Personal fables, narcissism, and adolescent adjustment

Psychology in the Schools (Impact Factor: 0.72). 04/2006; 43(4):481 - 491. DOI: 10.1002/pits.20162


The relationship among three personal fables (omnipotence, invulnerability, personal uniqueness), narcissism, and mental health variables was assessed in a large, cross-sectional sample of adolescents drawn from Grades 6 (n = 94), 8 (n = 223), 10 (n = 142), and 12 (n = 102). Participants responded to the New Personal Fable Scale, the Narcissistic Personality Inventory, the Children's Depression Inventory, three indices of suicidal ideation, an inventory of delinquent risk behaviors, the Global Self-Worth scales from the Self-Perception Profiles for Children and for Adolescents, and two subscales from the Self-Image Questionnaire for Young Adolescents. The results showed that omnipotence and narcissism strongly counterindicated internalizing symptomatology, and were robust predictors of positive mental health and adjustment. Invulnerability was strongly associated with risk behaviors. Personal uniqueness was strongly associated with depression and suicidal ideation, a relationship that increased with age. Hence, personal fable ideation is a multidimensional construct with differential implications for adolescent mental health. Adolescent fables of invulnerability and personal uniqueness are risk factors for externalizing and internalizing symptoms, respectively, while “narcissistic omnipotence” is associated with competence. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 43: 481–491, 2006.

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    • "En revanche, l'invulnérabilité au danger entretient des liens significatifs ici avec les conduites addictives et autres conduites a ` risque. Ces résultats entrent en écho avec ceux qui ont été précédemment rapportés (Aalsma et al., 2006; Lapsley et al., 2005; Milam et al., 2000), relatant d'un biais d'attribution des risques ou des dangers encourus chez les sujets preneurs de risque. Il faut également souligner une corrélation significative et solide entre le sentiment d=invulnérabilité psychologique et la conduite automobile sous l'emprise de l'alcool, alors qu'aucune relation n'a été établie avec la consommation d'alcool. "
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    ABSTRACT: We examined the psychometric qualities of the French version of Adolescent Invulnerability Scale in a large sample of French young people. The French version of the AIS (AIS-Fr) was administered in 2 studies. In the Study 1, participants also completed other scales to measure convergent construct validity (e.g., BDI, risky behaviour and egocentrism). Factorial analysis yielded evidence for a structure with 3 first-order factors for the AIS: danger invulnerability, interpersonal and general invulnerabilities, with good model fit indices. This result was similar to that reported in the original studies. The internal consistency of the questionnaire's different dimensions was satisfactory. Pearson's correlation coefficients showed that the AIS had moderate to high correlations with egocentrism, addictive behaviours and symptoms of depression. Test-retest reliability at 3 weeks (Study 2) was good for 2 factors, the psychological invulnerability factor showed lower short-term stability. The French version of the AIS appears to be a useful instrument with a stable factorial structure over time. (PsycINFO Database Record
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    • "As explained earlier, the way uniqueness was defined and studied in the literature was not consistent with the humanistic approach, feeling unique because of who one is (e.g., Rogers 1961), such that personal uniqueness was not conceived of as a personal strength which is likely to be bolstered by significant others in one's life. Instead, past theoretical and empirical work approached uniqueness as reflecting one's distinctiveness from others (Lapsley and Rice 1988; Lynn and Snyder 2002) and reported that this might represent a risk factor for the psychosocial well-being of the individual (Aalsma et al. 2006; Tesser et al. 1998). As a result, the ideas of Maslow (1954) and Rogers (1961) about uniqueness and arguments that one's positive interpersonal relationship experiences promote one's sense of uniqueness were not appropriately tested. "
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    ABSTRACT: Decades of empirical research leave no doubt that friendship experiences are consistent correlates of happiness. Yet, little is known about how friendships are related to happiness. The present study examined personal sense of uniqueness as a mediator of the relationship between same-sex best friendship quality and happiness in three samples each employing a different measure of happiness (n = 2,429). Results provided support to the mediational model in every sample and showed that it was gender invariant. The findings suggest that one reason why the quality of friendships is related to happiness is because friendship experiences promote individuals’ feelings of uniqueness. The implications of the findings for friendship and happiness research are discussed and directions for future research are outlined.
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    • "The absence of any systematic age trend for all other manifestations and dimensions of egocentrism is a disturbing result, but similar to other research findings (Goossens, 1984, study 1; Gray & Hudson, 1984; Hudson & Gray, 1986; Jahnke & Blanchard-Fields , 1993; Lapsley et al., 1986, study 1; Peterson, 1982; Richter et al., 1982). This finding and the fact that selfconsciousness increases with age support the view that the imaginary audience at least may fluctuate during adolescence as a function of the individual's attempt to cope with developmental transitions and life events (Aalsma et al., 2006; Bjorklund & Green, 1992; Lapsley & Aalsma, 2006). These fluctuations are not accounted for by Elkind's (1967, 1970, 1978) model. "
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