Emptiness Mediates the Association Between Pathological Narcissism and Problematic Smartphone Use

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Abstract

The few studies that examined the association between narcissism and problematic smartphone use found mixed results. Moreover, the empirical examination of psychological mechanisms for this link is lacking. This study investigated the relationships between pathological narcissism, emptiness and problematic smartphone use. Participants included 278 young Israeli adults (159 males; Mage = 26.21) who completed a battery of self-report questionnaires. Our results show that narcissistic grandiosity, vulnerability and emptiness were positively related to problematic smartphone use. Importantly, emptiness mediated the relationships between pathological narcissism and problematic smartphone use. These findings highlight the mediating role of emptiness experience in the associations between pathological narcissism and problematic smartphone use and lend empirical support to the importance of the emptiness experience for compensatory behaviors such as heavy and compulsive smartphone usage by the pathological narcissist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-373
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatric Quarterly
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Emptiness
  • Narcissistic grandiosity
  • Narcissistic vulnerability
  • Pathological narcissism
  • Smartphone addiction

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