Interpersonal problems and their relationship to depression, self-esteem, and malignant self-regard

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Huprich, Steven K.
Lengu, Ketrin J.
Evich, Carly D.

Steven K. Huprich, Ketrin Lengu, and Carly Evich. 2016. Interpersonal Problems and Their Relationship to Depression, Self-Esteem, and Malignant Self-Regard. Journal of Personality Disorders 2016 30, 6, 742-761


DSM-5 Section III recommends that level of personality functioning be assessed. This requires an assessment of self and other representations. Malignant self-regard (MSR) is a way of assessing the level of functioning of those with a masochistic, self-defeating, depressive, or vulnerably narcissistic personality. In Study 1, 840 undergraduates were assessed for MSR, depressive symptoms, self-esteem, anaclitic and introjective depression, and interpersonal problems. MSR, self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and anaclitic and introjective depression were correlated with multiple dimensions of interpersonal problems, and MSR predicted the most variance in interpersonal scales measuring social inhibition, nonassertion, over-accommodation, and excessive self-sacrifice. MSR, anaclitic, and introjective depression predicted unique variance in six of the eight domains of interpersonal problems assessed. In Study 2, 68 undergraduates were provided positive or negative feedback. Consistent with theory, MSR predicted unique variance in state anxiety but not state anger. Results support the validity of the MSR construct.

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