Narcissism as a Life Span Construct: Describing Fluctuations Using New Approaches

  • Patrick L. HillEmail author
  • Brent W. Roberts


Personality trait development has been linked to the major life transitions and developmental challenges individuals confront across the life span. This work typically focuses on how people may be encouraged to increase on the dispositional characteristics that promote success during these transitions, such as conscientiousness and emotional stability. The current chapter focuses on employing these same theoretical frameworks for understanding how individuals change on narcissism from adolescence through adulthood, focusing on “normal range” levels of narcissistic traits, rather than clinical manifestations. This chapter explores how individuals may change their dispositions as a result of experiencing the benefits in daily life associated with lower levels of narcissism. In addition, we describe how a socioanalytic approach to personality traits proffers new opportunities for considering how to change narcissism over time, by intervening upon the state-level manifestations of the trait. The chapter concludes by setting forth an agenda for future research, focusing on the need for additional studies that chart the trajectory of narcissism over time, as well as efforts to formally test the potential framework for explaining change in narcissism over time.


Narcissism Personality development Sociogenomic trait intervention model Adult role adoption 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological and Brain SciencesWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of IllinoisUrbana-ChampaignUSA

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