McNair Scholars Research Journal


Clinical psychological research has identified an empirical and theoretical overlap among Masochistic (also known as Self-Defeating), Depressive, and Vulnerably Narcissistic forms of personality pathology. Together, these personalities have been found to possess many overlapping characteristics, which are proposed to be described through the Malignant Self- Regard personality construct (MSR; Huprich, in press). MSR is characterized by self-criticism, perfectionistic tendencies, frequent depression, desires for interrelatedness, feelings of inadequacy, shame, guilt, hypersensitivity to criticism, self-defeating actions, pessimism, and poor anger management. MSR captures the mind’s self-destructive attack on one’s sense of self, which signals concern about how the “self” is being viewed by others. This, in turn, affects one’s self-representation, which consequently affects his/her interpersonal relationships and subsequent behavior. Some of the many dimensions requiring ongoing evaluation in the MSR construct are the observable personality characteristics and behaviors that are expressions of its underlying pathology. One observable characteristic particularly associated with MSR is achievement striving.

Thus, this study will examine the theoretical relationship between MSR and achievement striving. The following personality dimensions will then be evaluated for their relationship to MSR: perfectionism, effortful control, impression management, relationship satisfaction, and academic achievement. It is hypothesized that perfectionism, effortful control, positive impression-management strategies, and academic achievement will be positively correlated with MSR, while relationship satisfaction will be negatively correlated. Results of this study will provide a richer understanding of the nature of MSR.