Narcissistic Personality Disorder Research

(Also Known As: Narcisistic Personality Disorder Research, Borderline Personality Disorder Research, Narcissistic Research, Narcissist Research, Histrionic Narcissistic Personality Disorder Research)

(Reviewed by: Paul Peterson, Licensed Therapist)

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Related Research


According to several studies conducted to trace the cause of narcissistic personality disorder, although the disorder has no known causes, genetics still plays a major factor considering that genetics always account for 50% of personality disorder traits. 8 One study showed that 64% of the narcissism variations are accounted for by genetics. The narcissistic responses to trauma and stress are likely to have genetic bases. It is also believed that narcissism is already in place at birth waiting to be triggered by a particular kind of environment that will set the disorder in motion, or it can be prevented by a positive environment. One can prevent the occurrence of narcissism by giving children a voice to be heard, instead of suppressing their freedom to expression and teach them to listen and respect other’s opinions as well.


Dr. Elsa Ronningstam of Harvard Medical School and an associate psychology professor in the Department of Psychiatry conducted a research study regarding the effective treatment for narcissistic personality disorder. She identified the dominant trait of low self esteem among narcissists. Factors such as experiences of corrective life events can also help change a narcissistic personality. The capacity of a narcissist for a relationship and to become committed can also contribute to the positive prognosis of treatments. Her research further identified the suicidal tendency among narcissists without being clinically depressed which is often driven by motives such as revenge or anger and to save their self from shame or degradation. 9 Psychoanalysis and analytic psychotherapy is the preferred treatment method with narcissistic personality disorder comprising of group therapy, family, and couples therapy. She further suggested a dialectical and behavioral therapy as another treatment that will teach narcissists the skills to handle their interpersonal relationships and emotional fluctuations, such as anger and suicidal tendencies.


According to clinical researches done by the Department of Psychology of Florida State University, narcissists have the tendency to experience depressive symptoms resulting in being prone to develop paranoia attitudes. 10 The study further showed, however, that a paranoid disorder does not develop narcissism symptoms.


Based on the research of the Psychology Department of University of South Alabama, there is a high prediction for narcissism to be strongly motivated to approach desirable outcomes and becomes weakly motivated to avoid negative outcomes. The approach-avoidance motivation is helpful in explaining the behavioral tendencies associated with narcissistic personality disorder, such as their functional and dysfunctional impulsivity as well as their overt and covert patterns of narcissistic behaviors.

Could You Have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Narcissistic Personality Disorder Topics

Related Conditions

Antisocial Personality Disorder – Deceit, Manipulation, Sociopaths, Psychopaths, Dysphoria, Lying and Stealing, Poor Behavioral Control
Borderline Personality Disorder – Disturbed Personality, Unstable Personal Relationships, Mood Instability, Schizophrenia, Manic Depression, Mood Disorder
Histrionic Personality Disorder – Attention Seeking, Excessive Emotionality, Dramatic, Self Centeredness
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder – Obsession of Perfection, Compulsive Personality, Perfectionist, Obsession of Following Rules