Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Christopher Barry

Advisor Department



Narcissism has been correlated with prosocial behavior in adolescents (Kauten & Barry, 2014, 2016). However, whether adolescents with high levels of narcissism use more egoistic (i.e., self-serving) or altruistic (i.e., helping others with no direct personal benefit) prosocial behaviors has not been investigated. This issue was addressed in the present study, and attitudes of cooperation and competition were also examined as moderators in these relations. The current study involved 147 at-risk adolescents, ages 16 to 18 (113 males, 34 females) who were enrolled in a residential program. The data were collected through self-report questionnaires which assessed narcissism (i.e., non-pathological, grandiose, vulnerable, and communal), prosocial tendencies, and cooperative and competitive attitudes. Non-pathological and grandiose narcissism were positively correlated with egoistic prosocial behaviors, whereas non-pathological and communal narcissism were positively correlated with altruistic prosocial behaviors. Adolescents reporting both high levels of vulnerable narcissism and high levels of competitive attitudes reported engaging in more altruistic prosocial behaviors than those with low levels of competitive attitudes. The same trend was evident for grandiose narcissism. The implications of these findings and the study’s limitations are discussed.