What factors contribute to a child developing Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
A neighbor's adult child (32 years old) was recently diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder after being charged with harassing and stalking others online. Symptoms include:
Exaggeration of their own abilities or achievements.
Sense of entitlement.
Exploitation of others.
Lack of empathy.
Envy of others.
An arrogant, haughty attitude.
The couple's child lived at home with the parents and is known to be intelligent though he held no job. I am just curious as to what homelife or child-rearing factors contribute to a child developing such a disorder?
Good question, and though I'm not a professional in this field and thus can't give a definitive answer, still, I have a very basic opinion about these types of personality disorders. I believe a person is born with certain personality tendencies which develop as a child grows. Good parenting can gently discourage unacceptable or antisocial personality traits in their children; also, the parents setting a good example is always a mitigating factor in a situation where the child has or is developing some unattractive or unacceptable personality traits; still, I believe firmly that a person's most basic personality type is born not made.
It could also be that this person is the adult child of narcissistic parents. That's very possible. Narcissistic parents view everything their child does or is in the light of how it affects THEM; narcissistic parents tend to be un-nurturing, which is not healthy for their child's development. They also establish a basic narcissistic role model for their child. Again, bad news for child development. Still, there are plenty of people who are the children or child of narcissistic parents and are not narcissistic themselves.
It may be a combination of biological factors and certain parenting styles: emotional neglect during childhood or either over pampering.
Although there is no definitive answer to this question there are indeed some characteristics that significantly contribute to the prevalence of this particular disorder. I will focus on what most term, the "big three" namely, (i) the exhibition of extreme self-importance, (ii) inability to empathize with others and (iii) heightened sensitivity to criticism.
This distorted self-importance is a significant issue with people who have favored status in a culture (i.e. Communist elites, royalty etc.). You can imagine if you were royalty you may indeed have significant issues with entitlement, distorted and elevated self-worth at the expence of others... With regard to (ii) I would like to use a quote from what some attribute to Marie Antoinette, specifically, "Let them eat cake" it is a significant disregard or absence of empathy for certain others (i.e. the British for Catholic Ireland and vice versa).
The "real kicker" is (iii) a heightened and unhealthy sensitivity to criticism. Since one thinks they are superior it is difficult indeed for them to accept criticism without significant over-reaction (i.e. Joseph Stalin)...
connorj, how sad to think it may be prevalent. This individual's parents used to act a bit stuck up, but not abusive to this, their only child. In fact they used to brag they never spanked him. One is a psychiatrist, the other a politician's child.
NPD and the related condition Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) have a strong genetic component. People with a genetic predisposition to the personality type may develop it if they are raised in an environment where this kind of behavior is rewarded or necessary for survival. It's also possible that the parents are normal and raised their child right, but the child just came out bad anyway. I think it best not to speculate since you can never really know what went on behind closed doors.
Perhaps you're right, randallstisobel. I reckon I want to be sure I don't do anything dumb that can contribute to one of mine turning out this way!
They say parents can neither take all the credit for good children nor all the blame for bad children. What will be will be for the most part. But I'm sure all will be well for your brood.
As others have noted, it was likely a combination of factors. The child may have been born with mental deficiencies. The child may have also been mis-parented, not brought up with good moral standards, not disciplined, not properly taught right from wrong, to respect others, etc. The child may have also been neglected, or maybe even mentally or physically abused (by parents, relatives, etc) at some point. And of course, some children are born with narcissistic tendencies and if they are not addressed at a young age the tendencies would simply flourish and continue to develop.
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