Cluster analysis of narcissistic personality disorders on the MCMI-II

R. DiGuiseppe, M. Robin, P. R. Szeszko, L. H. Primavera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Theoretical notions of narcissistic personality disorder have failed to reach a consensus on the nature of the disorder. Factor analytic studies on narcissism as a personality trait have failed to yield one factor but have repeatedly produced factors with both negative and positive emotional qualities. Such results raise questions concerning the validity of narcissism as a trait and as a personality disorder. This study completed a cluster analysis of the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory II (MCMI-II) subscales for psychotherapy clients who scored above 85 on the Narcissistic Personality Scale of the MCMI-II. The best fit was a three cluster solution. A discriminant function analysis correctly identified 97% of the clients in the correct cluster. These clusters were named the 'true narcissist,' the 'compensating narcissist,' and the 'detached Narcissist.' The three groups also differed on other scales at intake including the General Health Questionnaire, the General Psychological Well Being Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory (brief form), the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and a measure of irrational beliefs. Although all three clusters were characterized by self-centeredness and a sense of entitlement, two clusters experienced no emotional distress, and one was characterized by social detachment. Future research should focus on elucidating different subtypes of narcissism and abandon the notion that all narcissists experience negative affectivity or are emotionally vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-317
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Cluster analysis of narcissistic personality disorders on the MCMI-II'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this