The Dark Side of Homophobic Bullying: the Moderating Role of Dark Triad Traits in the Relationship between Victim and Perpetrator

Maria Rosaria Nappa, Mara Morelli, Dora Bianchi, Roberto Baiocco, Elena Cattelino, Antonio Chirumbolo

Abstract


Homophobic bullying is bullying related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
This study investigated the moderating role of the dark triad traits (i.e.,
psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism) in the relationship between being a
victim of homophobic bullying and being in turn a perpetrator of homophobic
bullying. Participants were 285 adolescents from 16 to 20 years old. Victimization
and perpetration of homophobic bullying and the Dark Triad Traits were
measured. The moderation effects of dark triad traits were tested using a
hierarchical regression analysis. All interaction terms (i.e., victim*psychopathy,
victim*narcissism, and victim*Machiavellianism) were significant. Being a victim of
homophobic bullying was related to being a perpetrator of homophobic bullying
only in the presence of high psychopathy and narcissism. Conversely, high
Machiavellianism buffered the relationship between being a victim of homophobic
bullying and being a perpetrator of homophobic bullying. Results showed that not
all dark triad traits are maladaptive per se. Research and clinical implications are
discussed.


Keywords


homophobic bullying; personality traits; dark triad; psychopathy; narcissism; Machiavellianism.

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