In discussing the etiology of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, faulty parenting or disturbed object relations is a common causal theme in most writings. However, the question remains as to its specificity. In this author's experience, faulty parenting is ubiquitous in all psychological disturbance. This paper postulates that the specific “fault” lies in the caretaker's failure to provide optimal frustrating experiences necessary to enable the child to develop a more realistic self-image. Clinical case examples reveal some common personality characteristics in the parents and parenting styles conducive to the child's development of a narcissistic disorder. A brief, informal comparison is made between these cases and over 100 other cases of poor, “welfare” children who were seen in psychoanalytic treatment by this author.
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Imbesi, L. The Making of a Narcissist. Clinical Social Work Journal 27, 41–54 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022809314267