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7. You are in charge of organizing a state wide task force to consider the role of self-esteem in adolescent development. Some of the potential team members who you have contacted have expressed great concern for attempting to “promote self-esteem” as they feel that adolescents’ self-esteem level is already too high. Afterall, “we do not need to raise another generation of entitled narcissists!” Other potential members of the group suggest that it is extremely important to examine and promote self-esteem because it would have many positive long-term benefits such as fewer adolescent psychological disorders, less societal crime, less depression and suicide, etc.
As the leader of this task force, consider the two different sides of this argument. Who is correct? Consider self-esteem in its broad context. In creating your response, consider the language of the course, and frame your writing in relevant peer-reviewed research.
Self Esteem: The set of positive or negative evaluations and feelings that people hold about themselves.
Baseline Self Esteem: A level of positive or negative feelings about the self that is fairly stable over time.
Barometric Self Esteem: Temporary changes in positive or negative feelings about the self that occur in response to particular incidents.
McMahan, I. (2009).
. New York New York: Pearson.
Evidence shows, so far, that programs that specifically target low self-esteem do not have a lasting affect on problems in adulthood. Developing interventions that look at the sources of low self-esteem
could be one way to alleviate low self-esteem while addressing other issues. In other words, targeting sources could kill two birds with one stone. (p. 365)
Also, McMahan points out that teens with high interest in activities had higher self-esteem than those who were chronically bored. This often leads to adolescents who are more confident, curious, enthusiastic, and powerful in regards to the future. Often this gives rise to flow. (p. 486, 487)
McMahan, I. (2009).
. Boston: Pearson.
Turning up the contrast_Self-enhancement motives prompt egocentric contrast effects in social judgments..pdf
Social comparison, self-affirmation, egocentrism, self-esteem, and social judgment.
Beauregard, K. S., & Dunning, D. (1998). Turning up the contrast: Self-enhancement motives prompt egocentric contrast effects in social judgments.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Do people's self-views matter_Self-concept and self-esteem in everyday life.pdf
The authors conclude that self-views do matter and that it is worthwhile and important to develop and implement theoretically informed programs to improve them.
Within the article the whole high self-esteem/ entitled narcissist thing is discussed in this way:
Baumeister, et. al.,(2001).Research clashes with recent efforts to equate self-protective narcissists with people who possess truly high self-esteem.
Swann et. al. (2007) "Indeed, we believe that conflating narcissism and true high self-esteem is profoundly problematic for the same reasons that it is problematic to mistake for a friend an enemy who is merely masquerading as a friend."
Swann, W. r., Chang-Schneider, C., & Larsen McClarty, K. (2007). Do people's self-views matter? Self-concept and self-esteem in everyday life.
, 62(2), 84-94.
Egocentrism versus protocentrism.pdf
The self-representation does not serve to make predictions about others because it encodes how self differs from the generic representation of others.
Predictions that are the same about self and others are protocentric, based on generic knowledge that serves as the default.
Karniol, R. (2003). Egocentrism versus protocentrism: The status of self in social prediction.
The effects of a self-esteem program incorporated into health and physical edu classes.pdf
"Self-esteem is humankind's most basic psychological needand the cornerstone of contemporary youth's development of their overall faculties."
Health and phys ed offers a 9-year continual context for implementation of the program. Forming a sense of security and belonging in class has been found to students' sense of self-value, self-ability and sense of achievement (Wu, 2003).
This study discusses self-esteem and how adolescents would benefit from a self-esteem program implemented into the P.E. curriculum.
Lai, H., Lu, C., Jwo, J., Lee, P., Chou, W., & Wen, W. (2009). The effects of a self-esteem program incorporated into health and physical education classes.
Journal of Nursing Research,
Relations among narcissism, self-esteem and delinquency in a sample of at-risk adolescents.pdf
This study examines the relations between self-esteem and narcissism. This may provide you with some info and facts to help consider the 1st side of the argument.
Barry, C., Grafeman, S., Adler, K., & Pickard, J. ( 2007). The relations among narcissism, self-esteem, and delinquency in a sample of at-risk adolescents.
Journal of Adolescents,
Side one people on the panel should consider the definition of narcissism -- differentiated from self-esteem:
-grandiosity with preoccupation over one's status compared to others
-care more about getting admiration from others than getting along with them (positive self view on only agentic features)
-associated with aggression and delinquency
These authors define self-esteem as having positive views on
agentic features (intellect, extroversion, etc.) and communal features (agreeableness)
From Textbook: (p.366)
~Long-term consequences of Low Self-Esteem:
-more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders
-more likely to be dependent on tobacco
-more like to be convicted of a violent crime
-more likely to drop out of high school
-more likely to have financial problems
~DuBois, D. & Flay, B. (2004). The Healthy Pursuit of Self-Esteem: Comment on and Alternative to the Crocker and Park Formulation.
, 130(3), 415-420.
The Healthy Pursuit of Self-Esteem.pdf
This study discovered that the level and the pursuit of self-esteem may promote good health and well-being, especially in individualistic societies such as the United States.
Some important notes from that article:
1. Recommendation: develop self-esteem in conjunction with other facets of positive mental health (not just focus on self-esteem above/beyond overall health and well-being)
sense of mastery
accurate perceptions of reality
sense of optimism
responsible behavior toward others
2. Two prongs to this positive development:
a. make efforts to develop and sustain positive self esteem through cultivation of competencies and positive relationships with others
a. must be appropriate to norms and demands in their daily lives and larger society
b. results: positive feelings of self worth combined with personal efficacy (in multiple settings – peers, family, school) - show gains in academic achievement, social and behavioral functioning
b. use self-protective or self-enhancing strategies that are adaptive to norms and demands of surrounding environments
a. NOT deny personal short-comings to boost own sense of self, devalue pursuit of goals because they are difficult, or put self as superior to others
i. narcissistic tendencies – strive for superiority as way to develop self-esteem - have more aggressive and violent behavior
3. Early studies on the effects of self-esteem development did not address this broader context so perhaps that is why they didn’t show positive results.
From MacMahan text:
1. Help adolescents develop capable self -- sense of self-efficacy (belief that one has the abilities, skills, energy and resources needed to impact events of personal importance) -- this is different from just high self-esteem (p. 313)
2. Using mastery goals instead of performance goals in the classroom can help develop this (p. 315)
group students by topic or interest
grade students on progress and improvement
emphasize learning for its own sake
mistakes are part of learning; allow students to redo work
provide challenging, meaningful classwork
3. Help youth find "flow" (p. 312)
involves solid skill, appropriate challenge level
Would we do well to provide options that resemble, in some ways, the
(McMahan, p. 11) prevalent in pre-industrialized Europe, i. e., apprenticeships? (close relationship with a caring adult, high interest level, emphasis on progress and improvement, meaningful tasks?)
Mueller, C. M., & Dweck, C. S. (1998). Praise for intelligence can undermine children's motivation and performance.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
, 75(1), 33-52. doi:10.1037/
Praise - Dweck article
A key instrument in the building of self-esteem is praise from others. Dweck and Mueller examine the effects of two different kinds of praise -- for intelligence/ability (for being "smart) and for effort ("working hard"). The findings would help bridge the two sides of this question's argument. Their findings were replicated in studies of both genders, different ethnic groups and in both urban and rural settings.
Praise for intelligence -- negative effects
future problem-solving tasks: chose tasks in which they were sure to succeed (performance goals)
wanted to hear how others performed and how they ranked
when faced with failure, ascribed it to their own low-ability
lower levels of task persistence, enjoyment and performance
viewed intelligence as fixed trait, distressed if experience difficulty with task
Praise for effort -- positive effects
future problem-solving tasks: chose tasks in which they would be challenged and would continue learning (learning goals)
wanted to learn new strategies for problem-solving
when faced with failure, ascribed it to insufficient effort
viewed intelligence as malleable, product of motivation and knowledge
Conclusion -- praise children for process of their work (focus, sustained attention, use of strategies), not for end product and ability
Zeigler-Hill, V. (2006). Discrepancies Between Implicit and Explicit Self-Esteem: Implications for Narcissism and Self-Esteem Instability.
Journal of Personality
, 74(1), 119-144. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2005.00371.x
Implicit and Explicit Self-esteem
These authors differentiate between two types of self-esteem; these definitions could help bridge the gap between the two sides of this panel.
discrepant high self-esteem:
comprised of high explicit self-esteem (self-enhancing tendencies) and low implicit self esteem (insecure, self-doubting)
more likely to be narcissistic (this is what side one of the panel is reacting to)
self-enhancement tendencies, defensive behavior (more sensitive to negative events triggering their insecurities and fears)
need constant validation, vulnerable to challenge, require some degree of self-deception
high explicit and high implicit
positive attitudes toward self that are realistic, well-anchored, resistant to threat
formed through automatic processing of affective experiences
accumulated social evaluations
conscious feelings of self-worth
conscious interpretations of experiences
-Self-esteem for girls drops considerably in adolescence (Robins, et. al., 2002).
-Self-esteem drops for both boys and girls during adolescence though it drops more for girls (Robins & Trzesniewski, 2005).
-Body image is one of the strongest predictors of self-esteem for adolescents (Williams & Curries, 2000).
-Compared to boys, adolescent girls are more dissatisfied with their bodies (Davison & McCabe, 2006).
-Both boys and girls receive the message that they are expected to conform to practically unattainable physical ideals (Olivardia, Pope, Broowiecki, & Cohane, 2004).
-Low self-esteem is both a source and a symptom of depression (McMahan, 2008).
-Starting with puberty, girls are twice as likely to get depressed then boys (Twenge & Nolen-Hoeksema, 2002).
Narcissism is not the same thing as self-esteem; people who have high self-esteem are often humble, whereas narcissists rarely are.
The causes of narcissistic personality disorder are not well understood. In other words, there is not a clear link between narcissism and high self esteem.
American Psychiatric Association (2000).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Revised.
Sharaf, A.Y., Thompson, E.A., & Walsh, E. (2009). Protective effects of self-esteem and family support on suicide risk behaviors among at-risk adolescents.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 22(3),
Protective Effects of Self-Esteem.pdf
This study highlights the significance of high self-esteem and also family support on suicide among adolescents. Higher self-esteem (as one probably would assume) is a protection against suicidal risk behaviors, as well as higher levels of family support. The authors did find that for some adolescents who indicated they had low family support, self-esteem was high rather than low and speculate that this is because these adolescents have learned that they have only themselves to depend upon.
Booth, A., Scott, M.E., & King, v. (2010). Father residence and adolescent problem behavior: Are youth always better off in two-parent families?
Journal of Family Issues, 31(5)
, 585-605. doi:10.1177/0192513x09351507.
Father Residence and Adolescent Problem Behavior.pdf
Whether or not you use this to answer your question, I felt it was rather interesting to read, especially in light of the make-up of today's families. These researchers wanted to assess the relationships between adolescents who have a father living in the household or a father not living in the household, along with the closeness of those relationships. They found that adolescents with "nonresident fathers" with whom they were close had higher self-esteem, less delinquent beahviors, and fewer depressive symptoms than those with "resident fathers" with whom they are not close. They also found that children who are close to "nonresident fathers" do not do as well as those who are close to "resident fathers". Very interesting information.
-The strongest influences upon self-esteem are the individual’s parents.
Parenting style, physical and particularly sexual abuse play a significant role,
as do genetic factors.
Relatively low self-esteem is
a risk factor for delinquency, violence
towards others (including child and partner abuse), drug use, alcohol
abuse, educational under-attainment or racism;
Relatively low self-esteem is a risk factor for suicide, suicide attempts and
depression, for teenage pregnancy, and for victimization by others. In
each case, however, this risk factor is one of several and probably
interacts with others;
There are indications that childhood self-esteem is associated with
adolescent eating disorders and with economic outcomes – earnings,
continuity of employment – in early adulthood, but the causal
mechanisms involved remain unclear.
Emler, N. (2000)
Self-esteem: The costs and causes
of low self-worth.
This study examined three different self-esteem variables: peers, school, and family. These were examined to try and determine if self-esteem levels for these variables had any impact upon drug use. The study was implemented in a high school setting. Within the study researchers found that peer self-esteem (one's popularity) did not have a significant impact on drug use. Self-esteem related to home and family was shown to have more of an effect, and school self-esteem seemed to have the greatest influence.
AREA SPECIFIC SELF-ESTEEM, VALUES.pdf
Donnelly, J., Young, M., Pearson, R., Penhollow, T. M., & Hernandez, A. (2008). Area specific self-esteem, values, and adolescent substance use.
Journal of Drug Education
, 38(4), 389-403.
More regarding parenting--
African-American mothers are more likely to prepare their daughters ahead of time for the coming of menarche, whereas Latino mothers are less likely to because of culture-based embarrassment/reticence on the subject (McMahan, p. 82).
Figure 13.11 on p. 455 of McMahan and Figure 13.12 on p. 459 all indicate highest levels of depression and suicidal thoughts, plans, and actions among Hispanic girls. I'm wondering whether more openness, acceptance, preparation for physical changes of puberty could raise feelings of confidence and self-esteem, affording some protection (one puzzle piece?) against depression-related problems so closely linked to low self-esteem?
Ellis, A. (1997). The Practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. New York.
Albert Ellis argues in his book that the concept of self esteem is self defeating and ultimately destructive. He argued that high self esteem is often based on grandiose, over generalized, and perfectionist thinking. In other words, high self esteem is based on cognitive distortions and the individual is oftentimes less in touch with reality. He argued that that self acceptance is a better concept then self esteem. In self acceptance, the individual does not over look his or her flaws. Instead they acknowledge and accept them.
Ellis, A. (1997). The Practice of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy. New York.
High self-esteem does not equate to narcissism. According to the DSM-IV-TR, traits of narcissism include a sense of entitlement, exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a preoccupation with being the best (p. 717). An individual who exhibits these traits has very vulnerable self-esteem. Their regard of themselves is based off of how other’s perceive them (p. 715). Narcissistic traits are common in adolescents and do not necessarily indicate that the individual will go on to develop Narcissistic Personality Disorder (p. 716).
To add a bit more regarding narcissism in the DSM-IV-TR:
Persons with Narcissistic personality disorder believe they are superior, special, unique & expect others to recognize them as such - believe their needs are beyond the ken of ordinary people (p. 714)
Generally require excessive admiration/may fish for compliments (with great charm)/ may be astonished if others do not covet their possessions (p. 714-715).
Have an unreasonable expectation of especially favorable treatment - expect to be catered to and are puzzled/furious when it does not happen (715).
They expect to be given whatever they want or feel they need, no matter what it might mean to others - exploit others to get what they want (715).
These persons generally have a
LACK OF EMPATHY
and have difficulty recognizing the desires, subjective experiences, and feelings of others (715).
This last bullet point is especially important in differentiating between high self-esteem and narcissism.
American Psychiatric Association (2000).
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision.
Elkind describes the concept of the imaginary audience as an aspect of adolescence that involves believing that one is the focus of other’s attention. This is a part of the developmental process of cognitive development--egocentrism. (Its's similar to the description of narcissism)
selfconcept and self esteem.pdf
This article argues that schools should focus on promoting an adolescent's self-concept rather than developing programs to enhance self-esteem. The author claims that when a student is feeling competent and supported, their self-esteem will increase. She offers strategies and interventions for teachers to implement to foster success in this area.
Manning, M. (2007). Self-concept and self-esteem in adolescents.
February, 11-15. : ) Really awesome article!
Self esteem is the evaluation our personality, characteristics, abilities (Branden, 1989).
Self esteem consists of 2 components : self efficacy (belief in our ability to succeed), self worth (belief in our worth to succeed)
Self-worth is synonymous/nearly synonymous with self-esteem
Self-concept: the organized set of thoughts, ideas, and perceptions that people hold about themselves (McMahan, 2009, p. 359)
“I cannot think of a single psychological problem from anxiety and depression, to fear of intimacy or of success, to alcohol or drug abuse to underachievement at school or at work, to spouse battering or child molestation to sexual dysfunction or emotional immaturity to suicide and crimes of violence, that is not traceable to the problem of poor self esteem”
Dr. Nathaniel Branden
"there is no plateau to be reached, the sky is the limit" (Branden, 1989)
The first part of the statement, in my view is wrong as high self esteem leads to better behavior, not narcissism. Dr. Nathaniel Branden (1989) in his book, 'The Psychology of High Self Esteem', states that "there is no plateau to be reached, the sky is the limit". He also states that characteristics like bullying, pride, dominance, narcissism are expressions of low self esteem. A person who has a strong ego, according to Branden can accommodate others and have a positive view of others and is not easily hurt. A person with a weak ego is always vulnerable. Self esteem is not in conflict with others and is not the adversary of community, but its most vital pillar.
"The kind of things that make self esteem grow, make careers grow, make relationships grow"
The second part of the argument is the curative effect of self esteem. As implied in the quote above, an increase in self esteem naturally decreases disorders. But an important point here to be noticed as Dr. Branden said, "The kind of things that make self esteem grow, make careers grow, make relationships grow; it isn't that you have to take a separate set of actions to improve your self esteem and a separate set of actions to improve your career".
One implication of this is that, one of the reasons for disorders is poor self esteem. The solution cannot be such that it is focused on averting negatives, but it has to be on improving positives. A high self esteem cannot be achieved with the only task of eliminating crime and disorder. But this problem solving is an inherent part of the journey towards high self esteem (Branden, 1989).
Keeping these two things in mind, self esteem needs to be built from the perspective of things which enhance one's understanding, perception and evaluation of the self. To view development in self esteem in conflict with other areas of adolescent development means to say that growth in these areas is exclusive of growth in self esteem. That is not true. A healthy parent-teen relationship, supportive peers, forging an identity, career choice (McMahan) are all linked to self esteem.
Another important aspect of self esteem is "self acceptance" (Branden, 1989). The extent to which we affirm ourselves indicates self esteem. Self acceptance might not be possible for several because:
A culture of numbness and self ignoring in the family
Disrespect to feelings, opinions and perceptions of the child during his growth
security orientation compared to opportunity orientation
Conforming to others' needs compared to one's own
All other factors such as peer approval, school success (Santrock, 2008), intrinsic motivation and vocational choice(McMahan, 2009) are predictors of self esteem.
The relation of narcissim and self-esteem to conduct problems in children - A preliminary investigation.pdf
This article discusses the relationship between self-esteem and conduct problems. Both low self-esteem and exaggerated levels of self-esteem (narcissism) are examined in relation to aggressive and antisocial behavior. This can be used to argue that healthy high self-esteem is not that same thing as narcissism.
Barry, C.T., Frick, P.J., & Killian, A.L. (2003). The relation of narcissism and self-esteem to conduct problems in children: A prelimary investigation.
Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 32
Baumeister, R. F., Campbell, J. D., Krueger, J. I., & Vohs, K. D. (2003). Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?.
Psychological Science in the Public Interest
, 4(1), 1-44.
(Does high self-esteem cause better performance, interpersonal success, happiness, or healthier lifestyles?)
This article is an excellent reference for the question because it addresses why we should study self-esteem, affects self-esteem carries, and the correlation between school performance and self-esteem.
McCarroll, E. M., Lindsey, E. W., MacKinnon-Lewis, C., Chambers, J., & Frabutt, J. M. (2009). Health status and peer relationships in early adolescence: The role of peer contact, self-esteem, and social anxiety.
Journal of Child and Family Studies
, 18(4), 473-485.
(Health status and peer relationships in early adolescence: The role of peer contact)
This article is not the most relevant because it addresses self-esteem in both "normal" adolescents and chronically ill adolescents. I thought it was interesting to think about because the essay question does not specify what population is being addressed other than adolescents, in general. It's interesting to consider the adolescents who have a chronic health condition and their self-esteem needs. The important thing is when we address adolescents self-esteem as a society we need to examine all adolescents, eg. lgbt population, those with health concerns, etc.) not just those we consider "normal." This would fall under the additional research in addressing self-esteem in all adolescents.
young adolescents reveal their needs.pdf
The article discusses the research findings on the influence of the K-8 and middle school on several variables, including self-esteem, academic achievement, school transitions, and problematic behavior of the students, which was conducted in Cleveland, Ohio. It states that the common needs of the students include physical needs, safety needs, self-esteem needs, and academic needs. The article further states the educational implications of the findings for middle school educators.
Booth, M. (2011). This They Believe: Young Adolescents Reveal Their Needs in School.
Middle School Journal
, 42(3), 16-23. Retrieved from EBSCO
Narcissism, self-esteem, shame and agression in adolescents.pdf
Abstract: This experiment tested how self-views influence shame-induced aggression. One hundred and sixty-three young adolescents (M = 12.2 years) completed measures of narcissism and self-esteem. They lost to an ostensible opponent on a competitive task. In the shame condition, they were told that their opponent was bad, and they saw their own name at the bottom of a ranking list. In the control condition, they were told nothing about their opponent and did not see a ranking list. Next, participants could blast their opponent with noise (aggression measure). As expected, narcissistic children were more aggressive than others, but only after they had been shamed. Low self-esteem did not lead to aggression. In fact, narcissism in combination with high self-esteem led to exceptionally high aggression
Thomaes, S., Bushman, B. J., Stegge, H., & Olthof, T. (2008). Trumping Shame by Blasts of Noise: Narcissism, Self-Esteem, Shame, and Aggression in Young Adolescents.
, 79(6), 1792-1801. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01226.x
development of self-esteem in adolscents.pdf
Existing research on self-esteem among children and adolescents has focused on defining self-esteem, measuring self-esteem, and indicating variables that influence self-esteem. However, limited research and thought has been given to explain conceptually how self-esteem is developed and maintained. This paper suggests that the existing literature lacks a theoretical conceptualization of how self-esteem is developed and provides a three-pronged conceptualization indicating that associations, activities, and aural support develop and maintain self-esteem. The conceptualization provided has research, policy, and programmatic implications
Searcy, Y. (2007). Placing the Horse in Front of the Wagon: Toward a Conceptual Understanding of the Development of Self-Esteem in Children and Adolescents.
Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal
, 24(2), 121-131. doi:10.1007/s10560-006-0070-9
Mean-level change in self-esteem from childhood through adulthood.pdf
This study investigates the stability of self-esteem because of the important educational impact it can have. This study examined several longitudinal studies to determine the long-term stability of self-esteem. The investigation concluded that it appears self-esteem does not change beyond age 30 with the biggest amount of change happening in the first decade of young adulthood. This seems worrisome to me because of the impact a low self-esteem during the critical period of young adulthood could have on the remainder of one’s life.
Huang, C. (2010). Mean-level change in self-esteem from childhood through adulthood: Meta-analysis of longitudinal studies.
Review of General Psychology
, 14(3), 251-260. doi:10.1037/a0020543
ideas based on information from McMahan:
in my opinion, efforts at improving self-esteem, if there are to be specific programs set in place, should be timed so that those in early adolescence, dealing with physical changes can benefit. McMahan mention the
of growth in different areas of the body, creating the feeling of awkwardness (72). Also, the physical changes of adolescence signal a
(80), which is both inescapable and irreversible, regardless of how the teen (or preteen) feels about it.
Important considerations also include:
the deviance hypothesis--
the idea that those who begin such changes particularly early (especially girls) or later (especially boys) than others have a tougher time adjusting
stage determination hypothesis--
Those who enter puberty early may not have had enough time to satisfactorily complete the development tasks associated with childhood, and those who enter late may not have enough time to satisfactorily complete the developmental tasks associated with adolescence.
adult resemblance hypothesis--
For better or worse, adolescents resembling adults are more likely to be regarded as adults.
Would self-esteem improve if there were more deliberate discussion surrounding respect for personal boundaries?
Programs that build aspects of self -esteem, such as "Everybody's Different," can serve as interventions for a variety of adolescent problems, making it possible to give depth to one program rather than finding the time to skim the surfaces of individual interventions for a wide breadth of adolescent problems. This is especially important since individual interventions such as these often inadvertently "teach" or encourage undesirable behaviors, such as eating disorders, cutting, huffing, by glamorizing or normalizing them in the minds of young people. "Everybody's Different" and similar programs address ways to develop a positive sense of self, value differences and uniqueness, understand stereotypes, seek positive feedback and build relationship and communication skills. (O'Dea and Abraham, 2000)
Media literacy may also be helpful in raising self-esteem by helping adolescents decode and resist harmful socio-cultural norms (Levine and Smolak, 1998).
Mental disorder characterized by extreme self-absorption, an exaggerated sense of self-importance, and a need for attention and admiration from others. First identified by
in 1898, the disorder is named for the mythological
, who fell in love with his own reflection. In addition to an inflated self-image and
to fantasy, narcissism is characterized by an unusual coolness and composure, which is shaken only when the narcissistic confidence is threatened, and by the tendency to take others for
or to exploit them. According to
, narcissism is a normal stage in children’s development, but it is
... (100 of 110 words)
Encyclopædia Britannica online
. Retrieved from
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