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The University of Southampton

Research project: Narcissism in developmental context

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We examine the causes and consequences of narcissistic traits in older children and adolescents.

Not all positive self-views are alike. Our research shows that it is important to distinguish between youths´ accurate, well-balanced positive self-views and inflated, narcissistic positive self-views. Narcissism refers to a sense of grandiosity and a strong need to be seen and admired by others. Narcissism can be identified from late childhood. Using experimental, experience sampling, and longitudinal methods,we have shown that narcissistic youths tend to be psychologically reactive (e.g., they experience emotional extremes and self esteem instability following triggering events), are prone to express anger and behave aggressively, and may be competent at establishing positive status among peers, especially at initial acquaintance. More recently, we have begun to investigate the developmental origins of narcissism (focusing on parent and peer influences). In addition, we aim to unravel the counterintuitive link between narcissism and symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Related research groups

Centre for Research on Self and Identity (CRSI)
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