Expanding the validity of the malignant self-regard construct in an Italian general population sample

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Psychiatry Research


Malignant self-regard (MSR) was proposed as a particular type of self-structure that may account for similarities among a set of clinically relevant Personality Disorders (PDs) such as masochistic/self-defeating and depressive PDs that yet have failed to be adequately represented in the diagnostic manuals. The investigation on the MSR may provide a better framework upon which to understand the nature of these personality types and their discrimination from related constructs. The present study examines the psychometric properties of the Italian adaptation of the Malignant Self-Regard Questionnaire (MSRQ). Reliability and validity indicators are determined in a large sample of adults from general population (n = 2574). The measure was found to be reliable and valid, given its correlations with measures of depressive personality, negative affectivity, self-defeating, and vulnerably narcissistic personalities. MSR also can be meaningfully differentiated from a nomological network of related constructs, including sadness rumination, depression, neuroticism, extraversion, and grandiose narcissism. These findings suggest that MSR may be a personality component which includes a negativistic self-representation, vulnerability and hypersensitivity to judgment, sometimes compensated by perfectionistic tendencies. As a whole, results seem to support the reliability and the validity of the Italian adaptation of the MSRQ as a measure of the MSR.

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