Results of the NPD study “Origins of Narcissism in Children” support social learning theory and contradict psychoanalytic theory:
- Narcissism was predicted by parental overvaluation
- Narcissism was not predicted by lack of parental warmth.
The children seemed to acquire narcissism, in part, by internalizing their parents’ inflated views of them (e.g., “I am superior to others” and “I am entitled to privileges”).
Attesting to the specificity of this finding:
· Self-esteem was predicted by parental warmth
· Self-esteem was not predicted by parental overvaluation.
These findings identified early socialization experiences that cultivate narcissism. More tomorrow.