Narcissistic functioning in a character disordered population
Perry, Jonathan Dalton
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Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) and narcissistic traits were examined from videotape within 107 subjects with borderline, antisocial, schizotypal and bi-polar type 2 personality. Seven subjects with NPD, and 27 subjects with narcissistic traits, were identified. A significant association was found between NPD (or NPD trait) and male gender. An association was also found between NPD (or NPD trait) and antisocial personality.;Subjects with NPD (or NPD trait) were examined for the presence of specific psychodynamic conflicts, defenses and interpersonal styles of relating using the Psychodynamic Conflict Rating Scales (Perry and Cooper, unpublished), the Clinical Defense Mechanism Rating Scales (Perry and Cooper, 1986) and a measure of interpersonal styles from life events. NPD and narcissistic traits were significantly associated with psychodynamic conflicts, defenses and interpersonal styles discussed in the clinical literature.;Second, a comparison was made within the subgroup of borderline subjects (N = 36). Those with and without narcissistic features were compared to see if narcissistic features within borderlines were associated with higher functioning. Higher functioning was based on focal vs. global psychodynamic conflicts, mature vs. immature defenses, stable vs. unstable interpersonal styles, good vs. poor psychosocial variables and high vs. low global assessment scores. Few differences were found. Borderlines with narcissistic features were found to have significantly more impaired relations with lovers, and showed a trend toward more impaired relations with friends and more impulsive styles of relating.;Third, a comparison was made within the subgroup of antisocial subjects (N = 32). Those with and without narcissistic features were compared to see if narcissistic features within the antisocial personality were associated with lower functioning. Lower functioning was based on the same outcome measures used to assess borderline subjects. Antisocial subjects with narcissistic features were found to have significantly more impaired relations with lovers and lower mean GAS scores at intake.