January 27, 2015

ACoNS: "Parental Communication Research Study" needs your help!

New Roads by Grant Wood

If those of you with ACoN blogs and groups would like to repost this article, thank you. If you would rather post a link to the Research Study or forward it to other ACons, thank you! I would love to see a huge response from the ACoN community, hopefully inspiring future studies about the impact of narcissistic parenting.

Dr. Jennifer Monahan and Valerie Coles kindly contacted me concerning new research that I think will be of great interest to ACoNs. Their study focuses on the impact of parental communication once children of narcissists become adults. This research study has been approved by the University of Georgia’s Institutional Review Board, conducted by the Department of Communication. 

As Valerie Cole explained: 

"This study is an assessment of a measure of parental narcissism. There is presently no published scale that measures parental narcissism behaviors from the perspective of the adult child. This study aims to further refine a measure of parental narcissism by targeting self-identified Adult Children of Narcissists." 

If you choose to participate in their research study, you will be asked to: 
*answer questions about your family member’s communication style
*answer questions about parent/guardian's personality characteristics
*answer a few questions about your personality
*complete the questionnaire in a single session taking about 30 minutes 
Who can participate? 
*you must be over the age of 18
*any gender, any location; English does not have to be your first language
*you consider yourself to be an ACoN (Partners of narcissists are excluded unless your parent/guardian was a narcissist)
*You must have identified your parents/guardians as narcissists. This questionnaire is not NPD-specific. You are qualified to participate if YOU have identified your parent/guardian as a narcissist. 
*all information is confidential. Names and other identifying markers (e.g., IP addresses) will not be linked to the questionnaire.  Participants who are interested can enter an email address into the drawing for one of ten $100 gift cards. Email addresses will not be linked back to the questionnaire.
On the link below, you can read more about your privacy rights before agreeing to participate. This link also includes contact information if you have further questions about their research. Clicking the link below will open a consent form after which you can complete the questionnaire:

Research protocol approved by The University of Georgia’s Institutional Review Board

Questions about narcissistic parents can trigger painful memories and feelings, especially if you trying very hard to answer questions as honestly as you can. If you are feeling upset after reflecting on the questions, you are welcome to leave a comment. I did not find the questionnaire to be "triggering" but I (and presumably my readers too) have been working a healing program for many years. 

I took the test this morning and only needed fifteen minutes to answer every question. If you haven't been involved in the ACoN community, you may need a little more time to reflect on your answers. The important thing is that no matter how much time it takes, we try to help researchers understand the long-term impact of growing up with narcissistic parents. 

Hugs all,


  1. There's a growing number of sites discussing narcissists, although the ACoN community continues to be relatively small. Maybe this is because most people resist labeling their parents as narcissists. It's a terrible thing to think much less write about and I fully understand people's resistance. We are so trained to respect and honor our parents even when they've broken every rule in the Love Handbook.

    I hope we see more research focused on ACoNs. For many years, people studied Adult Children of Alcoholics and other dysfunctional families. Specific research on ACoNs is welcomed now that most people are familiar with narcissistic traits. What effect does a narcissistic parent have on us as adults?

    I edited my post to encourage people to reblog this article or post a link to the ACoN survey. Please do that...let's encourage researchers to continue doing this work!

    Hugs all,

  2. I think this survey is important. People are so phobic about this topic in general; as a result, we hand over to therapists and professionals the task of interpreting our experience for us. When I think of how much work you've done, your readers, all of us struggling with and working on being ACoNs, the wealth of understanding we've compiled, it amazes me. The thing is, there ARE books out there on the topic of narc parents. But still, getting more studies done, from ACoNs perspectives, is crucial, especially for the types of abuse that aren't physical, or even blatant. The more I learn, the more I realize how much harder it is, in some ways, when the abuse is subtle and chronic, and starts early. There are few forms of abuse more cruel than emotional belittling, gas lighting, and basic neglect. They cut the very core of our self-worth. Great study, and worth participating in.

  3. there is also a community of victims/ survivors/ ACoNs/ spouses etc on YouTube. I just realized something- I referenced your blog post in my video and I provided the link in the description box, but I should have contacted you first for permission to reference and name your blog and material ( I was referencing a blog post that sparked lots of ideas, memories, healing, understanding etc) but I still should have contacted you. I'll take the video down if you want me to. I just wanted to share with you all that there is also a growing community within the youtube platform (rather than the written blog post platform) I have a blog as well but I find its easier sometimes to let my thoughts flow verbally.

    1. Hi Running From Chaos,

      Thanks for the validation...I was a bit humbled to hear my words read back to me but in all truth, it was like an elixer! I haven't been able to write very often because my time is more limited at this point. But just knowing someone was helped by my article(s) was so rewarding and I thank you very sincerely for reading and UNDERSTANDING my experiences.

      It has taken a couple of weeks for me to get to my computer and I hope you remember leaving this comment. I'll try to find your YouTube video and comment there just in case you don't see my reply.

      I don't mind at all, that you read excerpts of my article to your audience. THAT is how internet communities help one another and I appreciate very much being included in your community!

      p.s. I subscribed and look forward to watching your videos. Of course, I was impressed with Farm-ageddon having grown up on a farm with lots of chickens and other animals.

      This is a link for those you might want to visit your channel:




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