Advertisement

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 247–260 | Cite as

Narcissistic Features in Young Adolescents: Relations to Aggression and Internalizing Symptoms

  • Jason J. WashburnEmail author
  • Susan D. McMahon
  • Cheryl A. King
  • Mark A. Reinecke
  • Carrie Silver
Article

Abstract

Recent research and theory suggest narcissistic features contribute to aggression in adults. The present study examined the association of narcissistic features with aggression and internalizing symptoms in 233 students of 5th–8th grade at three inner-city schools. A factor analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory in this sample revealed three factors: Adaptive Narcissism, Exploitativeness, and Exhibitionism. Regression analyses were used to predict the association of these three narcissistic features with self-, teacher-, and peer-reported aggression and self-reported internalizing symptoms. Results indicate narcissistic exploitativeness positively predicted self-reported proactive aggression, and narcissistic exhibitionism positively predicted internalizing symptoms. Narcissism and self-esteem interacted to predict teacher-reported aggression and self-reported internalizing symptoms. Results are discussed in the context of existing theories of narcissism, threatened egotism, and self-perception bias.

narcissism aggression internalizing urban African American adolescent 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Integrative Guide for the 1991 CBCL/4-18, YSR, and TRF Profiles. University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry, Burlington, VT.Google Scholar
  2. Asher, S. R., Singleton, L. C., Tinsley, B. R., and Hymel, S. (1979). A reliable sociometric measure for preschool children. Dev. Psychol. 15: 443–444.Google Scholar
  3. Barry, C. T., Frick, P. J., and Killian, A. L. (2003). The relation of narcissism and self-esteem to conduct problems in children: A preliminary investigation. J. Clin. Child Adolesc. Psychol. 32: 139–152.Google Scholar
  4. Baumeister, R. F., Smart, L., and Boden, J. (1996). Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: The dark side of high self-esteem. Psychol. Rev. 103: 5–33.Google Scholar
  5. Blascovich, J., and Tomaka, J. (1991). Measures of self-esteem. In Robinson, J. P., and Shaver, P. R. (eds.), Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes. Measures of Social Psychological Attitudes. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 115–160.Google Scholar
  6. Boivin, M., Thomassin, L., and Alain, M. (1989). Peer rejection and self-perceptions among early elementary school children: Aggressive rejectees. In Schneider, B. H., Attili, G., Nadel, J., and Weissberg, R. P. (eds.), Social Competence in Developmental Perspective. Kluwer, Boston, pp. 382–393.Google Scholar
  7. Bosworth, K., and Espelage, D. (1995). Teen Conflict Survey. Unpublished manuscript, Center for Adolescent Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.Google Scholar
  8. Bosworth, K., Espelage, D. L., and Simon, T. R. (1999). Factors associated with bullying behavior in middle school students. J. Early Adolesc. 19: 341–362.Google Scholar
  9. Brendgen, M., Vitaro, F., Tremblay, R. E., and Lavoie, F. (2001). Reactive and proactive aggression: Predictions to physical violence in different contexts and moderating effects of parental monitoring and caregiving behavior. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 29: 293–304.Google Scholar
  10. Brown, G. W., Andrews, B., Bifulco, A. T., and Veiel, H. O. (1990). Self esteem and depression: I. Measurement issues and prediction of onset. Soc. Psychiatry Psychiatr. Epidemiol. 25: 200–209.Google Scholar
  11. Buja, A., and Eyuboglu, N. (1992). Remarks on parallel analysis. Multivariate Behav. Res. 27: 509–540.Google Scholar
  12. Bushman, B. J., and Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Threatened egotism, narcissism, self-esteem, and direct and displaced aggression: Does self-love or self-hate lead to violence? J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 75: 219–229.Google Scholar
  13. Calhoun, G. B., Glaser, B., Stefurak, T., Bradshaw, C. P. (2000). Preliminary validation of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory—Juvenile offender. Int. J. Offender Ther. Comp. Criminol. 44: 564–580.Google Scholar
  14. Chicago Police Department (n.d.). Quarterly Crime Statistics. Retrieved June 20, 2002, from http://www.ci.chi.il.us/CommunityPolicing/Statistics/CrimeStats/QuarterlyCrimes.htmlGoogle Scholar
  15. Coie, J. D., and Dodge, K. A. (1988). Multiple sources of data on social behavior and social status in the school: A cross-age comparison. Child Dev. 59: 815–829.Google Scholar
  16. Coie, J., Terry, R., Underwood, M., and Dodge, K. (1990). Teacher Checklist of Social Behavior. Unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
  17. Corruble, E., Ginestet, D., Guelfi, J. D. (1996). Comorbidity of personality disorders and unipolar major depression: A review. J. Affect. Disord. 37: 157–170.Google Scholar
  18. Crawford, T. N., Cohen, P., and Brook, J. S. (2001). Dramatic-erratic personality disorder symptoms: II. Developmental pathways from early adolescence to adulthood. J. Personal. Disord. 15: 336–350.Google Scholar
  19. Crick, N. R., and Dodge, K. A. (1996). Social information-processing mechanisms on reactive and proactive aggression. Child Dev. 67: 993–1002.Google Scholar
  20. Dahlberg, L. L., Toal, S. B., and Behrens, C. B. (1998). Measuring Violence-Related Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviors Among Youths: A Compendium of Assessment Tools. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Atlanta.Google Scholar
  21. David, C. F., and Kistner, J. A. (2000). Do positive self-perceptions have a "dark side"? Examination of the link between perceptual bias and aggression. J. Abnorm. Child Psychol. 28: 327–337.Google Scholar
  22. Diener, M., and Milich, R. (1997). Effects of positive feedback on the social interactions of boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: A test of the self-protective hypothesis. J. Clin. Child Psychol. 26: 256–265.Google Scholar
  23. Dodge, K. A. (1991). Emotion and social information processing. In Garber, J., and Dodge, K. A. (eds.), The Development of Emotion Regulation and Dysregulation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 159–181.Google Scholar
  24. Dodge, K. A., and Coie, J. D. (1987). Social-information-processing factors in reactive and proactive aggression in children's peer groups. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 53: 1146–1158.Google Scholar
  25. Emmons, R. A. (1984). Factor analysis and construct validity of the narcissistic personality inventory. J. Pers. Assess. 48: 291–300.Google Scholar
  26. Erikson, E. (1963). Childhood and Society (2nd ed.). W. W. Norton, New York.Google Scholar
  27. Glorfeld, L. W. (1995). An improvement on Horn's parallel analysis methodology for selecting the correct number of factors to retain. Educ. Psychol. Meas. 55: 377–393.Google Scholar
  28. Gorsuch, R. L. (1997). Exploratory factor analysis: Its role in item analysis. J. Pers. Assess. 68: 532–560.Google Scholar
  29. Gray-Little, B., Williams, V. S. L., and Hancock, T. D. (1997). An item response theory analysis of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 23: 443–451.Google Scholar
  30. Harter, S. (1989). Adolescent self and identity development. In Feldman, S. and Elliot, G. (eds.), At the Threshold: The Developing Adolescent. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  31. Hartup, W. (1983). Peer relations. In Hetherington, E. M. (ed.) and Mussen, P. H. (Series ed.), Handbook of Child Psychology (Vol. 4): Socialization, Personality, and Social Development. Wiley, New York, pp. 103–196.Google Scholar
  32. Horn, J. L. (1965). A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis. Psychometrika. 30: 179–185.Google Scholar
  33. Huesmann, L. R., Eron, L. D., Guerra, N. G., and Crawshaw, V. B. (1994). Measuring children's aggression with teachers' predictions of peer nominations. Psychol. Assess. 6: 329–336.Google Scholar
  34. Huesmann, L. R., and Guerra, N. G. (1997). Children's normative beliefs about aggression and aggressive behavior. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 72: 408–419.Google Scholar
  35. Huesmann, L. R., Guerra, N. G., Zelli, A., and Miller, L. (1992). Differing normative beliefs about aggression for boys and girls. In Bjoerkqvist, K. and Niemelae, P. (eds.), Of Mice and Women: Aspects of Female Aggression. Academic Press, San Diego, CA, pp. 77–87.Google Scholar
  36. Hymel, S., Rubin, K. H., Rowden, L., and LeMare, L. (1990). Children's peer relationships: Longitudinal prediction of internalizing and externalizing problems from middle to late childhood. Child Dev. 61: 2004–2021.Google Scholar
  37. Kaiser, H. F. (1960). The application of electronic computers to factor analysis. Educ. Psychol. Meas., 20: 141–151.Google Scholar
  38. Kaplan, H. B., and Lin, C. (2000). Deviant identity as a moderator of the relation between negative self-feelings and deviant behavior. J. Early Adolesc. 20: 150–177.Google Scholar
  39. Kasen, S., Cohen, P., Skodol, A. E., Johnson, J. G., Smailes, E., Brook, J. S. (2001). Childhood depression and adult personality disorder: Alternative pathways of continuity. Arch. Gen. Psychiatry 58: 231–236.Google Scholar
  40. Kernberg, O. (1975). Borderline Conditions and Pathological Narcissism. Jason Aronson, New York.Google Scholar
  41. Kohut, H. (1971). The Analysis of Self. International University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  42. Lakey, B., Drew, J. B., and Sirl, K. (1999). Clinical depression and perceptions of supportive others: A generalizability analysis. Cogn. Ther. Res. 23: 511–533.Google Scholar
  43. Lancelotta, G. X., and Vaughn, S. (1989). Relations between types of aggression and sociometric status: Peer and teacher perceptions. J. Educ. Psychol. 81: 86–90.Google Scholar
  44. Marsella, A. J. (1998). Urbanization, mental health, and social deviance. Am. Psychol. 53: 624–634.Google Scholar
  45. McMahon, S. D., and Washburn, J. J. (2003). Violence prevention: An evaluation of program effects with urban African American students. J. Prim. Prev. 24: 43–-62.Google Scholar
  46. Metalsky, G. I., Joiner, T. E., Jr., Hardin, T. S., and Abramson, L. Y. (1993). Depressive reactions to failure in a naturalistic setting: A test of hopelessness and self-esteem theories of depression. J. Abnorm. Psychol. 52: 386–393.Google Scholar
  47. Morf, C. C., and Rhodewalt, F. (2001). Unraveling the paradoxes of narcissism: A dynamic self-regulatory processing model. Psychol. Inq. 12: 177–196.Google Scholar
  48. O'Connor, B. P. (2000). SPSS and SAS programs for determining the number of components using parallel analysis and Velicer's MAP test. Behav. Res. Methods, Instrum. Comput. 32: 396–402.Google Scholar
  49. Orpinas, P., and Frankowski, R. (2001). The Aggression Scale: A self-report measure of aggressive behavior for young adolescents. J. Early Adolesc. 21: 50–67.Google Scholar
  50. Papps, B. P., and O'Carroll, R. E. (1998). Extremes of self-esteem and narcissism and the experience and expression of anger and aggression. Aggress. Behav. 24: 421–438.Google Scholar
  51. Patterson, C. J., Kupersmidt, J. B., and Griesler, P. C. (1990). Children's perceptions of self and of relationships with others as a function of sociometric status. Child Dev. 61: 1335–1349.Google Scholar
  52. Pellegrini, A. D., and Bartini, M. (2000). An empirical comparison of methods of sampling aggression and victimization in school settings. J. Educ. Psychol. 92: 360–366.Google Scholar
  53. Raskin, R., and Hall, C. S. (1979). A Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Psychol. Rep. 45: 590.Google Scholar
  54. Raskin, R., and Novacek, J. (1989). An MMPI description of narcissistic personality. J. Pers. Assess. 53: 66–80.Google Scholar
  55. Raskin, R., Novacek, J., and Hogan, R. (1991). Narcissistic self-esteem management. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 60: 911–918.Google Scholar
  56. Raskin, R., and Terry, H. (1988). A principal-components analysis of the narcissistic personality inventory and further evidence of its construct validity. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 54: 890–902.Google Scholar
  57. Rhodewalt, F., and Morf, C. C. (1995). Self and interpersonal correlates of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory: A review and new findings. J. Res. Pers. 29: 1–23.Google Scholar
  58. Rhodewalt, F., and Morf, C. C. (1998). On self-aggrandizement and anger: A temporal analysis of narcissism and affective reactions to success and failure. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 74: 672–685.Google Scholar
  59. Richters, J. E., and Martinez, P. (1990). Things I Have Seen and Heard: A Structured Interview for Assessing Young Children's Violence Exposure. National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, MD.Google Scholar
  60. Reynolds, C. R., and Kamphaus, R. W. (1992). BASC (Behavioral Assessment System for Children) Manual. American Guidance Service, Circle Pines, MN.Google Scholar
  61. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the Adolescent Self-Image. Princeton University Press, Princeton.Google Scholar
  62. Salmivalli, C. (2001). Feeling good about oneself, being bad to others? Remarks on self-esteem, hostility, and aggressive behavior. Aggress. Violent Behav. 6: 375–393.Google Scholar
  63. Salmivalli, C., Kaukiainen, A., Kaistaniemi, L., and Laerspetz, K. (1999). Self-evaluated self-esteem, peer-evaluated self-esteem and defensive egotism as predictors of adolescents' participation in bullying situations. Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 25: 1268–1278.Google Scholar
  64. Salmivalli, C., and Nieminen, E. (2002). Proactive and reactive aggression among school bullies, victims, and bully-victims. Aggress. Behav. 28: 30–44.Google Scholar
  65. Sampson, R. J. (1993). Urban Black violence: The effect of male joblessness and family disruption. Am. J. Soc. 93: 348–382.Google Scholar
  66. Soyer, R. B., Rovenpor, J. L., Kopelman, R. E., Mullins, L. S., and Watson, P. J. (2001). Further assessment of the construct validity of four measures of narcissism: Replication and extension. J. Psychol. 135: 245–258.Google Scholar
  67. Watson, P. J., and Biderman, M. D. (1993). Narcissistic personality inventory factors, splitting and self-consciousness. J. Pers. Assess. 61: 41–57.Google Scholar
  68. Watson, P. J., Hickman, S. E., and Morris, R. J. (1996). Self-reported narcissism and shame: Testing the defensive self-esteem and continuum hypotheses. Pers. Individ. Dif. 21: 253–259.Google Scholar
  69. Watson, P. J., Hickman, S. E., Morris, R. J., Milliron, J. T., and Whiting, L. (1995). Narcissism, self-esteem, and parental nurturance. J. Psychol. 129: 61-73.Google Scholar
  70. Watson, P. J., and Morris, R. J. (1991). Narcissism, empathy and social desirability. Pers. Individ. Dif. 12: 575–579.Google Scholar
  71. White, K. S., Bruce, S. E., Farrell, A. D., and Kliewer, W. (1998). Impact of exposure to community violence on anxiety: A longitudinal study of family social support as a protective factor for urban children. J. Child Fam. Stud. 7: 187–203.Google Scholar
  72. Wink, P. (1991). Two faces of narcissism. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 61: 590–597.Google Scholar
  73. Wright, F., O'Leary, J., and Balkin, J. (1989). Shame, guilt, narcissism and depression: Correlates and sex differences. Psychoanal. Psychol. 6: 217–230.Google Scholar
  74. Youngstrom, E., Loeber, R., and Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (2000). Patterns and correlates of agreement between parent, teacher, and male adolescent ratings of externalizing and internalizing problems. J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 68: 1038–1050Google Scholar
  75. Zakriski, A. L., and Coie, J. D. (1996). A comparison of aggressive-rejected and nonaggressive-rejected children's interpretations of self-directed and other-directed rejection. Child Dev. 67: 1048–1070.Google Scholar
  76. Zwick, W. R., and Velicer, W. F. (1986). Comparison of five rules for determining the number of components to retain. Psychol. Bull. 99: 432–442.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason J. Washburn
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan D. McMahon
    • 2
  • Cheryl A. King
    • 3
  • Mark A. Reinecke
    • 4
  • Carrie Silver
    • 5
  1. 1.Psycholegal Studies Program, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyDePaul UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan Medical SchoolUSA
  4. 4.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesNorthwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineUSA
  5. 5.Suffolk UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations