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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Self -esteem, self -compassion, defensive self -esteem, and related features of narcissism as predictors of aggression
by Gottheim, Cara Pharr, Psy.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2009, 227; 3387118
Abstract (Summary)

This study sought to expand upon existing literature pertaining to feelings toward oneself and aggressive behavior. Specifically, global self-esteem, as well as two specific subsets of self-esteem, defensive self-esteem and narcissistic self-esteem, were examined as predictors of aggressive behavior. Additionally, the relationship between aggression and self-compassion, a recently introduced self-construct moderately correlated with self-esteem, was investigated. College students from a large Northeastern University were invited via email or through a brief classroom presentation to participate in this online study. A total of 181 students completed five surveys that were useable for data analyses: Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES; Rosenberg, 1989), Self-compassion Scale (SCS; Neff, 2003), Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Terry, 1988), Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale (MCSD; Crowne & Marlowe, 1960), and Aggression Questionnaire (AQ; Buss & Warren, 2000). A series of hierarchical regression analyses were used to determine if aggressive behavior varied as a function of self-esteem, self-compassion, narcissism, and defensive self-esteem. Findings revealed that there was a positive relationship between global self-esteem and aggression, such that it accounted for 11.4% of the variance. When self-compassion was entered into the equation, results indicated that self-compassion had a unique contribution to aggression, accounting for 4.3% additional variance. This relationship was inverse, revealing that higher levels of self-compassion predicted lower levels of aggressive behavior. Defensive self-esteem was unexpectedly found to be related to lower levels of self-esteem, whereas narcissistic self-esteem and narcissism and self-compassion were not significant predictors. Findings suggest teaching self-compassionate skills could be a useful component of comprehensive interventions intended to decrease the occurrence of aggression.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Nickerson, Amanda B.
Commitee: Kundert, Deborah K., Miller, David N.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: School Psychology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Personality psychology
Keywords: Aggression, Defensive self-esteem, Egotism, Narcissism, Self-compassion, Self-esteem, Threatened egotism
Publication Number: 3387118
ISBN: 978-1-109-52985-2
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