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Narcissistic Vulnerability and the Development of PTSD: A Prospective Study

Bachar, Eytan PhD*; Hadar, Hilit MA; Shalev, Arieh Y. MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: November 2005 - Volume 193 - Issue 11 - p 762-765
doi: 10.1097/01.nmd.0000185874.31672.a5
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This study empirically examined the role of narcissistic traits and narcissistic vulnerability in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One hundred forty-four survivors of a traumatic event were assessed 1 week, 1 month, and 4 months following the event. In the first-week assessment, patients were administered the Narcissistic Vulnerability Scale and self-reported rating scale to assess event severity and symptoms ensuing from the impact of the traumatic event: depression, intrusions, avoidance, and arousal. In the follow-up assessments, subjects were interviewed on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale and were readministered the self-rating symptoms scale. Survivors who developed acute (1 month) and chronic (4 months) PTSD had significantly higher levels of narcissistic vulnerability in the first-week assessment. Narcissistic Vulnerability Scale scores predicted PTSD status with sensitivity of 81.6% and 85.1% and specificity of 40.4% and 38.6% at the 1-month and 4-month assessments, respectively. Narcissistic vulnerabilities contribute to the occurrence of PTSD.

*Department of Psychiatry and Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel; and †Department of Psychiatry, Center of Traumatic Stress, Hadassah University Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.

Send reprint requests to Eytan Bachar, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Hadassah University Medical Center, PO Box 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.