Dr. Melanie Hinojosa


This research investigates the relationship between narcissism and eating disorders (EDs). Two forms of narcissism are studied, as each are present in the individual (O’Brien, 1987). The first form, core narcissism, is major, and refers to the way the individual views themselves while the second form, narcissistic defenses, are minor, serving only to protect the sense of self (Waller et al., 2006; O’Brien, 1987). Core narcissism is exhibited as grandiose or vulnerable narcissism where grandiose includes feelings of entitlement and high self-esteem while vulnerable includes low self-esteem and self-criticality (Maples et al., 2011). The narcissistic defenses can be displayed as poisonous pedagogy (“bad you”) or narcissistically abused (“poor me”) (O’Brien, 1987). Furthermore, the eating disorders studied were the second and third most common eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, respectively (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). Within anorexia nervosa, both the binge-purge type and restricting type were included. This study was conducted as a review of studies and scholarly articles. The specific question asked within this review is: does a correlation exist between the two forms of narcissism, core narcissism and narcissistic defenses, and anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa? This study thus concluded that there is a positive association between those with an eating disorder and high levels of narcissism. Specifically, there is a clear correlation of vulnerable narcissism to eating disorders, and bulimia nervosa is the eating disorder most strongly linked to high narcissism levels.

About the Author

Kayla Lashinger is a UCF Fall 2020 graduate, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Health Sciences, Pre-Clinical. She has been thankful to have worked under Dr. Melanie Hinojosa since 2018 and for all the research opportunities within the Sociology department. In the future, she plans to continue on to pursue a Master's Degree in Genetic Counseling. Outside of research, she spends her free time supporting those in crisis via Crisis Text Line and serving as a UCF Global Ambassador.



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