Objective: To attempt to clarify the controversy about the nature of posttraumatic growth (PTG) by investigating whether narcissism and self-deception can be moderating factors in the relationship between PTG and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Method: 152 survivors of terrorism, road, and work accidents participated in the study and were administered the Stressful Life Events Screening Questionnaire (SLESQ), Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist (PCL-5), Narcissistic Vulnerability Scale (NVS), and the Self-Deceptive Enhancement Scale (SDES). Results: Narcissism was found to moderate the relationship between PTG and PTSD symptoms. For individuals scoring low in narcissism there is no to negative correlation between PTG and PTSD symptoms. In contrast, for individuals high in narcissism there is a positive correlation between these two variables. The moderating effect of narcissism was found to operate through self-deception processes. Self-deception was related to PTG in individuals scoring high on narcissism and not in low-scoring individuals. Conclusions: In individuals scoring low on narcissism, PTG might reflect an authentic non-deceptive experience and a low degree of or no PTSD symptoms, while in high-scoring individuals, it is associated with deceptive processes and PTSD symptoms, hinting at the non-adaptive nature of PTG in individuals scoring high in narcissism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the Milton Rosenbaum fund (grant number 2016/16 ).
- PTSD symptoms
- Posttraumatic growth