Dark ladies: Maladaptive personality domains, alexithymia, and the dark triad in women

Carlo Garofalo, Cristina Virgilio, Stefan Bogaerts, Adriano Schimmenti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Objective: 

The Dark Triad (DT) traits (Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy) have been linked with both alexithymia and maladaptive personality domains (negative effectivity, detachment, disinhibition, antagonism, psychoticism) comprised in the alternative model of personality disorder (AMPD) of the DSM 5. However, the differential associations of DT with the AMPD personality domains need to be further examined in research with homogeneous samples, in order to improve our understanding of malevolent personality traits.

Method: 

We examined the associations between maladaptive personality domains, DT traits and alexithymia factors in 420 women aged between 18 and 66 years old.

Results: 

Despite uniform bivariate associations, distinct profiles emerged from multiple regression analyses, in line with conceptual expectations. Antagonism was the only common positive predictor of all DT traits. Negative effectivity was positively associated with narcissism, but negatively with psychopathy and Machiavellianism. Psychopathy was related to high detachment and disinhibition. Alexithymia exerted a mediating effect in the association between AMPD domains and both psychopathy (positively) and Machiavellianism (negatively).

Conclusions: 

Findings showed differential personality profiles associated with the DT traits in women based on maladaptive traits that characterize personality pathology, with specific emotional mechanisms that may link maladaptive personality domains and the three DT components among women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-228
JournalClinical Neuropsychiatry
Volume16
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • psychopathy
  • narcissism
  • Machiavellianism
  • emotion regulation
  • DSM-5
  • dark triad
  • women
  • DIRTY DOZEN
  • CROSS-VALIDATION
  • CONCISE MEASURE
  • PSYCHOPATHY
  • NARCISSISM
  • SAMPLE
  • MACHIAVELLIANISM
  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • RELIABILITY

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