Insecure attachment and PTSD: The mediating role of narcissistic traits

Hadar Ben Avraham, Eytan Bachar*, Yarden Mendelson, Avi Besser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study is to examine whether narcissism traits (i.e., narcissistic vulnerability and grandiosity) mediate the association between insecure attachment and PTSD symptoms, and whether this mediation is moderated by different levels of exposure to stress. Narcissistic vulnerability was expected to mediate the effect of attachment anxiety on PTSD symptoms. Narcissistic grandiosity was expected to mediate the effect of attachment avoidance on PTSD symptoms. Two hundred and thirty-six high school students from three different residential areas in Israel, differing in kind of exposure to terror (with constant warning, without constant warning and no exposure to terror), were administered the Experiences in Close Relationships Questionnaire (ECR-R). Two years later, shortly after a tense security time in Israel, participants were administered the Narcissistic Vulnerability Scale (NVS; measuring narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability), and the Post Traumatic Symptoms Checklist (PCL5). Narcissistic vulnerability mediated the association between attachment anxiety and PTSD symptoms. However, the direct association of narcissistic grandiosity and attachment avoidance was not significant. No moderated mediation was found for residential zones. The results contribute to a better understanding of the developmental risk factors underlying PTSD and extend the knowledge about the role that personality variables play in PTSD.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number111853
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Attachment-anxiety
  • Narcissism
  • PTSD


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