The moderating role of narcissism on the relationship between posttraumatic growth and PTSD symptoms

Ehud Levi, Eytan Bachar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)292-297
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume138
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018

Keywords

  • Narcissism
  • PTSD symptoms
  • Posttraumatic growth
  • Self-deception

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