Date of Award

Fall 12-2018

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Eric Dahlen

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Bonnie Nicholson

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Melanie Leuty

Committee Member 3 School



College students of traditional age have an elevated risk of self-injury (McManus et al., 2015). Self-injurious behavior (SIB) often indicates increased mental health concerns and elevated suicide risk (Whitlock, Eckenrode & Silverman, 2006). Self-criticism represents a non-physical form of self-injury (Baetens, et al., 2015), which is also associated with psychological distress and suicidal behavior. Thus, it is important to understand the risk factors associated with SIB and self-criticism. Vulnerable narcissism has been linked to self-injury (Dawood et al., 2017); however, there is little consensus about the nature of this relationship. Moreover, vulnerable narcissism has been associated with impaired emotion regulation (Ziegler-Hill & Vonk, 2015), and this relationship may strengthen any relationship that exists between vulnerable narcissism and forms of self-injury, as emotion dysregulation has been linked to increased risk of self-injury as well (Rajappa, Gallagher, & Miranda, 2011). The current study explored the relationship of vulnerable narcissism to SIB and self-criticism, as well as the moderating effects of emotion dysregulation, in a college student sample (N = 260). Vulnerable narcissism was positively related to both self-injury and self-criticism, and emotion dysregulation moderated the relationship between vulnerable narcissism and self-criticism (i.e., the relationship between vulnerable narcissism and self-criticism was stronger when higher levels of emotion dysregulation were present. The positive relationship between vulnerable narcissism and self-injury did not vary at different levels of emotion dysregulation.