ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

The present study examined associations between narcissism (total, adaptive, and maladaptive), self-esteem, and externalizing and internalizing problems in 157 non-referred adolescents (aged 14 to 18). Consistent with previous research, narcissism was positively associated with self-reported delinquency, overt aggression, and relational aggression. Maladaptive narcissism showed unique positive associations with aggression and delinquency variables, while adaptive narcissism showed unique negative associations with anxiety symptoms. In general, self-esteem was negatively related to internalizing and externalizing problems. An interaction effect was observed for self-esteem and narcissism in predicting overt aggression. Specifically, at high levels of self-esteem narcissism was significantly associated with overt aggression, whereas it was not at low levels of self-esteem. The current results add to the growing body of research on the role of narcissism in the development of adjustment problems in youth. KeywordsNarcissism–Self-esteem–Aggression–Delinquency–Anxiety–Adolescence
Content may be subject to copyright.
Examining Associations Between Narcissism, Behavior
Problems, and Anxiety in Non-Referred Adolescents
Katherine S. L. Lau Monica A. Marsee
Melissa M. Kunimatsu Gregory M. Fassnacht
ÓSpringer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010
Abstract The present study examined associations between narcissism (total, adaptive,
and maladaptive), self-esteem, and externalizing and internalizing problems in 157 non-
referred adolescents (aged 14 to 18). Consistent with previous research, narcissism was
positively associated with self-reported delinquency, overt aggression, and relational
aggression. Maladaptive narcissism showed unique positive associations with aggression
and delinquency variables, while adaptive narcissism showed unique negative associations
with anxiety symptoms. In general, self-esteem was negatively related to internalizing and
externalizing problems. An interaction effect was observed for self-esteem and narcissism
in predicting overt aggression. Specifically, at high levels of self-esteem narcissism was
significantly associated with overt aggression, whereas it was not at low levels of self-
esteem. The current results add to the growing body of research on the role of narcissism in
the development of adjustment problems in youth.
Keywords Narcissism Self-esteem Aggression Delinquency Anxiety Adolescence
Recent research indicates that narcissism, a personality construct characterized by a
grandiose sense of self, a need for attention and admiration, hypersensitivity to the eval-
uation of others, and a sense of entitlement (American Psychiatric Association 1994), is
K. S. L. Lau M. A. Marsee (&)M. M. Kunimatsu G. M. Fassnacht
Department of Psychology, University of New Orleans, 2001 Geology & Psychology Bldg., New
Orleans, LA 70148, USA
K. S. L. Lau
M. M. Kunimatsu
G. M. Fassnacht
Child Youth Care Forum
DOI 10.1007/s10566-010-9135-1
associated with a host of social-psychological adjustment problems including aggression
(Barry et al. 2009; Washburn et al. 2004), delinquency (Barry et al. 2007a), conduct
problems (Barry et al. 2003), and internalizing symptoms (Washburn et al. 2004) in youth.
Much of this work has been conducted with adolescents who show high rates of behavior
problems or those considered at-risk for future adjustment issues (e.g., Barry et al. 2003,
2007b). However, it is critical to examine associations among narcissism and adjustment
problems in non-referred school-based samples of youth in order to better inform inter-
ventions within school settings.
Researchers generally agree that narcissism is a multidimensional construct (Raskin and
Terry 1988), with evidence for both adaptive (i.e., self-sufficiency, leadership, superiority)
and maladaptive (i.e., exploitativeness, exhibitionism, entitlement) domains. In general,
maladaptive narcissism shows stronger associations with negative outcome variables in
both youth and adults (Barry et al. 2007a,2009; Emmons 1984; Raskin and Terry 1988;
Washburn et al. 2004). For example, in a sample of at-risk youth, Barry et al. (2007a)
found that maladaptive but not adaptive narcissism predicted delinquency at three follow-
up time points. In addition, Golmaryami and Barry (2010) recently found unique associ-
ations between maladaptive narcissism and peer-nominated relational aggression in a
similar sample.
Overall, it seems clear that narcissism plays a role in the manifestation of aggressive and
antisocial behavior in youth, with the maladaptive dimension of the construct showing
some specificity for predicting problems. However, much less is known about the rela-
tionship between narcissism and internalizing problems in youth. The limited available
evidence is mixed. In a study of male adolescent offenders, Calhoun et al. (2000) found
that adaptive narcissism was negatively associated with anxiety, depression, and emotional
problems, while maladaptive narcissism was not associated with these variables. Con-
versely, Washburn et al. (2004) studied students attending schools in a high-crime com-
munity and found that a maladaptive factor representing narcissistic exhibitionism was
positively associated with depression and anxiety, but that an adaptive narcissism factor
was not associated with internalizing symptoms. This was in contrast to their hypothesis
that adaptive narcissism would show a negative association with internalizing problems
similar to that found in Calhoun et al.’s study. Interestingly, neither study included a priori
hypotheses regarding associations between internalizing problems and maladaptive nar-
cissism, which creates difficulty in interpreting the inconsistent findings. Thus, analyses for
the relationship between maladaptive and adaptive narcissism and anxiety are considered
exploratory in the current study.
A final issue to consider when studying narcissism and adjustment problems is the
potential role of self-esteem. Several studies have found interactions between narcissism
and self-esteem in the manifestation of problems among youth (e.g., Barry et al. 2003;
Golmaryami and Barry 2010; Washburn et al. 2004). For example, in a sample of 9 to
15 year old community youth selected to ensure high levels of oppositional defiant disorder
and conduct disorder symptoms, Barry et al. (2003) found that the relation between nar-
cissism and conduct problems was moderated by self-esteem. Specifically, those youth with
high levels of narcissism and low levels of self-esteem exhibited the highest rates of conduct
problem symptoms. Interestingly, Golmaryami and Barry found an interaction between self-
esteem and narcissism in predicting relational aggression, where narcissism was particularly
related to relational aggression for those with high self-esteem. Finally, Washburn et al.
(2004) found an interaction between exploitative (maladaptive) narcissism and self-esteem
in predicting depression and anxiety symptoms, wherein self-esteem was negatively asso-
ciated with internalizing problems only in youth with low levels of exploitative narcissism.
Child Youth Care Forum
Individuals with higher exploitative narcissism scores showed higher levels of internalizing
symptoms regardless of self-esteem. Taken together, these findings seem to suggest that
narcissism and self-esteem both play a role in the manifestation of adjustment problems in
youth. However, due to the mixed nature of these findings it is not clear whether narcissistic
youth show more problems at high or low levels of self-esteem. Further, it is not clear
whether the associations found between narcissism, self-esteem, and adjustment problems
are generalizable to a non-referred, school-based sample of adolescents.
Given previous findings, the current study had several purposes. First, we sought to
examine the roles of narcissism and self-esteem in predicting behavioral problems
(aggression and delinquency) in a non-referred school-based sample of adolescents. Stu-
dent bullying/aggression is one of the most frequently reported discipline problems in
public and private schools internationally (Borntrager et al. 2009; U.S. Department of
Education 2006) and has damaging effects on peer relationships and academic outcomes
for both aggressors and victims (Haynie et al. 2001). Thus, it is critical to examine
potential predictors of such behavior in school-based samples in order to inform inter-
vention efforts within schools. Overall, we expected a positive association between nar-
cissism and the aggression and delinquency variables, and negative association between
self-esteem and these variables. Further, based on results from previous self-report studies
(Barry et al. 2003,2007b), we expected that at low levels of self-esteem, narcissism would
be a better predictor of overt aggression and delinquency than at high levels of self-esteem.
We also attempted to replicate Golmaryami and Barry’s (2010) finding that narcissism was
related to peer-nominated relational aggression at high levels of self-esteem using a self-
report measure of relational aggression. Second, we sought to expand upon the scarce
literature on narcissism and internalizing problems in youth by examining the relationship
between narcissism, self-esteem, and anxiety symptoms. This study also sought to examine
the differential associations between adaptive and maladaptive narcissism and adjustment
problems in youth, with the expectation that maladaptive narcissism would show stronger
associations with self-reported delinquency and aggression than adaptive narcissism.
Exploratory analyses were also conducted to determine whether anxiety was significantly
associated with the maladaptive and adaptive components of narcissism.
Participants were recruited from two public schools in the southern United States. Parental
consent forms were distributed to students enrolled in 9th to 12th grade. Approximately
317 parental consent forms were returned allowing those students to participate in the
study. Of the 317 students with signed consent forms, roughly 140 students were absent,
did not show up, or were preparing for standardized testing during the three data collection
days. The initial study sample was thus composed of 177 participants. However, 20 (11%)
of cases were missing data on more than half of the data points on the main measures of
interest. A Missing Values Analysis (MVA) was conducted in SPSS to examine patterns of
missing values. Based on this analysis it was determined that data for these cases were
missing completely at random, and thus they were deleted from the final analyses. The
resulting sample consisted of 157 youth (62% girls) ranging in age from 14 to 18 years
(M=14.99; SD =1.10). The self-reported ethnicity of the sample was 63% Caucasian,
30% African American, and 7% other.
Child Youth Care Forum
Narcissistic Personality Inventory for Children (NPIC)
The NPIC (Barry et al. 2003) is a downward age extension of the Narcissistic Personality
Inventory (NPI) that has been used in past research with adults (Raskin and Hall 1979).
The NPIC is a 40-item forced-choice self-report inventory. Each item consists of a pair of
statements, and the respondent must choose which statement is more like him- or herself
(e.g., ‘‘I am good at getting other people to do what I want’’ or ‘‘I am not good at getting
other people to do what I want’’). Additional response points (i.e., asking if the chosen
statement is ‘‘sort of true’’ or ‘‘really true’’) were added for the youth measure. The NPI
was developed primarily for use in nonclinical populations of adults (Raskin and Hall
1979), and its construct validity has been supported in numerous previous studies (e.g.,
Emmons 1984; Raskin and Terry 1988; Watson and Biderman 1993). Previous studies
show that the NPIC consists of items that assess both adaptive and maladaptive narcissism
(Barry et al. 2003,2007a). Internal consistency has been shown to be good for the overall
narcissism scale (Barry et al. 2003). Further, previous research has shown that youth who
score high on the NPIC are likely to exhibit conduct problems, aggression (Barry et al.
2003), and later delinquent behavior (Barry et al. 2007a). The total NPIC score had good
internal consistency in the current study (Cronbach’s alpha =.87). Internal consistency
was relatively lower for the maladaptive (Cronbach’s alpha =.67) and adaptive com-
posites (Cronbach’s alpha =.60).
Peer Conflict Scale (PCS)
The PCS (Marsee and Frick 2007) is a 40-item self-report measure including 20 items
assessing overt aggression (both reactive overt: ‘‘When someone hurts me, I end up getting
into a fight’’ and proactive overt: ‘‘I start fights to get what I want’’) and 20 items assessing
relational aggression (both reactive relational: ‘‘If others make me mad, I tell their secrets’’
and proactive relational: ‘‘I gossip about others to become popular’’). Items are rated on a
4-point scale (0 =‘not at all true,’’ 1 =‘somewhat true,’ 2 =‘very true,’’ and
3=‘definitely true’’) and scores are calculated by summing the items to create either total
reactive, total proactive, total overt, or total relational scales (range 0–60). Research
supports the distinction between the reactive and proactive scales as well as the relational
and overt scales, in that they show associations with expected emotional and cognitive
correlates (Marsee and Frick 2007) as well as narcissism and delinquency (Barry et al.
2007b) in adolescent samples. For the purposes of the current study, scores for total
relational and total overt aggression were used. Previous research supports the internal
consistency of these scales in at-risk (Barry et al. 2007b) and detained adolescents (Marsee
and Frick 2007). The scales demonstrated good internal consistency in the current study
(Cronbach’s alpha: total relational =.87; total overt =.88).
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSE)
The RSE (Rosenberg 1965) is a 10-item self-report questionnaire that asks participants to
indicate on a 4-point scale how much they agree or disagree with statements about their
self-worth (0 =strongly agree, 1 =agree, 2 =disagree, 3 =strongly disagree). The
statements contain both positive and negative evaluations (e.g., ‘‘I take a positive attitude
toward myself,’’ ‘‘At times I think I am no good at all’’). The possible range of RSE scores
Child Youth Care Forum
is 0 to 30, with higher scores indicating higher levels of self-esteem. The RSE has dem-
onstrated good internal consistency in past research with adolescents and has shown
associations with narcissism and externalizing problems (Barry et al. 2009; Donnellan
et al. 2005). The internal consistency of the RSE was good (Cronbach’s alpha =.83) in the
current study.
Self-Report of Delinquency (SRD)
The SRD (Elliott and Ageton 1980) is a 46-item self-report measure that assesses 36 illegal
juvenile acts. It was developed from a list of offenses reported in the Uniform Crime
Report with a juvenile base rate of greater than 1% (Elliott and Huizinga 1984). For each
delinquent act, the youth is asked (a) whether or not he or she has ever engaged in the
particular problem behaviors, (b) the number of times he or she engaged in the behavior,
(c) the age in which he or she first engaged the behavior, and (d) whether or not he or she
has friends who have engaged in the behavior. The remaining 10 items assess the arrest
history of the youth’s immediate family. Krueger et al. (1994) reported significant corre-
lations between the SRD and informant report of delinquency (i.e., friends or family who
reported on youth’s antisocial behavior during the past 12 months) (r=.48, p\.01),
police contacts (r=.42, p\.01), and court convictions (r=.36, p\.01). For the pur-
poses of the current study, a total delinquency score was created by summing the number
of delinquent acts (with a possible range of 0–19) committed while omitting questions
relating to sexual behavior, nonviolent delinquency, drug use, and family history items
(Cronbach’s alpha =.83).
The Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scales (RCADS)
The RCADS (Spence 1997)is a 47-item instrument that assesses anxiety and depression
symptoms based on DSM-IV criteria (American Psychiatric Association 1994). Respon-
dents are asked to circle an answer corresponding to how often each symptom happens to
them on a 4-point scale (i.e., ‘‘Never,’’ ‘‘Sometimes,’’ ‘‘Often,’’ or ‘‘Always’’). The
RCADS is an adaptation of the Spence Anxiety Scales (Spence 1997). The scale has good
internal consistency (coefficient alpha =.93) and cross-informant (r=.27) and conver-
gent validity (r=.60) in previous research (Weems et al. 2007). For the purposes of the
current study, a 24-item anxiety scale was used, with items measuring depression, sepa-
ration anxiety, and obsessive–compulsive disorder omitted (Cronbach’s alpha =.94).
All procedures were approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the university
prior to data collection. Participants were assessed in groups during their free period at
school. Prior to beginning the questionnaire packet, the procedures of the study were
explained to the students and they were asked if they would like to participate. It was also
explained to the students that they could withdraw at any time. Participants were asked to
sign an assent form on the front page of the questionnaire packet, then to remove the page
and use it to cover their answers as they completed the packet.
As part of a larger battery, participants completed the Peer Conflict Scale (Marsee and
Frick 2007), the Narcissistic Personality Inventory for Children (Barry et al. 2003), the
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg 1965), the Self-Report of Delinquency scale
Child Youth Care Forum
(Elliott and Ageton 1980), and the Revised Child Anxiety and Depression scale (Spence
1997). Instructions for completing the questionnaires were read aloud to the participants.
The assessment sessions lasted from 60 to 90 min. Students completed questionnaire
packets in one session, and data were collected over 3 separate sessions between
December, 2006 and March, 2007. After completing the questionnaire packets, each stu-
dent received a coupon redeemable at a fast food restaurant for a free snack.
Descriptive statistics and correlations for the main study variables are provided in Table 1.
Males (M=4.49, SD =4.23) reported significantly higher levels of delinquency than
females (M=3.16, SD =2.87), t(90.1) =2.14, p\.05, whereas females (M=28.00,
SD =15.58) reported significantly higher levels of anxiety than males (M=22.16,
SD =13.51), t(135.88) =-2.48, p\.05. Narcissism was positively correlated with self-
esteem (r=.35), delinquency (r=.30), overt aggression (r=.28), and relational
aggression (r=.37), all ps \.001. Self-esteem was negatively correlated with delin-
quency (r=-.20, p\.01), and anxiety (r=-.46, p\.001). Both maladaptive and
adaptive narcissism were positively associated with delinquency (r=.38, p\.001 and,
r=.22, p\.01, respectively), overt aggression (r=.35, p\.001 and, r=.23, p\.01,
respectively), relational aggression (r=.43, p\.001 and, r=.23, p\.01, respectively),
and self-esteem (r=.17, p\.05 and, r=.35, p\.001, respectively). Narcissism (total,
maladaptive, and adaptive) was not significantly correlated with anxiety at the bivariate
level (see Table 1).
Partial correlations were conducted on the adaptive and maladaptive composites of
narcissism to determine whether they showed unique associations with the dependent
variables. After controlling for maladaptive narcissism, the associations between adaptive
narcissism and delinquency (pr =-.07), overt aggression (pr =-.01) and relational
aggression (pr =-.09) were no longer significant. However, the association between
maladaptive narcissism and delinquency (pr =.33, p\.01), overt aggression (pr =.27,
p\.01) and relational aggression (pr =.38, p\.01), were still significant after con-
trolling for adaptive narcissism. The pattern of results was opposite for anxiety: after
controlling for maladaptive narcissism, anxiety was significantly negatively associated
with adaptive narcissism (r=-.18, p\.05), but after controlling for adaptive narcissism,
anxiety did not remain significantly associated with maladaptive narcissism.
A series of regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationships between
narcissism, self-esteem, and the externalizing and internalizing variables. Regression
analyses were conducted separately for the total narcissism scale, the maladaptive scale,
and the adaptive scale (see Table 2). To avoid collinearity and to create the interaction
terms, narcissism (total, maladaptive, and adaptive scales) and self-esteem were centered
by subtracting the means of the two variables from their respective scores (Jaccard and
Turrisi 2003). The centered variables were then multiplied with each other to create the
interaction term. Narcissism variables and self-esteem were entered on the first step and
their interaction term was entered on the second step with the delinquency, aggression, and
anxiety variables as the criterion variables.
There was a significant positive main effect for total narcissism predicting delinquency
(b=.42, t=5.27, p\.001), overt aggression (b=.32, t=4.19, p\.001), and rela-
tional aggression (b=.41, t=5.18, p\.001) and a significant negative main effect for
self-esteem predicting delinquency (b=-.33, t=-4.16, p\.001), overt aggression
Child Youth Care Forum
Table 1 Correlations, means, and standard deviations of main study variables
12345678MSDMin Max
1. Gender ––––
2. Total Narcissism -.06 54.84 16.53 21 110
3. Adaptive -.10 .87*** 20.76 6.92 3 38
4. Maladaptive -.02 .90*** .68*** 22.36 7.57 4 50
5. Self-esteem -.05 .35*** .35*** .17* 20.12 5.43 6 30
6. Delinquency -.19* .30*** .22** .38*** -.20** 3.63 3.49 0 14
7. Overt Aggression -.05 .28*** .23** .35*** -.12 .53*** 7.45 7.89 0 36
8. Relational Aggression .14 .37*** .23** .43*** -.02 .27*** .63*** 5.67 6.39 0 41
9. Anxiety .19* -.11 -.13 .01 -.46*** .23** .21** .21** 25.67 15.07 0 72
N=157; Gender coded as 0 =male, 1 =female
*p\.05, ** p\.01, *** p\.001
Child Youth Care Forum
(b=-.24, t=-3.15, p\.01), relational aggression (b=-.18, t=-2.34, p\.05),
and anxiety (b=-.49, t=-6.50, p\.001). In addition, the interaction for narcissism
and self-esteem in predicting overt aggression was significant (b=.30, t=4.23,
p\.001). There was a trend toward a significant interaction for narcissism and self-esteem
in predicting relational aggression (b=.14, t=1.90, p=.060) and anxiety (b=.14,
t=1.93, p=.056).
To further investigate the significant interaction of narcissism and self-esteem in pre-
dicting overt aggression and to examine the pattern of associations for the nonsignificant
interactions of narcissism and self-esteem in predicting relational aggression and anxiety,
post hoc probing, as suggested by Holmbeck (2002) was conducted. Two new conditional
moderator variables were created, high self-esteem (1 SD above the mean) and low self-
esteem (1 SD below the mean). Two new interaction terms that incorporated these con-
ditional variables were also created, high self-esteem by narcissism and low self-esteem by
narcissism. Finally, six additional regression analyses were conducted, three with high self-
esteem, narcissism, and their interaction as predictors of the three dependent variables and
three with low self-esteem, narcissism, and their interaction as predictors. Results indicated
Table 2 Narcissism and self-esteem as predictors of internalizing and externalizing problems
Model 1
Step 1 Narcissism .41*** .38*** .43*** .10
Self-esteem -.32*** -.27** -.20* -.50***
.00 .09*** .02 .02
Step 2 Narcissism .42*** .32*** .41*** .07
Self-esteem -.33*** -.24** -.18* -.49***
Narcissism X Self-esteem -.02 .30*** .14 .14
.18 .23 .19 .25
Model 2
Step 1 Maladaptive Narcissism .43*** .38*** .45*** .09
Self-esteem -.25** -.20** -.12 -.48***
.00 .10*** .02* .02
Step 2 Maladaptive Narcissism .42*** .31*** .41*** .06
Self-esteem -.25** -.22** -.13 -.49***
Maladaptive X Self-esteem .01 .32*** .16* .13
.21 .26 .22 .24
Model 3
Step 1 Adaptive Narcissism .32*** .32*** .28** .04
Self-esteem -.29*** -.25** -.14 -.48***
.00 .07*** .02 .02*
Step 2 Adaptive Narcissism .32*** .34*** .29** .05
Self-esteem -.29*** -.25** -.14 -.48***
Adaptive X Self-esteem -.04 .26*** .13 .14*
.12 .18 .09 .24
Values are standardized betas. DEL =delinquency; OVT =overt aggression; REL =relational aggres-
sion; ANX =anxiety
*p\.05, ** p\.01, *** p\.001
Child Youth Care Forum
that at high self-esteem narcissism was significantly associated with overt aggression
(b=.60, t=6.50, p\.001) but not at low self-esteem (b=.04, t=0.35, p=.728).
Though the initial narcissism by self-esteem interactions were not significant for relational
aggression and anxiety, the pattern of results indicated that narcissism was associated with
relational aggression at both high (b=.54, t=5.63, p\.001) and low (b=.28,
t=2.46, p\.05) self-esteem, and that narcissism was associated with anxiety at high
self-esteem (b=.20, t=2.19, p\.05) but not low (b=-.05, t=-0.50, p=.619).
The regression analyses conducted using the maladaptive and adaptive composites
showed a similar pattern of results as those using the total narcissism scale (see Table 2).
Specifically, there were significant positive main effects for both maladaptive and adaptive
narcissism in predicting delinquency, overt aggression, and relational aggression. There
were significant negative main effects for self-esteem in predicting delinquency, overt
aggression, and anxiety, and though not significant, the betas for self-esteem in predicting
relational aggression were moderate and in the expected direction (see Table 2). There
were significant maladaptive narcissism by self-esteem interactions in predicting both
overt and relational aggression. When decomposed in the manner described above, the
pattern of associations was similar to those using the total narcissism score (i.e., at high
self-esteem, b=.61, t=6.98, p\.001, but not low, b=.00, t=0.02, p=.987, mal-
adaptive narcissism was significantly associated with overt aggression; at both high,
b=.56, t=6.21, p\.001, and low levels of self-esteem, b=.26, t=2.27, p\.05,
maladaptive narcissism was significantly associated with relational aggression). There was
a significant adaptive narcissism by self-esteem interaction in predicting overt aggression
(Table 2), with adaptive narcissism predicting overt aggression at high self-esteem
(b=.57, t=5.44, p\.001) but not at low self-esteem (b=.10, t=1.04, p=.298).
Finally, there was a significant adaptive narcissism by self-esteem interaction in predicting
anxiety (Table 2), where adaptive narcissism was positively (but not significantly) asso-
ciated with anxiety at high self-esteem (b=.18, t=1.75, p=.082) but not at low
(b=-.07, t=-0.78, p=.439). The pattern of results was similar for the nonsignificant
interaction for maladaptive narcissism and self-esteem (see Table 2), where maladaptive
narcissism was associated with anxiety at high self-esteem (b=.18, t=2.02, p\.05) but
not at low (b=-.06, t=-0.57, p=.572).
Based on previous research (Barry et al. 2003,2007b), gender was entered into the
regression models to examine whether it moderated the associations between narcissism
(total, maladaptive, adaptive) and the dependent variables. Analyses for total narcissism
resulted in a significant negative main effect for gender in predicting delinquency (b=-.19,
t=-2.52, p\.05) and a significant positive main effect for gender in predicting anxiety
(b=.16, t=2.16, p\.05) and no significant gender interactions. For the maladaptive and
adaptive analyses, results showed no significant main effects for gender and no significant
gender interactions.
The results of the present study support the hypothesis that narcissism is positively
associated with delinquency and aggression (both overt and relational) in non-referred
adolescent youth. These findings replicate the results of previous research (Barry et al.
2009,2007b) with at-risk adolescents and suggest that narcissism may be an important
variable to consider in the manifestation of problem behavior not only in high-risk youth,
but also in non-referred, school-based samples of youth.
Child Youth Care Forum
The current results are also consistent with past research showing that the maladaptive
dimensions of narcissism (i.e., exploitativeness, exhibitionism, entitlement) show stronger
associations with externalizing problems than the adaptive components of narcissism (i.e.,
self-sufficiency, leadership, superiority) (Barry et al. 2007a; Washburn et al. 2004). In
particular, this study found that maladaptive narcissism was positively associated with self-
reported delinquency, overt aggression, and relational aggression, even after controlling for
adaptive narcissism. These findings suggest that maladaptive narcissism is related to a wide
range of antisocial and aggressive behaviors among youth and provide further support for
the multidimensional nature of the narcissism construct. Further, the current results support
the generalizability of these associations to a non-referred school-based sample of
Contrary to previous research in an inner-city school sample (Washburn et al. 2004),
anxiety was not significantly associated with maladaptive narcissism in this study. This
finding makes sense when considering that many youth who experience anxiety problems
are also socially withdrawn (Rubin et al. 2009), and thus may spend much of their time
avoiding social activities within their peer groups. Thus, it seems less likely that anxious
youth would endorse items related to exhibitionism (e.g., ‘‘I like to be the center of
attention’’), exploitativeness (e.g., ‘‘I can make anybody believe anything I want them to’’),
or entitlement (e.g., ‘‘I expect to get a lot from other people’’), as these characteristics
center on involvement in and/or manipulation of a social group. More research is needed to
determine whether this is the case or whether, as Washburn et al. (2004) proposed, certain
maladaptive narcissistic strategies fulfill a need for attention while at the same time cre-
ating embarrassment (and hence, increases in internalizing symptoms).
Interestingly, after controlling for maladaptive narcissism, self-reported anxiety
symptoms in this study were significantly negatively associated with adaptive narcissism.
This finding is consistent with Calhoun et al. (2000), who found that adaptive narcissism,
specifically the Authority/Superiority component, was significantly negatively associated
with self-reported anxiety and depression symptoms in a sample of male adolescent
offenders. These findings fit with the idea that youth with higher levels of adaptive nar-
cissism (e.g., leadership, self-sufficiency) may show greater social competence with peers,
which has been linked to lower levels of anxiety (Obradovic
´et al. 2010). While to our
knowledge research has not examined associations between adaptive narcissism and social
competence in youth, adult research has shown that some of the adaptive aspects of
narcissism (e.g., authority, self-sufficiency) are associated with positive social character-
istics such as sociability and self-confidence (Raskin and Terry 1988).
One goal of this study was to examine the role of self-esteem in the association between
narcissism and adjustment problems (i.e., self-reported delinquency, aggressive behavior,
and anxiety) in a non-referred, non-selected sample of high school students. Our results
both replicate and extend previous research. Generally consistent with previous research
(Barry et al. 2009,2007b; Donnellan et al. 2005), we found significant main effects for
narcissism in predicting delinquency, relational aggression, and overt aggression, as well
as significant negative main effects for self-esteem in the prediction of these variables (see
Table 2). Further, this analysis resulted in a significant interaction effect for narcissism and
self-esteem in predicting overt aggression.
Contrary to our hypothesis and to previous research (Barry et al. 2003,2007b), our
analysis of the significant interaction revealed that among youth with high self-esteem,
narcissism was significantly associated with overt aggression, whereas it was not associ-
ated with aggression among youth with low self-esteem. This pattern was the same for
analyses using the maladaptive and adaptive composites as predictors. Overall these results
Child Youth Care Forum
suggest that high self-esteem may be influential in narcissistic youths’ engagement in
aggressive acts and are in contrast to findings suggesting that it is the combination of low
self-esteem and narcissism that predicts negative outcomes (Barry et al. 2003). This dis-
crepancy may be due to a number of differences between the current study and Barry et al.’s
study. First, Barry et al.’s sample was selected to ensure high rates of disruptive behavior
problems, whereas the current sample consisted of non-selected high school students.
Previous longitudinal research supports a developmental link between low self-esteem and
later antisocial behavior in youth as reported by parents and teachers (Donnellan et al.
2005). Thus, it may be that high-risk samples of youth (such as Barry et al.’s sample) have
overall lower self-esteem to begin with.
Levels of self-esteem may also have been differentially related to the outcome measures
used in the two studies (conduct problem symptoms, Barry et al. 2003; overt aggression
towards peers, current study). That is, low self-esteem may be a better predictor of severe
antisocial and disruptive behavior that includes both covert (e.g., conning others, stealing)
and overt (e.g., cruelty to people and animals) acts, whereas high self-esteem may show
stronger associations with peer-related physical and verbal aggression, especially when
combined with the need for approval from and sensitivity to the opinions of others (i.e.,
narcissism). Although the interaction between narcissism and self-esteem in the current
study was not significant in predicting delinquency, the correlational results seem to
support this idea, as low self-esteem was significantly correlated with delinquent behavior
but not peer-related aggressive behavior. It is possible that these differential associations
represent relatively distinct developmental pathways to problem behavior, such that nar-
cissistic youth with low self-esteem show greater severity and variety of behavioral
problems compared to narcissistic youth with high self-esteem.
Though the interaction did not reach statistical significance and thus should be inter-
preted with caution, the pattern of results for relational aggression showed that at both high
and low levels of self-esteem, narcissism (both total and maladaptive) was associated with
relational aggression. This is partially consistent with Golmaryami and Barry (2010), who
found that narcissism was related to peer-nominated relational aggression for at-risk youth
with high self-esteem. However, our findings suggest that narcissistic youth may engage in
relational aggression regardless of their level of self-esteem. Given the socially manipu-
lative aspects of relational aggression and the fact that many times it can be carried out
without confrontation (Lagerspetz et al. 1988), it makes sense that narcissistic youth may
choose to engage in this type of behavior as a means of harming another while attempting
to protect their own status within the peer group. Further, different mechanisms may be
driving the relationally aggressive behavior of narcissistic youth with high versus low self-
esteem. As Golmaryami and Barry suggested, some youth may perceive the manipulation
of peers as rewarding and thus the successful use of this type of behavior may increase self-
esteem (or vice versa). On the other hand, youth with low self-esteem may feel particularly
vulnerable within the social group and may utilize relational aggression because they
perceive it as less likely to result in retaliation.
Similar to analyses for aggression, the pattern of results for anxiety showed that at high
levels of self-esteem but not low, narcissism (total and maladaptive) was associated with
anxiety symptoms. This finding is interesting given the lack of association between total
and maladaptive narcissism and anxiety at the bivariate level and suggests that the asso-
ciation between these variables may differ as a function of self-esteem. As Washburn et al.
(2004) suggest, narcissism may essentially be ‘‘washing out’’ the protective effect of high
self-esteem on the manifestation of internalizing problems. However, given the lack of
significance and the exploratory nature of these analyses, these findings should be
Child Youth Care Forum
interpreted with caution. Additional research is necessary to determine whether self-esteem
actually moderates the association between narcissism and anxiety.
The current results should be considered in the context of several study limitations.
First, the rate of participation in the study was relatively low and could affect the gener-
alizability of the results. Also, the cross-sectional nature of the data prevents causal or
temporal interpretations regarding the associations among narcissism, self-esteem, and
adjustment variables. While we found that at high self-esteem, narcissism in youth was
associated with acts of physical and verbal aggression (and to some extent relational
aggression) against peers, the current correlational data prevent us from establishing a
causal chain of events. It is certainly plausible that some youth in our study may have
shown higher levels of aggression towards peers to begin with, and the rate of success for
their aggressive acts may have served to reinforce feelings of superiority over others, thus
increasing their self-esteem. Future research should examine these questions longitudinally
to determine the sequential relations among these variables.
All variables in the current study were assessed via self-report, which may have arti-
ficially inflated associations among variables due to shared method variance. However, due
to the intrapersonal nature of the narcissism and self-esteem constructs, it is thought that
self-report may be the best method for accurately assessing them. Nevertheless, it is
important for future studies to examine these questions using multiple informant reports,
especially for the aggression and delinquency outcome variables. For example, results may
be greatly enhanced with the addition of parent and teacher reports of aggression and
police reports detailing delinquent activity.
Consistent with previous research (Barry et al. 2007b), an additional limitation to the
current study was the relatively low internal consistency estimates for the maladaptive and
adaptive components of the NPIC. Despite this low internal consistency, the maladaptive
and adaptive narcissism scales are associated with theoretically important differential
correlates in past research (e.g., Barry et al. 2007a,b) and in the current study. However,
further refinement of the NPIC maladaptive and adaptive composite scales may be needed
in order to reliably assess these components.
Despite these limitations, the results from the current study add to the growing body of
research on the role of narcissism in the manifestation of adjustment problems in youth.
Our results suggest that the measurement of narcissism may be useful in understanding
both externalizing and internalizing symptoms in youth, with the maladaptive and adaptive
composites showing some specificity in predicting outcomes. While our current results
cannot resolve the question of whether low self-esteem or high self-esteem (in combination
with narcissism) is a better predictor of negative outcomes, our findings do support pre-
vious researchers’ assertions that narcissism and self-esteem are best considered as sepa-
rate constructs (Donnellan et al. 2005), as they show differential associations with
adjustment problems. When considering the interaction between the two constructs, results
showed that at high levels of self-esteem narcissism was associated with peer-related
aggression. As suggested by Barry et al. (2007b), this may be due to developmental shifts
in the relation between narcissism and self-esteem from childhood to adolescence, such
that positive associations between the two become evident as youth get older and begin to
internalize positive self-views. Or, as mentioned previously, differential relations between
narcissism, self-esteem, and negative behavior may represent unique developmental tra-
jectories. Answering these questions will require longitudinal analysis of traits and
behavior patterns beginning in early childhood and spanning into late adolescence.
Research to this end has the potential to significantly add to our understanding of the
development and manifestation of externalizing and internalizing problems in youth.
Child Youth Care Forum
American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.).
Washington, DC: Author.
Barry, C. T., Frick, P. J., Adler, K. K., & Grafeman, S. J. (2007a). The predictive utility of narcissism among
children and adolescents: Evidence for a distinction between adaptive and maladaptive narcissism.
Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16, 508–521.
Barry, C. T., Frick, P. J., & Killian, A. L. (2003). The relation of narcissism and self-esteem to conduct
problems in children: A preliminary investigation. Journal of Clinical and Child and Adolescent
Psychology, 32, 139–152.
Barry, C. T., Grafeman, S. J., Adler, K. K., & Pickard, J. D. (2007b). The relations among narcissism, self-
esteem, and delinquency in a sample of at-risk adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 933–942.
Barry, C. T., Pickard, J. D., & Ansel, L. L. (2009). The associations of adolescent invulnerability and
narcissism with problem behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 577–582.
Borntrager, C., Davis, J. L., Bernstein, A., & Gorman, H. (2009). A cross-national perspective on bullying.
Child & Youth Care Forum, 38, 121–134. doi:10.1007/s10566-009-9071-0.
Calhoun, G. B., Glaser, B. A., Stefurak, T., & Bradshaw, C. P. (2000). Preliminary validation of the
narcissistic personality inventory-juvenile offender. International Journal of Offender Therapy and
Comparative Criminology, 44, 564–580.
Donnellan, M. B., Trzesniewski, K. H., Robins, R. W., Moffitt, T. E., & Caspi, A. (2005). Low self-esteem is
related to aggression, antisocial behavior, and delinquency. Psychological Science, 16, 328–335.
Elliott, D. S., & Ageton, S. S. (1980). Reconciling race and class differences in self-reported and official
estimates of delinquency. American Sociological Review, 45, 95–110.
Elliott, D. S., & Huizinga, D. (1984). The relationship between delinquent behavior and ADM problems.
Boulder, CO: Behavioral Research Institute.
Emmons, R. A. (1984). Factor analysis and construct validation of the narcissistic personality inventory.
Journal of Personality Assessment, 48, 291–300.
Golmaryami, F. N., & Barry, C. T. (2010). The associations of self-reported and peer-reported relational
aggression with narcissism and self-esteem among adolescents in a residential setting. Journal of
Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39, 128–133.
Haynie, D. L., Nansel, T., Eitel, P., Crump, A. D., Saylor, K., Yu, K., et al. (2001). Bullies, victims, and
bully/victims: Distinct groups of at-risk youth. Journal of Early Adolescence, 21, 29–49.
Holmbeck, G. N. (2002). Post-hoc probing of significant moderational and meditational effects in studies of
pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 87–96.
Jaccard, J., & Turrisi, R. (2003). Interaction effects in multiple regression. Newbury Park: Sage.
Krueger, R. F., Schmutte, P. S., Caspi, A., Moffitt, T. E., Campbell, K., & Silva, P. A. (1994). Personality
traits are linked to crime among men and women: Evidence from a birth cohort. Journal of Abnormal
Psychology, 103, 328–338.
Lagerspetz, K. M. J., Bjo
¨rkqvist, K., & Peltonen, T. (1988). Is indirect aggression typical of females?
Gender differences in aggressiveness in 11-to 12-year-old children. Aggressive Behavior, 14, 403–414.
Marsee, M. A., & Frick, P. J. (2007). Exploring the cognitive and emotional correlates to proactive and
reactive aggression in a sample of detained girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 35, 969–981.
´, J., Burt, K. B., & Masten, A. S. (2010). Testing a dual cascade model linking competence and
symptoms over 20 years from childhood to adulthood. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent
Psychology, 39, 90–102.
Raskin, R. N., & Hall, C. S. (1979). A narcissistic personality inventory. Psychological Reports, 45, 590.
Raskin, R. N., & Terry, H. (1988). A principal components analysis of the narcissistic personality inventory
and further evidence of its construct validity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54,
Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Rubin, K. H., Coplan, R. J., & Bowker, J. C. (2009). Social withdrawal in childhood. Annual Review of
Psychology, 60, 141–171.
Spence, S. H. (1997). Structure of anxiety symptoms among children: A confirmatory factor analytic study.
Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 106, 280–297.
U.S. Department of Education. (2006). National Center for Education Statistics: 200506 School Survey on
Crime and Safety (SSOCS). Retrieved from
Washburn, J. J., McMahon, S. D., King, C. A., Reinecke, M. A., & Silver, C. (2004). Narcissistic features in
young adolescents: Relations to aggression and internalizing symptoms. Journal of Youth and Ado-
lescence, 33, 247–260.
Child Youth Care Forum
Watson, P. J., & Biderman, M. D. (1993). Narcissistic personality inventory factors, splitting, and self-
consciousness. Journal of Personality Assessment, 61, 41–57.
Weems, C. F., Costa, N. M., Watts, S. E., Taylor, L. K., & Cannon, M. F. (2007). Cognitive errors, anxiety
sensitivity and anxiety control beliefs: Their unique and specific associations with childhood anxiety
symptoms. Behavior Modification, 31, 174–201.
Child Youth Care Forum
... Study shows that children engage in relational aggression since 3 years old and this behaviour increases in middle childhood (Murray-Close et al., 2010;Cooley & Fite, 2015;Kamper & Ostrov, 2013). Then, relational aggression continues to show during adolescence and adulthood in peer and romantic relationships (Lau et al., 2010;Rose & Swenson, 2009;Leadbeater et al., 2006). ...
Despite of the growing research on violent crime locally and globally, there is still a lack of a local aggression instrument in Malaysia (Abdullah et al., 2015; Ghazali & Munusamy, 2020). The objective of this study was to develop a psychometrically sound and theoretically based measure with the 3 components of aggression based on the Frustration Aggression Model. The initial 60 items of the Adult Aggressive Behaviour Scale (AABS) consists of the physical, verbal and relational components. The items were constructed based on the aggression behavior of the multiracial culture in Malaysia. The AABS was administered to a sample of 117 adults in Malaysia. Quantitative item analyses were used to eliminate and revise items. Items with corrected item-total correlations lower than .3 were eliminated. The remaining items were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis constraining the process to three factors. Preliminary evidences showed that the AABS has good internal reliability and construct validity.
... Our results are in line with all previous studies that relate GD traits with greater transgression, unprovoked aggression and lower neuroticism (Salekin, 2017). As has already been observed, this highlights the unique association between GD traits and aggressive or delinquent behavior, where GD traits have shown a stronger relationship than CU traits (Lau et al., 2011;Lau & Marsee, 2013). ...
Full-text available
The Child Problematic Traits Inventory (CPTI) is a relatively new tool for measuring psychopathic traits in early development mainly applied in community samples. The main purpose of the present study was to provide further validation of the parents’ version of the CPTI in the Spanish context. In a first phase, the study examined (a) the factor structure and the invariance across gender, (b) the internal consistency, and (c) the convergent and divergent validity of the CPTI in a community sample of 1,387 children (48.1% girls) aged 5–12 years (M = 8.27; SD = 2.17). In a second phase, the study tested the capacity of the CPTI to discriminate between normal and two clinical conditions (i.e., externalizing versus other psychopathological problems) in a subsample of 678 at-risk children (46.2% girls), aged 5–12 years (M = 8.38; SD = 2.25), preselected according to psychiatric measures and clinical judgment. The Spanish parent version of the CPTI confirmed a three-factor structure, being invariant across gender, with an adequate internal consistency, and a consistent relationship with delinquent and aggressive behavior. The associations with external variables differed according to each CPTI dimension. In addition, the CPTI discriminated children at risk for externalizing disorders from children with other psychopathology conditions (internalizing and learning disorders) and from healthy children. In sum, the CPTI holds up as a promising measure to assess psychopathic traits in childhood from a multidimensional perspective and, therefore, would open new ways to study diverse etiological pathways leading to the development of psychopathy in children.
... For the individual trajectories of narcissistic personality traits, lower anxiety and higher frustration significantly differentiated membership in the high increasing group from the low decreasing group, and lower anxiety significantly differentiated membership in the moderate stable group from the low decreasing group. Our findings with anxiety have previously been supported and indicate that children who are less worried about, sensitive to, or fearful of others can be higher on narcissism [e.g., (72,73)]. The finding with frustration has been supported in evidence linking characteristics of adolescent psychopathy, a correlate of narcissism, with lower agreeableness [e.g., (32,74,75)]. ...
Full-text available
Objectives: Although there is some evidence on the longitudinal associations between bullying perpetration and narcissistic personality traits, their joint developmental trajectories across early to late adolescence are largely unknown. Accordingly, we examined the co-development of bullying perpetration and narcissistic personality traits across adolescence and examined the childhood predictors of these joint trajectories. Method: Self-reports of bullying and narcissistic personality traits were assessed across 6 years of adolescence from Grade 7 (i.e., age 13) to Grade 12 (i.e., age 18) in a sample of 616 Canadian adolescents and childhood predictors were assessed in Grades 5 and 6. Results: As predicted, latent class growth analyses demonstrated that most adolescents were reflected in a trajectory of low decreasing bullying (82.0%) and a smaller group followed a moderate stable trajectory of bullying (18.0%). The majority of adolescents followed a moderate stable trajectory of narcissistic traits (56.3%), followed by a high increasing trajectory of narcissistic traits (22.8%), and a low decreasing trajectory of narcissistic traits (20.9%). Six percent of adolescents followed a high-risk dual trajectory of moderate stable bullying and high increasing narcissistic traits (high-risk group). Also as predicted, higher hyperactivity, higher frustration, and lower anxiety in childhood differentiated the high-risk group from a low-risk group (low decreasing bullying and low decreasing narcissistic traits; 19.0%). Higher childhood hyperactivity also differentiated a group of adolescents who followed a trajectory of moderate stable bullying and moderate stable narcissistic traits (10.0%) from the low-risk group. Results showed that moderate stable bullying was a better indicator of high increasing and moderate stable trajectories of narcissistic personality traits than the reverse. Conclusions: Findings suggest adolescence is a time when personality and bullying reflect dynamic and heterogeneous development. Early intervention of childhood risk factors may help prevent a high-risk developmental course of bullying and narcissistic personality traits across adolescence.
... Limitations also exist with self-report assessment with their critics highlighting dangers associated with their psychometric properties (i.e., reliability), response distortions, method variance and monomethod bias and youth's tendency to under-report aggressive behavior (Lau, Marsee, Kunimatsu, & Fassnacht, 2011) or to respond in a socially desirable manner (Lansford et al., 2012). In this research all the measures were derived from a single reporter, and therefore were subject to mono-informant biases. ...
Background: Limited research has confirmed the effects of adolescents' interactions with parents on adolescents' engagement in relational aggression. Youth reporting insecure attachment with parents are more likely to be involved in Relational aggression, while the positive association of Relational aggression with emotions such as friendship jealousy and anxiety are well-documented. However, little is known about the longitudinal association between parental attachment and Relational aggression. Objective: The current study expands upon previous research by investigating the short-term longitudinal associations between father and mother attachment (i.e., dependency, availability) and relational aggression, with friendship jealousy and anxiety as potential mediators of this association based on the theoretical framework of General Aggression Model. Participants: The sample consisted of 2207 Greek adolescents (52.8 % girls) attending the three junior high school grades. Methods: Participants completed a self-report questionnaire at two different time points with a six-month interval during the school year. Results: Results showed that that higher T1 father dependency (β = 0.14) and availability (β = 0.11), and lower mother dependency (β = -0.12) and availability (β = -0.11) were associated with higher relational aggression at T2. Further, the effects of T1 father availability (β = - 0.02), mother availability (β = -0.04), mother dependency (β = -0.03) to T2 relational aggression through friendship jealousy were significant. Finally, the effects of T1 father availability (β = -0.03), father dependency (β = -0.02), mother availability (β = -0.03), mother dependency (β = -0.02) to T2 relational aggression via anxiety were also significant. Conclusions: These findings provide an understanding of the relational aggression during adolescence by emphasizing the role of both social parameters and affective characteristics of the perpetrators.
This meta-analytic review examines the link between narcissism and aggression, and whether the link is stronger under provocation conditions. A total of 437 independent studies were located, which included 123,043 participants. Narcissism was related to both aggression (r = .26, [.24, .28]) and violence (r = .23, [.18, .27]). As expected, the narcissism-aggression link was stronger under provocation conditions (r = .29, [.23, .36]) than under no provocation conditions (r = .12, [.05, .18]), but was even significant in the absence of provocation. Both "normal" and "pathological" narcissism were related to aggression. All three dimensions of narcissism (i.e., entitlement, grandiose narcissism, vulnerable narcissism) were related to aggression. Narcissism was related to all forms of aggression (i.e., indirect, direct, displaced, physical, verbal, bullying), and to both functions of aggression (i.e., reactive, proactive). The relation between narcissism and aggression was significant for males and females, for people of all ages, for students and nonstudents, and for people from individualistic and collectivistic countries. Significant results were obtained in experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal studies, in published and unpublished studies, and in studies that assessed aggression using different types of measures (i.e., self-report, other-report, observation). Overall results were robust to publication bias and the presence of outliers. Theoretically, these results indicate that provocation is a key moderator of the link between narcissism and aggression. Individuals high in narcissism have "thin skins" and are prone to aggression when they are provoked. Practically, these results suggest that narcissism is an important risk factor for aggression and violence. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Full-text available
Grandiose narcissism is a multidimensional construct consisting of agentic and antagonistic aspects with markedly distinct correlates and consequences. However, this complexity has not been reflected in how grandiose narcissism is measured and investigated in forensic contexts. To provide a more nuanced picture of narcissism in a forensic context, we harnessed the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Concept. More precisely, we investigated the psychometric properties of the Narcissistic Admiration and Rivalry Questionnaire short scale (NARQ-S) in self- and informant reports of 199 male prisoners. Results confirmed the two-dimensional structure, acceptable internal consistency, moderate self-other agreement, and a differentiated nomological network for the NARQ-S. Admiration and rivalry showed distinct associations with criminal history, institutional misbehaviors, and social status in the group of prisoners. Together, the findings provide initial evidence for the validity and utility of self- and informant reports of the NARQ-S in forensic contexts and its contribution to security and treatment recommendations.
Full-text available
Bullying and victimization are prevalent problems in the area of adolescent peer relationships. Middle school students ( N = 4,263) in one Maryland school district completed surveys covering a range of problem behaviors and psychosocial variables. Overall, 30.9% of the students reported being victimized three or more times in the past year and 7.4% reported bullying three or more times over the past year. More than one half of the bullies also reported being victimized. Those bully/victims were found to score less favorably than either bullies or victims on all the measured psychosocial and behavioral variables. Results of a discriminant function analysis demonstrated that a group of psychosocial and behavioral predictors—including problem behaviors, attitudes toward deviance, peer influences, depressive symptoms, school-related functioning, and parenting—formed a linear separation between the comparison group (never bullied or victimized), the victim group, the bully group, and the bully/victim group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Full-text available
Gender differences regarding aggressive behaviour were investigated in 167 school children, 11 to 12 years of age, through peer-rating techniques supported by self-ratings and interviews. The social structure of the peer groups also was studied.The principal finding was that girls made greater use of indirect means of aggression, whereas the boys tended to employ direct means. Gender differences in verbal aggression were less pronounced. The social structure of peer groups was found to be tighter among girls, making it easier for them to exploit relationships and harm their victims by indirect manipulative aggression.Because indirect aggression has rarely been satisfactorily studied with tests of aggression, this finding may help to explain 1) the generally lower correlation found between peer-rated and self-rated aggression in girls than among boys (indirect means not being so readily recognized by the subject as a kind of aggression) and 2) the low stability of aggressiveness in girls often found in developmental studies.
This study examined the degree to which anxiety symptoms among children cluster into subtypes of anxiety problems consistent with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition) classification of anxiety disorders. Two community samples of 698 children 8-12 years of age completed a questionnaire regarding the frequency with which they experienced a wide range of anxiety symptoms. Confirmatory factor analysis of responses from Cohort 1 indicated that a model involving 6 discrete but correlated factors, reflecting the areas of panic-agoraphobia, social phobia, separation anxiety, obsessive-compulsive problems, generalized anxiety, and physical fears, provided an excellent fit of the data. The high level of covariance between latent factors was satisfactorily explained by a higher order model in which each 1st-order factor loaded on a single 2nd-order factor. The findings were replicated with Cohort 2 and were equivalent across genders.
This paper addresses the general question of whether or not the satisfactory resolution of the methodological criticisms of self-report research will result in greater consistency between self-reported and official data with respect to the race and class distributions of delinquent behavior. We review the specific methodological criticisms of self-report delinquency (SRD) research; discuss the use of a new SRD measure in a national youth study; compare the race/class findings of this study with previous SRD research and with official arrest data; and examine the epidemiological and theoretical implications of these findings. Both class and race differentials are found in this study. It appears likely that the differences between these findings and those in earlier SRD studies are a result of differences in the specific SRD measures used. Additionally, these findings suggest a logical connection between SRD and official measures, and they provide some insight into the mechanism whereby official data produce more extreme race and class (as well as age and sex) differences than do self-report measures. The results of this study also have implications for previous tests of theoretical propositions which used self-report delinquency data. In short, prior self-report measures may not have been sensitive enough to capture the theoretically important differences in delinquency involvement.
Multiple regression is widely used for the analysis of nonexperimental data by investigators in social work and social welfare. Most published studies test additive models in which the effects of each independent variable on the dependent variable are assumed to be constant across all levels of additional independent variables. Tests are seldom made for the presence of interacting or modifier effects. This article discusses the concept of interaction, the use of product terms to test for its presence, the problems of multicollinearity and nonlinear interaction effects and the proper use of subgroup analysis.
An examination of the relationship between self-esteem and delinquent behavior in juveniles suggests that pathological narcissism, characterized by a grandiose self-image and interpersonal exploitation, may be a factor in the etiology of juvenile delinquency.Psychoanalytic theory posits a relationship between narcissism and delinquent behavior in juveniles, however, there has been little research examining this relationship empirically. The present study represents an effort to measure the construct of narcissism in juvenile offenders via a revised version of the widely used Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI). The NPI was revised to suit the juveniles’ comprehension and reading levels and administered to 125 detained male juvenile offenders. Construct validity for the Narcissistic Personality Inventory-Juvenile Offender (NPI-JO) was provided by factor analytic cross-validation with a broad-spectrum scale (Behavior Assessment System for Children–Self-Report Profile) of adolescent behavior. Limitations and possible implications of the narcissism scale were noted.