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Narcissism and childhood recollections: A quantitative test of psychoanalytic predictions.
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 18:16 authored by Lorna J. Otway, Vivian VignolesVivian Vignoles
Different psychotherapeutic theories provide contradictory accounts of adult narcissism as the product of either parental coldness or excessive parental admiration during childhood. Yet, none of these theories has been tested systematically in a non-clinical sample. We compared four structural equation models predicting overt and covert narcissism among 120 UK adults. Both forms of narcissism were predicted by both recollections of parental coldness and recollections of excessive parental admiration. Moreover, a suppression relationship was detected between these predictors: the effects of each were stronger when modeled together than separately. These effects were found after controlling for working models of attachment; covert narcissism was also predicted by attachment anxiety. This combination of childhood experiences may help to explain the paradoxical combination of grandiosity and fragility in adult narcissism.
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
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