Research shows insecure attachments is a risk factor
The more negative the attachment, the more serious the symptoms (Ling & Qian, 2010).
Personality disorder patients have a higher likelihood of having an insecure attachment than secure (Brennan and Shaver 1998).
NPD is one of three personality disorders most associated with dimensions of insecure attachment (Lyddon & Sherry, 2001).
Contributing Risk Factors: Parenting Styles
Research has shown the risks of parenting styles
The case study of an 8-year-old girl that was developing narcissistic characteristics showed parental neglect as the cause (Hamilton, Fowler, Hersh, Austin, Finn, Tharinger, Parton, Stahl, & Arora, 2009).
Parental pampering, mainly overindulgence, correlates with narcissistic characteristics (Capron, 2004).
Contributing Risk Factors: Environmental and Family
Research has shown various environmental, family, and individual risk factors
Early childhood experiences play a huge role (Cohen, 1996).
Major loss and major abuse are the two strongest risk factors (Laporte & Guttman, 1996).
Contributing Risk Factors: Individual
Research has linked several individual factors to NPD
Oldest born children are more likely to develop than younger siblings (Finzi-Dottan & Cohen, 2011).
Occurs more frequently in males (Maniacci, 2007).
Possible Risk Factors: Genetic and Inborn Personality Traits
The involvement of genetics, inborn personality traits, and neurological factors have all been questioned (Kluger & Song, 2003).
Previous research has shown many different risk factors.
Future research needs to focus on furthering what is already known and developing a more in-depth understanding of the role that genetics and personality traits plays, as well.
The definite cause of NPD is unknown and it is very difficult to treat.
There are a multitude of possible risk factors associated with NPD.
More research is needed.
Brennan, K. A., & Shaver, P. R. (1998). Attachment styles and personality disorders: Their connection to each other and to parental divorce, parental death, and perceptions of parental caregiving. Journal of Personality, 66(5), 835-878. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the EbscoHOST database.
Butcher, J. N., Mineka, S., & Hooley, J. M. (2010). Abnormal psychology (14 th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.
Capron, E. W. (2004). Types of pampering and the narcissistic personality trait. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60(1), 76-93. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the EbscoHOST database.
Cohen, P. (1996). Childhood risks for young adult symptoms of personality disorder: Method and substance. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 31(1), 121-148. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the EbscoHOST database.
Feist, J., & Feist, G. J. (2009). Theories of personality (7 th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Finzi-Dottan, R., & Cohen, O. (2011). Young adult sibling relations: The effects of perceived parental favoritism and narcissism. Journal of Psychology, 145(1), 1-22.
Hamilton, A. M., Fowler, J. L., Hersh, B., Austin, C. A., Finn, S. E., Tharinger, D. J., Parton, V., Stahl, K., & Arora, P. (2009). “Why won’t my parents help me?”: Therapeutic assessment of a child and her family. Journal of Personality Assessment, 91(2), 108- 120.
Kluger, J., & Song, S. (2003). Masters of denial. Time, 161(3), 84-87. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the EbscoHOST database.
Laporte, L., & Guttman, H. (1996). Traumatic childhood experiences as risk factors for borderline and other personality disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 10(3), 247-259.
Ling, H., & Qian, M. (2010). Relationships between attachment and personality disorder symptoms of Chinese college students. Social Behavior and Personality, 38(4), 571-576.
Lyddon, W. J., & Sherry, A. (2001). Developmental personality style: An attachment theory conceptualization of personality disorders. Journal of Counseling & Development, 79(4), 405-415. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the EbscoHOST database.
Maniacci, M. P. (2007). His majesty the baby: Narcissism through the lens of individual psychology. Journal of Individual Psychology, 63(2), 136- 145. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from the EbscoHOST database.