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Pathological Narcissism in Adolescents: Relationships with Childhood Maltreatment and Internalizing and Externalizing Difficulties

[ Vol. 7 , Issue. 4 ]

Author(s):

Karin Ensink*, Simon Chretien, Lina Normandin, Michael Begin, Deanne Daigle and Peter Fonagy   Pages 300 - 314 ( 15 )

Abstract:


Background: There are significant gaps in our understanding of vulnerable and grandiose narcissism in adolescents and whether it is associated with psychosocial difficulties as well as risk factors such as child maltreatment.

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine vulnerable and grandiose narcissism in adolescents and young adults.

Method: 570 participants (ages 14-21) from the community completed an online survey. Vulnerable and grandiose narcissism were assessed with the Pathological Narcissism Inventory, while psycho-social difficulties were assessed with the Child Behaviour Checklist and maltreatment with the Childhood Experiences of Care and Abuse Questionnaire.

Results: Gender-specific age trends were identified, with narcissism appearing to decrease with age for females, while increasing for males into early adulthood. For females, vulnerable and grandiose narcissism was associated with maltreatment and partially mediated the relationship between abuse and neglect and internalizing and externalizing difficulties.

Conclusion: These findings underscore the importance of considering the relationship between childhood maltreatment experiences and suggest that the relationship between such experiences and adolescent psychosocial difficulties may be partially accounted for by the negative impact that maltreatment has on narcissism.

Keywords:

Narcissism, abuse, gender, internalizing, externalizing.

Affiliation:

Universite Laval, Ecole de psychologie, Quebec (QC), Universite Laval, Ecole de psychologie, Quebec (QC), Universite Laval, Ecole de psychologie, Quebec (QC), Universite Laval, Ecole de psychologie, Quebec (QC), Universite Laval, Ecole de psychologie, Quebec (QC), University College London, Psychoanalysis Unit, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, London



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