Pathological narcissism and the severity, variability, and instability of depressive symptoms

Sindes Dawood, Aaron L. Pincus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study extended previous theory and cross-sectional research on narcissism- depression associations by taking a prospective longitudinal approach to examining how pathological narcissism relates to the severity, within-person variability, within-person instability, and change in depressive symptoms among a sample of 235 undergraduate students assessed weekly for 8 weeks. Findings revealed that, at baseline, pathological narcissism was concurrently positively associated with multiple measures of depressive symptoms (e.g., general depression, anhedonic loss of interest, anhedonic lack of positive affect) and distinctively predicted the severity of anhedonic loss of interest over time. Pathological narcissism assessed at baseline also predicted higher variability and instability in both general depression and loss of interest (but not lack of positive affect), and related to less change in loss of interest over 8 weeks. The results of the present study are discussed in the context of existing research on narcissism-depression relations and suggestions for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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