International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 15 Num. 3 - October 2015


Relationship between Parental Narcissism and Children’s Mental Vulnerability: Mediation Role of Rearing Style

Volume 15 Num. 3 - October 2015 - Pages 337-347


Francesco Dentale , Valeria Verrastro , Irene Petruccelli , Pierluigi Diotaiuti , Filippo Petruccelli , Luigi Cappelli , Pietro San Martini


The hypothesis that parental narcissism is related to depression and anxiety of the young adult children and that this relationship is mediated by the parental rearing style as reported by the offspring was investigated. Subjects were 409 young adults (264 females), aged 22.85 (SD= 2.00) and their parents. Parental narcissism was measured with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI); the rearing style, as remembered by the offspring, was measured with the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI) that includes Parkers’s scales of care and overprotection and Gilbert’s scales of put-down/shaming and favouritism; depression and anxiety were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) respectively. Two total mediation models (one for fathers and one for mothers), including parental NPI as a predictor, PBI scales as mediators and children’s scores on BDI and STAI as criteria, showed adequate goodness of fit indices. The sums of indirect effects of both paternal and maternal narcissism on children’s depression and anxiety, via all rearing style dimensions, were significant. These results suggest that parental narcissism is related to children’s depression and anxiety and that this relationships is mediated by the rearing style as recalled by the offspring

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