Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 508–521 | Cite as

The Predictive Utility of Narcissism among Childrenand Adolescents: Evidence for a Distinction betweenAdaptive and Maladaptive Narcissism

  • Christopher T. BarryEmail author
  • Paul J. Frick
  • Kristy K. Adler
  • Sarah J. Grafeman
Original Paper


We examined the predictive utility of narcissism among a community sample of children and adolescents (N=98) longitudinally. Analyses focused on the differential utility between maladaptive and adaptive narcissism for predicting later delinquency. Maladaptive narcissism significantly predicted self-reported delinquency at one-, two-, and three-year follow-ups. This pattern held even when considering other intrapersonal risk factors for conduct problems (i.e., callous-unemotional traits, impulsivity), parenting practices, and when controlling for earlier conduct problems. In addition, adaptive narcissism was predictive of delinquency in the absence of positive parenting practices, with maladaptive narcissism being particularly predictive of delinquency in the presence of negative parenting. The implications for understanding delinquency in terms of the social and motivational characteristics that are the hallmark of maladaptive narcissism are discussed.


Narcissism Delinquency Child Behavior Problems 



This work was supported by grant MH55654 from the National Institute of Mental Health made to the second author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher T. Barry
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paul J. Frick
    • 2
  • Kristy K. Adler
    • 3
  • Sarah J. Grafeman
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of New OrleansNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyThe University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgUSA

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