Date of Award

Summer 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Nora E. Charles

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Christopher T. Barry

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Bradley A. Green

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Donald F. Sacco

Committee Member 4 School



The current study examined the proposed link between parent-initiated triangulation (i.e., directly involving a child in parental conflict in such a way that he/she forms an alliance with one parent against the other parent) and pathological narcissism in a sample of 148 adolescents, ages 12-14. Moreover, the moderating influence that different parenting practices and styles (i.e., parental overindulgence, overvaluation, warmth, inconsistent discipline) have on the relation between parent-initiated triangulation and pathological narcissism was explored. Findings from the current study indicated that adolescent self-reported pathological narcissism was associated with higher levels of adolescent-reported triangulation and parental overvaluation and was negatively related to parental warmth. The Vulnerable Narcissism dimension of pathological narcissism was positively related to inconsistent discipline. Contrary to hypotheses, no significant relation emerged between pathological narcissism and parental overindulgence; moreover, none of the maladaptive parenting approaches significantly moderated the relation between triangulation and pathological narcissism. Results suggest that perceived triangulation, parental overvaluation, inconsistent discipline, and lack of parental warmth are all parenting approaches that may relate to maladaptive adolescent self-perception.