The associations between pathological narcissism, alexithymia and disordered eating attitudes among participants of pro‐anorexic online communities

  • Gadi ZerachEmail author
Original Article



This study investigated the relationships between pathological narcissism, alexithymia, and disordered eating attitudes among participants of pro‐anorexic online communities. Specifically, we explored the possible moderating role of alexithymia in the relationships between narcissistic vulnerability and disordered eating attitudes.


Participants included 97 Israeli female young adults who are active participants in pro-anorexic online communities. These participants completed a battery of self-reported questionnaires: The Pathological Narcissism Inventory (PNI); The Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26); and The Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20).


Narcissistic grandiosity, vulnerability, and alexithymia were positively related to disordered eating attitudes. Alexithymia moderated the relationships between narcissistic vulnerability and the total score of disordered eating attitudes. Furthermore, alexithymia moderated the relationships between both narcissistic vulnerability and grandiosity and the oral control subscale of EAT-26.


These findings highlight the interaction between the pathological narcissism and the fundamental trait of alexithymia that might put individuals at risk for disordered eating.


Narcissistic vulnerability Narcissistic grandiosity Pathological narcissism Alexithymia Disordered eating 



The author would like to thank Inbal Gridish, Danielle Or-Zion and Bell Miller for their help in the preparation of this manuscript

Conflict of interest

Dr. Gadi Zerach declares that he has no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ariel UniversityArielIsrael

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