The Role of Narcissistic Vulnerability in Predicting Adult Posttraumatic Symptoms from Childhood Sexual Abuse

Eytan Bachar, Laura Canetti, Hilit Hadar, Julia Baruch, Yehuda Dor, Sara Freedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of the present study is to determine whether narcissistic vulnerability can aid in clarifying the debate regarding the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and adulthood adjustment to traumatic events. 157 survivors (mean age = 31.1, SD = 10.9) of a traumatic event (war activities and road and work accidents) were assessed 1 week, 1, and 4 months following the event. Of the 157 participants, 15 reported experiencing CSA, and 26 reported experiencing childhood physical abuse (CPA). In the first-week assessment, patients were administered the Narcissistic Vulnerability Scale (NVS) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). In the follow-up assessments, subjects were interviewed on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Narcissistic vulnerability was found, both in 1- and 4-month follow-ups, to increase the likelihood of participants who experienced CSA to develop PTSD symptoms later in their adult life, when exposed to other additional trauma. Narcissistic vulnerability, in both follow-ups, did not increase the likelihood of participants who experienced CPA to develop PTSD symptoms later in their life when exposed to other additional trauma. The NVS predicted the development of PTSD symptoms in the whole sample, both in the 1- and 4-month follow-ups, above and beyond the prediction of the BDI. In other words, narcissistic vulnerability can add additional information above and beyond general negative emotionality. In conclusion, it is recommended to take into consideration the interplay between CSA and the individual’s narcissistic vulnerability when assessing the long term effects of CSA such as acute or chronic PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-809
Number of pages10
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Keywords

  • CPA
  • CSA
  • Depression
  • Narcissistic Vulnerability Scale
  • PTSD

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