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Core Aspects of Grandiose Narcissism in Childhood: Grandiosity and Entitlement in Social Context


Core Aspects of Grandiose Narcissism in Childhood: Grandiosity and Entitlement in Social Context

Wilkinson, R. Poppy (2021) Core Aspects of Grandiose Narcissism in Childhood: Grandiosity and Entitlement in Social Context. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Arriving at a definition of narcissism has been a controversial process. Recently, two defining aspects of narcissism have been identified, self-importance and entitlement, that can be expressed both grandiosely and covertly (Krizan & Herlache, 2018). The present project focuses on grandiose narcissism in children. Grandiose narcissism is understood as multidimensional (e.g., with dimensions of grandiosity and entitlement) but research on its core aspects in children is limited. A better understanding of the dimensions of narcissism in children is critical, primarily because they have been shown to relate to different outcomes in adults. Evidence suggests that entitlement is associated with more problematic social outcomes than grandiosity. The aim of this project was to assess the potentially different social correlates of grandiosity and entitlement in children. This was achieved using self-report and peer-report data collected in a short-term longitudinal design with 5th and 6th grade students in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Barranquilla, Colombia. The results of Study 1 suggest that grandiosity and entitlement are two related but distinct dimensions of grandiose narcissism in children, measurable across two cultural contexts. Grandiosity in particular was associated with positive self-appraisals of social competency and self-worth, above and beyond acceptance by peers. Study 2 assessed the relation between grandiosity/entitlement and peer-assessed prosocial behaviours (care, justice, comfort, proactive and reactive help) and aggression (physical and relational). Within time, entitlement was found to negatively relate to all prosocial behaviours, and prior levels of entitlement negatively predicted later care and justice. Prior levels of entitlement also positively predicted subsequent physical aggression. These same patterns were not found for grandiosity. Study 3 assessed how grandiosity and entitlement, respectively, predicted popularity while accounting for characteristics of the social and cultural context. A key and consistent finding across our models was that entitlement more negatively predicted popularity in classrooms high in communal care, as well as in Barranquilla as compared to Montreal. The opposite pattern was observed for grandiosity in some of the models. Together, these studies provide support for these two dimensions of narcissism being distinct and that the social consequences of entitlement are of particular concern.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Wilkinson, R. Poppy
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Date:27 September 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Bukowski, William M.
Keywords:childhood narcissism, grandiosity, entitlement
ID Code:989897
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 15:14
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 15:14
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