Remembered childhood invalidation as a predictor of narcissism, personality functioning, and wellbeing

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Personality and Individual Differences


Narcissism is a complex personality construct associated with childhood invalidation and self and relational difficulties in adulthood. Research has examined the association between pathological narcissism and childhood invalidation, but not between invalidation and other aspects of the narcissistic spectrum. This study examines how remembered invalidation, aspects of narcissism, and self and relational functioning are associated, and how they relate to overall wellbeing. Australian community participants (N = 291) completed measures of childhood invalidation, narcissism, personality functioning and measures of self-esteem, distress and quality of life. Serial mediation and regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between variables. Results indicated that invalidation and pathological aspects of narcissism were associated with impairment in self and relational functioning, whereas grandiosity predicted higher self-functioning. Impairment in personality functioning was associated with lower quality of life, lower self-esteem, and higher distress. Narcissism was a significant predictor of distress while controlling for personality functioning. The study highlights the impact of remembered invalidation on functioning and the complex relationship between narcissism, functioning and wellbeing.

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