Dark shadow of the self: how the dark triad and empathy impact parental and intimate adult attachment relationships in women

Bloxsom, C.A.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-5115-6342, Firth, J., Kibowski, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-8852-1278, Egan, V., Sumich, A.L. ORCID: 0000-0003-4333-8442 and Heym, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-2414-8854, 2021. Dark shadow of the self: how the dark triad and empathy impact parental and intimate adult attachment relationships in women. Forensic Science International: Mind and Law, 2: 100045. ISSN 2666-3538

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The current study examines the relationship between parental and intimate adult (best friend and partner) attachments with dark personality traits and empathy deficits in women. Participants (N = 262 females, M age = 26.65) completed self-report measures of the Dark Triad (DT) traits, cognitive and affective empathy, and attachment experiences in close relationships. Path model analysis showed that parental avoidant attachment predicted the dark dyad traits (Machiavellianism, psychopathy) while only parental anxious attachment predicted psychopathy. Psychopathy was the only dark trait directly and indirectly (via affective empathy) associated with intimate adult life attachment insecurity, whereas narcissism was associated with secure attachment through reduced anxious attachment towards best friends. Reduced affective empathy mediated the relationship between psychopathy and increased avoidant attachment, and also directly predicted lower anxious (best friend and partner) attachment. These findings are considered in the context of a possible route from parental to intimate adult life attachment difficulties in women with dark – in particular, psychopathic traits.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Forensic Science International: Mind and Law
Creators: Bloxsom, C.A.J., Firth, J., Kibowski, F., Egan, V., Sumich, A.L. and Heym, N.
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Date: 15 January 2021
Volume: 2
ISSN: 2666-3538
Rights: Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jeremy Silvester
Date Added: 24 Mar 2021 12:14
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:05
Related URLs:
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42575

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