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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10802-015-9974-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
A few previous studies have shown that narcissistic traits in youth are positively associated with bullying. However, research examining the developmental relationship between narcissism and bullying is lacking. Moreover, it is unclear whether narcissists constitute a homogeneous group and whether the bullying of narcissistic youth results in establishing social dominance over peers. The present work addresses these gaps. Children (N = 393; Mage = 10.3; 51 % girls) were followed during the last 3 years of primary school. Person-centered analyses were used to examine whether groups with distinct developmental trajectories for narcissism and two bullying forms (direct and indirect) can be identified, and how these trajectories are related. Multiple groups emerged for all constructs examined. For girls, higher narcissism was neither related to more intense bullying, nor to higher social dominance. In contrast, highly narcissistic boys were more likely than their peers to show elevated direct bullying, and in particular elevated indirect bullying. Hence, high narcissism is a risk factor for bullying in boys, but not in girls. However, narcissism is not always accompanied by high bullying, given that many boys on the high bullying trajectories were not high in narcissism. Results show that among narcissistic youth only those who engage in high levels of bullying are high in social dominance.
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- Narcissism, Bullying, and Social Dominance in Youth: A Longitudinal Analysis
Matty Van der Meulen
- Springer US