“Never Learned to Love Properly”: A Qualitative Study Exploring Romantic Relationship Experiences in Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents



Lyons, Minna, Brewer, Gayle ORCID: 0000-0003-0690-4548, Hartley, Anna-Maria and Blinkhorn, Victoria
(2023) “Never Learned to Love Properly”: A Qualitative Study Exploring Romantic Relationship Experiences in Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents. Social Sciences, 12 (3). p. 159.

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Abstract

<jats:p>Narcissism is a personality trait characterised by selfishness, coldness, entitlement, and grandiosity. There has been much research on different parenting dimensions and their relationship to narcissism in grown-up children, with a notable lack of studies investigating the influence of narcissistic parents on their children. This study focused on individuals’ experiences in romantic relationships, using personal narratives from a popular ‘Reddit’ community for people who perceived to have grown up with narcissistic parents. Using an inductive thematic analysis on 77 Reddit posts, we identified four themes: (i) Strategies and emotions in current relationships, (ii) behaviours and characteristics of partners and their families, (iii) parent intrusiveness in current relationships, and (iv) journey to realisation and recovery. Themes are discussed in relation to existing literature and theory. We add to the sparse literature on narcissistic parents’ influence in adult relationships, highlighting the importance of process from parental behaviour to adult romantic relationships.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: narcissistic parents, adult relationships, romantic relationships, childhood experiences
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2023 08:22
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2024 13:24
DOI: 10.3390/socsci12030159
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci12030159
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URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3169955