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J Pers. 2008 Jun;76(3):449-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00492.x. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Comparing clinical and social-personality conceptualizations of narcissism.

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Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-3013, USA.


There is a lack of consensus surrounding the conceptualization of narcissism. The present study compared two measures of narcissism-one used in clinical settings (Personality Diagnostic Questionnaire, PDQ-4+; Hyler, 1994) and one used in social-personality research (Narcissistic Personality Inventory, NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988)-across two samples. Sample 1 (N=271) was composed of undergraduates, whereas Sample 2 (N=211) was composed of parents of the Sample 1 participants. The scales were significantly interrelated but manifested divergent relations with general personality traits, personality disorders (including expert prototypal ratings of narcissism), recollections of parenting received, and psychological distress and self-esteem. PDQ-4 narcissism captured an emotionally unstable, negative-affect-laden, and introverted variant of narcissism; NPI narcissism captured an emotionally resilient, extraverted form. The clinical and social-personality conceptualizations of narcissism primarily share a tendency to use an antagonistic interpersonal style. Implications for the DSM-V are discussed.

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