Interpersonal Perception of Narcissism In an At-Risk Adolescent Sample: A Social Relations Analysis

Sarah June Grafeman


The current study utilized Kenny's (1994) social relations model to explore the interpersonal consequences of narcissism in an at-risk adolescent residential sample. Members of two platoons (N = 47) attending a 22-week military-style intervention program completed a self-report measure of narcissism and rated one another on narcissism-related traits as well as social status within the peer group. Interpersonal ratings demonstrated small but significant consensus as well as self-other agreement for narcissism-related traits. Individuals with relatively high levels of self-reported narcissism were perceived by peers as hostile, competitive, and likely to engage in future delinquent behaviors. Self-reported narcissism was also associated with peer perceptions of narcissism-related traits such as attention seeking, wanting to be a leader, and controlling others. As such, the social consequence of possessing relatively high levels of narcissism is the elicitation of peer perceptions, which may have a negative impact on the establishment and maintenance of healthy peer relationships. Therefore, this social relations analysis indicates that although narcissists seek the admiration and approval of peers, the end result of their actions may be self-defeating.