Personality and Perpetration: Narcissism Among College Sexual Assault Perpetrators

Violence Against Women. 2016 Sep;22(10):1228-42. doi: 10.1177/1077801215622575. Epub 2015 Dec 27.


Theory and research suggest that narcissism plays an important role in perpetration of sexual aggression. As narcissism is a multidimensional construct, our objective was to clarify the relation between perpetration and three aspects of narcissism. College men (N = 234) completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) subscale of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders-II (SCID-N) Personality Questionnaire, and Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale (HSNS). Perpetrators had higher scores on NPD traits, which were also associated with frequent perpetration. HSNS scores were only associated with perpetration via alcohol and/or drugs. Only the maladaptive facets of NPI narcissism correlated with perpetration. Narcissism seems to have been understudied in nonincarcerated perpetrators.

Keywords: college men; narcissism; sexual aggression.

MeSH terms

  • Aggression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Disorders / complications
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Psychometrics / instrumentation
  • Psychometrics / methods
  • Sex Offenses / psychology*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities / organization & administration
  • Universities / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult