What Factors lead to Narcissism? (Working Title)

The Factors of Narcissism

Are we born initially self-centered?

Throughout my school years, kids play and tell jokes. They leave the kids who are boring, or more accurately those who threaten their self-esteem in the corners and just hang out with “cool” kids. They are excited to be selected as candidates for Prom late March and nothing else matters. Popularity seems to be a staple for this terminology.

What is Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)? Narcissism is the definition of individuals who are self-centered. The traits of domineering, arrogant and egotistical are closely associated with NPD.

What are some factors I’ve found out contributing to the occurrence of NPD?

Impact from Parents

This article is one of the less focused studies on narcissistic traits across cultures particularly across the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. But universally, they’ve stated, “Parenting practices have been proposed as one of the main proximate factors in the development of narcissistic predispositions.” During tests, experiments have determined higher scores on Entitlement/Exploitativeness are correlated to culture and low paternal care.

For supporting details, Dr. Gray of Boston College stated, “Some of the speculation has centered on the misguided “self-esteem” movement that began to take shape in the 1980s. Parents, teachers, and others involved with children were advised to build up children’s self-esteem through frequent praise. Many parents, especially, began telling their children how beautiful, smart, and generally wonderful they are, or began bragging about their kids to others in front of them.” Adults are only giving their children a narrow minded pathway.

Another aspect is when parents push their kids to be highly competitive, motivated by self needs, “…the increased pressure on children and adolescents to achieve…defined as beating others in competitions…getting the best grades in school, getting into the best college, winning individual sporting competitions…the focus of thought is on the self and others are seen as…people you must defeat, or as people you must manipulate to serve your ends.” Dr. Gray concluded in this issue that empathy, in the end, doesn’t show up on a resume.

Perhaps the most damaging hindrance parents can do to their children is limit contact with other kids. Fellow classmate, Dreanna’s post about friendship follows similar ideas here about developing healthy relationships. The concept here is “free play,” where children interact with other children by handling conflicts and dealing with negative emotions. It is a time period where “children overcome narcissism and build up their capacity for empathy.” (Dr. Gray, Boston College)

The Media and its Emphasis on…”Likes!”

In one journal, a teacher shares a story on how the speaker asks the audience if any had over 1000 friends. The teacher observed one individual wildly waving both her hands up in the air. Courtney Crappell talks about the media and poses the question, “Are Our Students Self-Absorbed or Just Afraid?” He points up whether students are really self-centered or just afraid. Teachers are students’ best influence requiring passing through cultural norms and showing to the students a balance of self.

Regarding the digital world, Courtney states,“…Many media vehicles facilitate and contribute to this trend…including prevalent attitudes displayed by reality TV contestants, the popularity of plastic surgery for young people, self-promoting song lyrics…”

I agree, it is a disturbing trend. Some shows like Toddlers and Tiaras and magazines in stores attempting to portray celebrities’ lives can cause some unrealistic visions within other individuals. I see that the Media has easy access to the rest of the world and its influence should not be ignored.

Culture Aspects in Play

This research entry mainly investigated friendship quality based on gender traits of narcissism. However, discussion was fixed on Chinese cultural context which is where cultural differences either favors NPD or not. Research stated, “People in individualistic cultures are more narcissistic than those in collectivistic cultures…China is a typical collectivistic country” that “downplay[s] on the significance of the self.” In comparison, the cultural discussion concludes that “Western cultures may perceive themselves as attractive, intelligent, extroverted, and successful…” As for China, “…The quality of one’s social relationships is a strong determinant of one’s self-worth and well-being.”


Environments are the crucial factors in determining whether a child will act narcissistic. Parental care is essential if the child is to develop a happy social connection, though cultural values can be just as benefitical depending on execution. The Media, however, stands a force to be reckoned with as it can reach everyone around the globe.

Comment down below and let me know what you think!


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