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ABSTRACT

Depressive personality disorder (DPD) has been under consideration for inclusion in the DSM for over 15 years. Support for its validity and utility is mixed, and it has received little attention for its structure and associated intra- and interpersonal dynamics. Interestingly, DPD is quite similar to the construct of hypersensitive, or vulnerable, narcissism (HN). Both phenomena involve tendencies towards depression, guilt and anxiety; a sense of self that is inadequate; poorly developed self-esteem; and tendencies towards masochistic suffering. In this study, measures of these constructs (the Depressive Personality Disorder Inventory [DPDI] and the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale [HSNS]) were found to be significantly correlated in both clinical (r = 0.56, n = 238) and nonclinical (r = 0.55, n = 346) samples. Both measures were similarly correlated with a measure of interpersonal (object) relations. A confirmatory factor analysis failed to support a one- or two-factor solution. Subsequent exploratory factor analysis found that one large factor accounted for 29.47% of the variance and consisted of items related to hypersensitive self-focus. A parallel analysis suggested that six factors could be interpreted, with HSNS items loading onto the first and sixth factors and DPDI items loading onto the other factors. It is concluded that DPD and HN are closely related constructs, but that future research focusing on what accounts for the shared and nonshared variance of the two constructs is necessary. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.