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Nicole M. Cain

Assistant Professor of Psychology

B.A., Cornell UniversityM.S., Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University


Dr. Cain’s research interests focus on exploring phenotypic heterogeneity in Axis I and Axis II disorders and how heterogeneity influences diagnosis, treatment planning, and clinical outcome. Specifically, she has investigated the need to expand the assessment of pathological narcissism to include narcissistic grandiosity as well as narcissistic vulnerability and has used the interpersonal circumplex to examine the impact of interpersonal styles and problems on the presentation, course, and outcome of specific Axis I disorders. Dr. Cain is interested in developing and testing interventions to more effectively assess and treat patients who have similar Axis I pathology but differing interpersonal styles. Finally, Dr. Cain has been involved in research investigating deficits in effortful control, affect regulation, and social cognition in both college-age and personality disordered populations. 


Interpersonal theory, Psychodynamic theory, Interpersonal Circumplex, Borderline Personality Disorder, Pathological Narcissism


Cain, N.M., De Panfilis, C., Meehan, K.B., & Clarkin, J.F. (in press).  Assessing interpersonal profiles associated with varying levels of effortful control.  Journal of Personality Assessment

Mahoney, M., Saunders, B.A, & Cain, N.M. (in press).  Priming mortality salience: Supraliminal, subliminal, and ‘double death’ priming techniques.  Death Studies

Pincus, A.L., Cain, N.M., & Wright, A.G.C. (in press).  Narcissistic grandiosity and narcissistic vulnerability in psychotherapy.  Personality Disorders:  Theory, Research, Treatment

Cain, N.M. & Ansell, E.B. (in press, 2014). An integrative interpersonal framework for personality pathology.  To be in S. Huprich (Ed.) Personality Disorders:  Assessment, Diagnosis, and Research (pp. XX-XX).  Washington DC: APA Press

Cain, N.M., Lukowitsky, M.R., & Wright, A.G.C. (in press, 2014).  The Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire.  To be in R. Cautin & S. Lilienfeld (Eds.) The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology:  Assessment (pp. XX – XX).  New York: Wiley

Cain, N.M. & Pincus, A.L. (in press, 2014).  Treating maladaptive interpersonal signatures.  To be in J.F. Clarkin, G. DiMaggio, & W.J. Livesley (Eds.) Integrated Treatment of Personality Disorders (pp. XX – XX).  New York: Guilford Press. 

Cain, N.M., Ansell, E.B., & Pinto, A. (2013).  Cluster C personality disorders and anxiety disorders.  In D. McKay & E. Storch (Eds.), Handbook of Treating Variants and Complications in Anxiety Disorders (pp. 349-362).  New York: Springer De Panfilis, C.,

Meehan, K.B., Cain, N.M., Clarkin, J.F. (2013).  The relationship between effortful control, current psychopathology, and interpersonal difficulties in young adults.  Comprehensive Psychiatry, 54, 454-461. 

Ellison, W., Levy, K.N., Cain, N.M., Ansell, E. B., & Pincus, A.L. (2013).  The impact of pathological narcissism on psychotherapy utilization, initial symptom severity, and early-treatment symptom change:  A naturalistic investigation.  Journal of Personality Assessment, 95, 291-300.

Levy, K.N., Meehan, K.B., Cain, N.M., & Ellison, W. D. (2013).  Narcissism in the DSM.  In J.S. Ogrodniczuk (Ed.), Understanding and Treating Pathological Narcissism (pp. 45-62).  Washington DC:  APA Press. 

Meehan, K.B., De Panfilis, C., Cain, N.M. & Clarkin, J.F. (2013).  Effortful control and externalizing problems in young adults.  Personality and Individual Differences, 55, 553-558. 

Cain, N.M., Ansell, E.B., Wright A.G., Hopwood, C.J., Thomas, K.M., Pinto, A., Markowitz, J.C., Sanislow, C.A., Zanarini, M., Shea, M.T., Morey, L.C., McGlashan, T.H., Skodol, A.E., & Grilo, C.M. (2012). Interpersonal pathoplasticity in the course of major depression.  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 80, 78-86. 

Cain, N.M., Pincus, A.L., & Grosse Holtforth, M. (2010). Interpersonal subtypes in social phobia: Diagnostic and treatment implications.  Journal of Personality Assessment, 92, 514-527. 

Pincus, A.L., Ansell, E.B., Pimentel, C.A., Cain, N.M., Wright, A.G., & Levy, K.N. (2009).  Initial construction and validation of the Pathological Narcissism Inventory.  Psychological Assessment, 21, 365-379. 

Cain, N.M., Pincus, A.L., Ansell, E.B. (2008).  Narcissism at the crossroads: Phenotypic description of pathological narcissism across clinical theory, social/personality psychology, and psychiatric diagnosis.  Clinical Psychology Review, 28, 638-656. 

Pincus, A.L. & Cain, N.M. (2008).  Interpersonal psychotherapy.  In D.C.S. Richard & S. K. Huprich (Eds.), Clinical Psychology:  Assessment, Treatment, and Research (pp. 215-247).  San Diego, CA: Academic Press.


Recipient, Howard F. Hunt Research Award of Distinction, Department of Psychology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital

Recipient, Don A. Trumbo Psychology Department Student Research Travel Award

Recipient, Mid-Atlantic Regional Group Meeting of the North American Society for Psychotherapy Research Poster Award

Recipient, Martin T. Murphy Award for Excellence in Clinical Psychology

Professional Affiliations

American Psychological Association (APA)

Association for Psychological Science (APS)

Association for Research in Personality (ARP)

Eastern Psychological Association (EPA)

North American Society for the Study of Personality Disorders (NASSPD)

Society for Interpersonal Theory and Research (SITAR)

Society for Personality Assessment (SPA)