Childhood Precursors of the Narcissistic Personality

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Abstract

This research identifies the childhood personality characteristics that predict the presence of narcissism in adulthood. Using data from the longitudinal study of Block and Block (The California Child Q-set. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1980), childhood personality characteristics were assessed at age 11 (N = 100) using the California Child Q-set. A number of these were shown to differentially predict the presence of grandiose or vulnerable narcissism at age 23. Factor analyses of the Child Q-set items showed that the presence of Grandiose Narcissism was positively related to childhood factors representing social presence and negatively related to planfulness. In contrast, vulnerable narcissism was positively related to childhood impulsivity and negatively related to stable self-esteem. Both types of narcissism were positively related to childhood factors representing need for control.

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