Pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder

Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
Annual Review of Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 12.92). 12/2009; 6:421-46. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.121208.131215
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We review the literature on pathological narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and describe a significant criterion problem related to four inconsistencies in phenotypic descriptions and taxonomic models across clinical theory, research, and practice; psychiatric diagnosis; and social/personality psychology. This impedes scientific synthesis, weakens narcissism's nomological net, and contributes to a discrepancy between low prevalence rates of NPD and higher rates of practitioner-diagnosed pathological narcissism, along with an enormous clinical literature on narcissistic disturbances. Criterion issues must be resolved, including clarification of the nature of normal and pathological narcissism, incorporation of the two broad phenotypic themes of narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability into revised diagnostic criteria and assessment instruments, elimination of references to overt and covert narcissism that reify these modes of expression as distinct narcissistic types, and determination of the appropriate structure for pathological narcissism. Implications for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the science of personality disorders are presented.

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Available from: Aaron Pincus, Aug 11, 2015
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    • "Narcissism is also linked to a lack of empathy, sense of entitlement, and envy. More recent conceptualizations of narcissism emphasize the need to delineate between grandiose and vulnerable dimensions of narcissism (e.g., Miller & Campbell, 2008; Pincus & Lukowitsky, 2010), as these dimensions manifest divergent nomological networks (Miller et al., 2011). Grandiose narcissism is linked to extraversion, dominance , self-assurance, exhibitionism, and aggression; vulnerable narcissism is distinguished by introversion, defensiveness, anxiety, interpersonal coldness and hostility, as well as vulnerability to stress (Wink, 1991). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study examined the characteristics of individuals (N = 104 undergraduate couples) who date grandiosely or vulnerably narcissistic individuals, including the experience of developmental trauma, general and pathological personality traits, and psychopathology, using multiple data sources. In addition, relationship duration was tested as a moderator of the relations between the narcissism dimensions and relationship adjustment. Actor–Partner Interdependence Models indicated that negative relationship adjustment was found when both partners had higher entitlement/exploitativeness traits and had been together for a longer period of time. Overall, there were no clear patterns of partner characteristics, although some evidence for homophily emerged for traits related to grandiose narcissism.
    Personality and Individual Differences 06/2015; 79. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2015.01.029 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    • "Moreover, vulnerability is a stronger predictor of anger reported in response to hypothetical provocation scenarios (Miller et al., 2011; Okada, 2011), as well as hostile envy of others (Krizan & Johar, 2012). Second, evidence suggests that vulnerable narcissism predicts stronger shame responses, whereas grandiose narcissism actually predicts less shame (Krizan & Johar, 2012; Pincus et al., 2009); In addition, vulnerability is strongly associated with depressive reactions, a key feature of shameful experiences (Pincus et al., 2009; Tritt, Ryder, Ring, & Pincus, 2010). Third, those high on vulnerability are more likely to report generally engaging in aggressive behavior than those high on grandiosity (Pincus et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Narcissists are thought to exhibit "narcissistic rage," an explosive mix of anger and hostility arising from threats to narcissists' fractured sense of self. Building on clinical views of narcissism, we present empirical evidence on the nature and sources of narcissistic rage. Findings from 4 studies reveal narcissistic vulnerability (but not grandiosity) as a powerful driver of rage, hostility, and aggressive behavior, fueled by suspiciousness, dejection, and angry rumination. Consistent with theorizing about narcissistic rage, Study 1 showed that vulnerable (but not grandiose) narcissism predicted more anger internalization and externalization, as well as poorer anger control. Study 2 revealed vulnerable narcissism as a stronger indicator of shame and aggressiveness, especially hostility and anger. Study 3 identified distrust of others and angry rumination as key factors accounting for vulnerable narcissists' reactive and displaced aggression. Study 4 provided behavioral evidence that vulnerable (but not grandiose) narcissism amplifies reactive and displaced aggression in the face of provocation. Taken together, the findings not only establish narcissistic vulnerability as a key source of narcissistic rage but also reveal an important pathway to narcissistic aggression that does not involve competitiveness or exploitativeness. In addition, the results support clinical views of narcissistic aggression and implicate deficient self-esteem as an important driver of aggressive behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 12/2014; 108(5). DOI:10.1037/pspp0000013 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    • "A very similar pattern of associations, although in the reverse direction, was observed between the PNI and measures of depression, anxiety, and stress. These findings converge on previous research that has demonstrated that narcissistic vulnerability is more strongly linked to trait Neuroticism, low self-esteem, depressive and anxious temperaments, and internalizing disorders, whereas narcissistic grandisoity is more strongly related to trait Extraversion, indicators of pathological positive emotionality (hyperthymic temperament and exhibitionism ) and aggressive tendencies (Bresin and Gordon 2011; Ellison et al. 2013; Marčinko et al. 2014; Miller et al. 2010a, 2010b, 2011; Pincus et al. 2009; Thomas et al. 2012; Tritt et al. 2010). It is relevant to note that EXP was the only subscale demonstrating a positive correlation with ES, albeit a small one, and negative correlations with depression, anxiety, and stress. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI) is a recently developed measure for assessing grandiose and vulnerable themes of narcissistic pathology. The aim of this study was to validate the PNI in the transitional post-war Croatian society by examining its psychometric properties and factor structure in a sample of Croatian university students (N=651). The participants filled out several self-report measures of narcissism, as well as measures of trait emotional stability and negative emotional states. Findings of this study supported the existence of seven first-order and two second-order factors of the PNI, invariant across genders. Additionally, all the subscales had good reliability coefficients, while the associations with other measures supported the concurrent validity of the instrument. These findings support the use of the PNI in a transitional post-war society and emphasize certain aspects of cross-cultural stability of pathological narcissism, although some cross-cultural variants should be considered when applying this measure in different cultural settings.
    Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment 12/2014; 36(4). DOI:10.1007/s10862-014-9425-2 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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