“Please don’t leave me!” Histrionic Personality Features and Emotional Manipulation: The underlying Roles of Anxious Attachment and Need Frustration
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Despite its expansive history, histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is one of the least researched mental disorders. Consequently, little is known about its underlying mechanisms and possible maintenance factors, limiting treatment opportunities. Based on Emotion-focused therapy, this study explored the relation of emotional manipulation and HPD, at the same time investigating the underlying role of anxious attachment and need frustration. Therefore, a crosssectional study was conducted in which 129 participants (24.03% male, 74.42% female, 1.55% non-binary, Mage =28.72) completed questionnaires of histrionic personality features, emotional manipulation, anxious attachment and need frustration. Findings of the study indicated that in the presence of histrionic features, emotional manipulation is likely to occur, possibly mediated by fear of abandonment and/or the frustrated feeling of receiving love from others. Unexpectedly, no predictive relation between the two mediators, anxious attachment, and relatedness frustration, on the relation of HPD features and emotional manipulativeness was found. Additionally, autonomy frustration did neither, relate to HPD features or emotional manipulation, meaning that histrionics may experience emotions as volitional.