Narcissism, Striving to Avoid Inferiority and Anger Expression

Author: Maria Muhammad Din

Supervisor: Aisha Sitwat, PhD

Degree: MS

Year: 2011-2013

University: Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan


The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship among two forms of narcissism (overt and covert) and striving to avoid inferiority (secure and insecure) with anger expression. It was hypothesized that narcissism (overt and covert) and striving to avoid inferiority would be predictors of anger expression. Further it was proposed that striving to avoid inferiority would mediate the relationship between narcissism (overt and covert) and anger expression. A sample of 267 engineering and medical students lying in age ranges 18 to 26 (Mean= 22.5, S.D= 2.53) were recruited for the study from Medical colleges and Engineering universities. Narcissistic Personality Inventory- 40 (Raskin & Terry, 1988), Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (Hendin & Cheek, 1997), Striving to avoid inferiority scales (Gilbert et al, 2007) and State Trait Anger Expression Inventory (Spielberger, 1998) were used as measures of overt narcissism, covert narcissism, insecure striving and secure non striving and anger expression respectively. Results of the study showed that out of the two forms of narcissism, covert narcissism was associated with insecure striving and predicted both inward and outward expressions of anger whereas overt narcissism was associated with only outward expression of anger. Further in relation to striving to avoid inferiority, the dimension of secure non-striving was related to lower degrees of anger expression and greater anger control. Moreover no significant mediating relationship of striving to avoid inferiority was found between narcissism (overt and covert) and anger expression. Overall the study highlights rising rates of narcissism and increased competitive behavior as causes of elevated levels of anger and aggression among students of medical and engineering colleges. Further, it focuses on the needs to develop a healthy environment in medical and engineering colleges which emphasizes more on personal development of students rather than winning against others.

Keywords: Narcissism, Inferiority, Anger Expression.

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