The authors of this publication include Marija Jankovic (IDA alumna), Stefan Bogaerts and Elien De Caluwé (IDA staff).
Although systematic research on narcissism has been conducted for over 100 years, researchers have only recently started to distinguish between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism in relation to criminal behavior. In addition, there is some evidence suggesting that identity integration and self-control may underlie this association. Therefore, the present study aimed to develop a theory-driven hypothetical model that investigates the complex associations between grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, identity integration, self-control, and criminal behavior using structural equation modeling (SEM).
The total sample (N = 222) included 65 (29.3%) individuals convicted of criminal behavior and 157 (70.7%) participants from the community, with a mean age of 37.71 years (SD = 13.25). Criminal behavior was a grouping variable used as a categorical outcome, whereas self-report questionnaires were used to assess grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, self-control, and identity integration.
The overall SEM model yielded good fit indices. Grandiose narcissism negatively predicted criminal behavior above and beyond the influence of identity integration and self-control. In contrast, vulnerable narcissism did not have a direct significant effect on criminal behavior, but it was indirectly and positively associated with criminal behavior via identity integration and self-control. Moreover, grandiose narcissism was positively, whereas vulnerable narcissism was negatively associated with identity integration. However, identity integration did not have a direct significant effect on criminal behavior, but it was indirectly and negatively associated with criminal behavior via self-control. Finally, self-control was, in turn, negatively related to criminal behavior.
We propose that both subtypes of narcissism should be carefully considered in clinical assessment and current intervention practices.
Bogaerts, S., Garofalo, C., De Caluwé, E., & Janković, M. (2021). Grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, identity integration and self-control related to criminal behavior. BMC Psychology, 9(1), 1-11.
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