects

Interpersonal Perfectionism and Social Disconnection

Role: CoInvestigator
Amount funded: $105,000.00
Year Funded: 2009
Duration: 4
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Mood, motives, and gambling in young adults: An examination of within- and between-person variations using experience sampling”
Role: CoInvestigator
Amount funded: $94,072.00
Year Funded: 2009
Duration: 2
Funded by: Other...
Other funding: Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre

Perfectionism and social comparison processes in health and mental health
Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $120,780.00
Year Funded: 2009
Duration: 4
Funded by: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

Promoting Youth Mental Health in York Region

Role: Principal Investigator
Amount funded: $30,000.00
Year Funded: 2009
Funded by: Other...
Other funding: Tri-Council Intellectual Propertl Mobilization Grant

Psychological resiliency and suicide risk among community-residing older adults
Role: CoInvestigator
Amount funded: $150,000.00
Year Funded: 2008
Duration: 2
Funded by: Other...
Other funding: Ontario Mental Health Foundation (OMHF)