A Research Survey

I have received a request from Valerie Berenice Coles to offer a survey to readers here which will help develop a scale for identifying narcissistic parents.  Since many of you have indicated that you believe you had such parents, your input could be particularly valuable.  Therapists, counselors, and other professionals need diagnostic tools to give their clients the proper care.  Many of you remember the light of revelation that enabled you to put a name to what you experienced from a parent throughout your life.  Some have indicated a progression from narcissistic parents to narcissistic lovers.  My hope would be that a diagnostic tool like this could shine that light early in the lives of young adults and help them avoid such future relationships.

So, those of you who have identified a parent as narcissistic, please consider helping with this survey.  You may find it encouraging to express your experiences and to know that someone may be able to use your input to help others.  You will also notice that there is a possible financial incentive for those who help. 

Read the information below and use the link to access the survey.

BTW, you will want to move quickly.  The survey closes on Saturday, Feb. 28.


From Valerie:

My colleague and I have recently developed a scale to measure parental narcissism. Not surprisingly, we would like to have adult children of narcissists, if they are interested, take the scale so we can examine how parental communication impacts individuals once they are adults. There is presently no published scale that measures parental narcissism behaviors from the perspective of the adult child, and very little research in general.  We would like to have ACONs, if they are interested, participate in our study.  Participants will have the opportunity to partake in questionnaire that asks about their parent’s communication style(s) and some items that measure personality characteristics of their parent or legal guardian that they identify as a narcissist and themselves.
This research study is being conducted by Dr. Jennifer Monahan and me, of the Department of Communication Studies at The University of Georgia [comm.uga.edu]. Approval of the research protocol for this study was approved at The University of Georgia’s Institutional Review Board.
Anyone over the age of 18 who identifies as an ACON is eligible for this study, it does not matter where you live in the world, your gender, or whether English is your first-language.
Also, everyone, regardless of location, is eligible to enter a drawing for one of ten $100 gift cards for participating. The entire process will require less than 30 minutes of their time (closer to 20).  Of course we will keep all information confidential, so that names and other identifying markers (e.g., IP addresses) will not be linked to the questionnaire they complete.  Participants who are interested in the drawing will enter an email address into the drawing – email addresses will not be linked back to the questionnaires.
Feel free to pass it along or share the link with others you think would be interested in helping out. I am more than happy to answer any questions others may have while considering whether to post/feature this study of their site.
Please feel free to contact me at vcoles@uga.edu if I can provide additional information.
We truly appreciate your help and willingness to participate!
Valerie Berenice Coles, MA
PhD Student, Research Project Manager
Graduate Assistant to Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Student Ambassadors Program
University of Georgia
Department of Communication Studies 
Caldwell Hall



Filed under Narcissism

5 responses to “A Research Survey

  1. Angela

    I tried putting my two bits worth in by filling out this survey, but too many of the questions did not apply to my mother. My mother (an immigrant) was driven to an extreme by what the war did to her.
    That, plus many cultural issues made my options to the answers not quite truthful or factual.

    • Angela, this is information that might be helpful to the researchers. Although your situation may not be common, it is good for all of us to understand that narcissistic characteristics can come out of traumatic life experiences. This is a good reminder that narcissistic behavior is a response to fearful circumstances and sometimes the person is simply too afraid to let go (or has found that this behavior works and is still useful). I will pass your comment and other comments on for their information. Thanks!

  2. KayJay

    It seems like as I was going through the survey, I kept thinking, oh no, he/she wasn’t THAT bad…but then there has to be some reason we are no contact today. During the teen/early-twenties phase of life, I think I was still enough of a “tool” that my parent seemed more interested and caring. It was only when I got older and more independent that the gloves came off (no more ability to exercise that control, a separate existence, oh no!) and the ugliness of the N showed its face. My teen years, which seemed rather idyllic, really, were thrown in my face and held up as making the parent’s life so very difficult. Craziness!

  3. Teresa Albrecht

    I had a lot of anger in my teen years, and I’m beginning to realize why. My mother died a few years ago, and I don’t miss her. What I miss is the mother I should have had. I guess that says a lot, doesn’t it?

  4. Alyssa

    I kept thinking on some of these an explanation was needed. Yes, she did praise me, sometimes…when it benefited her. Likewise, she stopped talking to me for a week (at 11) when my father told her she couldn’t force me to be a cheerleader if that wasn’t what I wanted. That’s when she expected me to buy my own clothes and undergarments, even though I didn’t receive an allowance.
    Then, my answers became more optimistic in my early 20s, but only because I stopped talking to her and am now recovering from her physical and emotional abuse and learning my childhood wasn’t normal.

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