Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School


First Advisor

Natalie Dove


The latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013a) includes a dimensional model of personality assessment, which has been widely suggested as a better way to understand personalities than the current categorical model. The dimensional model highlights impairment in personality functioning and pathological traits as the hallmark features of personality pathology. Malignant Self Regard (MSR; Huprich, 2014), an emerging personality construct, is an example of a personality aligned with this model, in that it is characterized by pathological features that negatively affect the way one views themselves and relates to others. Given that MSR is insidious in nature, its underlying pathology could lead to significant functional impairment in everyday life. Therefore, the objective of the current study was to better understand functional impairment in relation to MSR. An online survey was utilized at two Midwestern universities to evaluate the constructs of academic achievement and achievement striving as potential domains of dysfunction for MSR sufferers. Contrary to hypotheses, preliminary findings did not demonstrate a relationship between MSR, academic achievement, and achievement striving. Suggested explanations of these findings are addressed, along with implications for future research aimed at expanding our understanding of the nature of MSR.