Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2015

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Michael Anestis

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Christopher Barry

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Bradley Green

Committee Member 3 Department



Further research is needed to clarify the relationship between narcissism and suicidality. Ambiguous results yielded by past studies may be attributed to the two distinct forms of narcissism (i.e., grandiose and vulnerable). The current study aimed to examine the association between the components of the interpersonal-psychological theory of suicidal behavior (IPTS; Joiner, 2005; i.e., thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and the acquired capability for suicide) and the two subtypes of narcissism. The potential explanatory effect of emotion dysregulation, a construct linked to the development of suicide risk, on the relationship between the forms of narcissism and the components of suicide risk was also evaluated. The sample was comprised of 162 undergraduate students currently enrolled at a public university in southern Mississippi. Participants provided responses to a series of self-report questionnaires and completed behavioral measures pertaining to two of the constructs being assessed (i.e., emotion dysregulation and acquired capability). Structural equation modeling was utilized to examine the mediating role of emotion dysregulation in the association between the two subtypes of narcissism and suicide risk factors. It was hypothesized that vulnerable narcissism would be associated with elevated levels of thwarted belongingness and perceived burdensomeness, whereas grandiose narcissism would be linked to heightened levels of the acquired capability for suicide. It was further hypothesized that emotion dysregulation would statistically account for the proposed relationships. Results were largely inconsistent with hypotheses. Only the anticipated associations between both forms of narcissism and emotion dysregulation were supported.