TEEN HEALTH Published March11, 2015 By Staff Reporter

Parents, Are You Raising Narcissistic Kids?

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A new study suggests that giving undue and too much praise on your children may not be a good idea as they may grow up to be narcissistic.

To be clear, parents are highly encouraged to praise their children and acknowledge their accomplishments. These are ways on how to build their self-esteem. However, a recent Ohio research stresses that doing these too much may only create children with narcissistic personalities.

A co-author of the study and communications and psychology professor of Ohio State University, Brad Bushman commented that while loving children are healthy, to overvalue them and stressing how better they are than the other kids their age may cause narcissism.

The study aims to determine and understand the origins of narcissism. Although the concept has been well established over the years, it's unclear when and how it develops.

According to Bushman, not one person is born with narcissistic tendencies, and thus, it's implied that the personality is developed over the years.

For the study, they worked with more than 560 children between the ages of 7 and 12, along with their parents. The age bracket is based on the fact that narcissistic personalities, especially when they start to compare themselves with other children, begin to appear by age 8. The research went on for 18 months with re-evaluations every 6 months within that duration.

During every evaluation, children and parents had to answer a series of questions. Kids had to score their response with 0 as being not true to 3 being completely true. The children also undertook a test to measure their self-esteem.

Parents, meanwhile, assessed their level of overvaluation and warmth.

Based on their analysis, they discovered a correlating pattern-that is, the more the parents overvalue the children, the more the children become narcissistic in their ratings.

Children who are believed to be narcissistic feel superior than the others and wish to achieve the same success enjoyed by others. They also seek special treatment. If such personalities are not reduced while young, they can develop a narcissistic personality disorder later.  

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