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Do the Dark Triad Traits Protect against Depression and Suicidal Ideation?

David Lester and Mahboubeh Dadfar


Published: 2022/03/01


The aim of the present study was to explore whether all three Dark Triad traits (narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism) are associated with depression and a history of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. A sample of 115 American undergraduate students was administered measures of the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Short Dark Triad-3 (SD3). The students were also asked whether they had ever thought about suicide in the past and whether they had ever attempted suicide in the past. Narcissism and psychopathy scores contributed to the prediction of depression and a history of suicidal ideation, negatively and positively, respectively. Only psychopathy predicted suicide attempts (positively). The results of this study indicate that two of the Dark Triad traits, narcissism and psychopathy, predict depression and suicidal ideation in student subjects, while Machiavellianism does not. Keywords: Narcissism, Psychopathy, Machiavellianism, Depression, Suicidal ideation, Students, USA

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