INTRODUCTION The literature on the effectiveness of treatments for social anxiety shows very high rates of non-responders that may represent a subgroup of people for whom standard Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is not effective (e.g., Davidson et al., 2004; McCarthy et al., 2013). According to the recent revision of the narcissism construct (Pincus et al., 2014), which proposes the distinction between two phenotypes, i.e. grandiose and vulnerable, it is possible to highlight some similarities between people with high levels of social anxiety and people with vulnerable narcissistic traits. One above all is the fact that, in both cases, self-esteem is sensitive to social interactions (Hiller et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2010). These findings suggest the importance of exploring the links between narcissistic personality traits, such as Oversensitivity to Judgement and Egocentrism, and social anxiety to improve treatments efficacy. The present exploratory study aims to investigate the relationships between personality traits, self-esteem, and social anxiety in a sample recruited from the general population. METHOD An online questionnaire, consisting of Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS; Hendin & Cheek, 1997), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1965), and Social Phobia Scale (SPS; Mattick & Clarke, 1998), was administered to 236 people (mean age = 34.4, SD = 8.73). A two-step cluster analysis was performed to explore subgroups in terms of Social Anxiety, Self-esteem, Oversensitivity to Judgement, and Egocentrism. One-Way ANOVAs with Scheffé’s post-hoc tests were performed to assess differences among clusters. RESULTS Cluster analysis and ANOVAs results supported a 4-cluster solution. The first cluster, labeled “Healthy” (n = 79), was characterized by low social anxiety and vulnerable traits, and high self-esteem. The second, labeled “Socially Anxious” (n = 82), was characterized by high levels of social anxiety and oversensitivity to judgment, low levels of egocentrism and self-esteem. The third, labeled “High Inhibited Narcissists” (n = 38), was characterized by high levels of social anxiety, oversensitivity to judgment and egocentrism, and low self-esteem. The last, labeled “Low Inhibited Narcissists” (n = 37), was characterized by a low social anxiety, medium oversensitivity to judgment, and a high egocentrism and self-esteem. The cluster labels have been attributed considering personality traits and they are inspired by a previous study (i.e., Fossati et al., 2009) DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Overall, the present study underlines how some personality traits linked to vulnerable narcissistic phenotype are associated with a higher level of social anxiety. These results may suggest that some non-respondent socially anxious patients might have undiagnosed narcissistic personality traits that need to be addressed. As regard practical implications, the present study might be useful for the implementation of more structured and individualized CBT interventions.

Exploring the links between narcissistic personality traits and social anxiety: a cluster analysis approach / Baroni Duccio, Caccico Laura, Ciandri Serena, Di Gesto Cristian, Di Leonardo Laura, Fiesoli Alice, Grassi Elena, Lauretta Francesco, Lebruto Antonella, Policardo Giulia Rosa, Rosadoni Martina, Marsigli Nicola. - ELETTRONICO. - (2021), pp. 70-71. (Intervento presentato al convegno 10th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy (ICCP) tenutosi a Virtual Congress nel 13-15 maggio 2021).

Exploring the links between narcissistic personality traits and social anxiety: a cluster analysis approach

Baroni Duccio
;
Di Gesto Cristian
;
Lebruto Antonella;Policardo Giulia Rosa;Marsigli Nicola
2021

Abstract

INTRODUCTION The literature on the effectiveness of treatments for social anxiety shows very high rates of non-responders that may represent a subgroup of people for whom standard Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is not effective (e.g., Davidson et al., 2004; McCarthy et al., 2013). According to the recent revision of the narcissism construct (Pincus et al., 2014), which proposes the distinction between two phenotypes, i.e. grandiose and vulnerable, it is possible to highlight some similarities between people with high levels of social anxiety and people with vulnerable narcissistic traits. One above all is the fact that, in both cases, self-esteem is sensitive to social interactions (Hiller et al., 2017; Miller et al., 2010). These findings suggest the importance of exploring the links between narcissistic personality traits, such as Oversensitivity to Judgement and Egocentrism, and social anxiety to improve treatments efficacy. The present exploratory study aims to investigate the relationships between personality traits, self-esteem, and social anxiety in a sample recruited from the general population. METHOD An online questionnaire, consisting of Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS; Hendin & Cheek, 1997), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES; Rosenberg, 1965), and Social Phobia Scale (SPS; Mattick & Clarke, 1998), was administered to 236 people (mean age = 34.4, SD = 8.73). A two-step cluster analysis was performed to explore subgroups in terms of Social Anxiety, Self-esteem, Oversensitivity to Judgement, and Egocentrism. One-Way ANOVAs with Scheffé’s post-hoc tests were performed to assess differences among clusters. RESULTS Cluster analysis and ANOVAs results supported a 4-cluster solution. The first cluster, labeled “Healthy” (n = 79), was characterized by low social anxiety and vulnerable traits, and high self-esteem. The second, labeled “Socially Anxious” (n = 82), was characterized by high levels of social anxiety and oversensitivity to judgment, low levels of egocentrism and self-esteem. The third, labeled “High Inhibited Narcissists” (n = 38), was characterized by high levels of social anxiety, oversensitivity to judgment and egocentrism, and low self-esteem. The last, labeled “Low Inhibited Narcissists” (n = 37), was characterized by a low social anxiety, medium oversensitivity to judgment, and a high egocentrism and self-esteem. The cluster labels have been attributed considering personality traits and they are inspired by a previous study (i.e., Fossati et al., 2009) DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Overall, the present study underlines how some personality traits linked to vulnerable narcissistic phenotype are associated with a higher level of social anxiety. These results may suggest that some non-respondent socially anxious patients might have undiagnosed narcissistic personality traits that need to be addressed. As regard practical implications, the present study might be useful for the implementation of more structured and individualized CBT interventions.
2021
10th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy - Abstract Book
10th International Congress of Cognitive Psychotherapy (ICCP)
Virtual Congress
Baroni Duccio, Caccico Laura, Ciandri Serena, Di Gesto Cristian, Di Leonardo Laura, Fiesoli Alice, Grassi Elena, Lauretta Francesco, Lebruto Antonella, Policardo Giulia Rosa, Rosadoni Martina, Marsigli Nicola
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