Background: Normal and pathological narcissism have been the focus of considerable theoretical discussion and empirical research in recent years in personality psychology and psychopathology. Kernberg [1-4] has argued that there is a particularly dysfunctional and impairing variant of narcissistic disturbance known as malignant narcissism. This exploratory study sought to develop, using established assessment methods, a dimensional measure of malignant narcissism that incorporates the key features of grandiose narcissism, paranoid propensities, psychopathic features, and proclivity for a sadistic and aggressive interpersonal style. Method and Sampling: This study examined 57 subjects, diagnosed with borderline personality disorder that were treated using 3 different empirically supported treatments in a previous study [5], for possible deviance on the proposed malignant narcissism index. It also evaluated 2 important clinical domains of change in relation to malignant narcissism. To wit, it was predicted, based on Kernberg’s [3, 4] clinical model, that elevated levels of malignant narcissism would be significantly associated with slower rates of improvement in both general psychosocial/psychological functioning and anxiety among treated individuals. Results: Higher levels of malignant narcissism were associated, as predicted, with slower rates of improvement in both global functioning and anxiety. The proposed malignant narcissism index was a more powerful predictor of slowed improvement in global functioning than simple narcissistic personality disorder features. Conclusions: The heuristic potential of the malignant narcissism construct is discussed and the utility of a dimensional approach to this construct is explored, especially in reference employing personality traits/processes to better understand pathological configurations and personality disturbance.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.