Reactivity and distortions in the self: Narcissism, types of aggression, and the functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during early adolescence

William M. Bukowski, Alex Schwartzman, Jonathan Santo, Catherine Bagwell, Ryan Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

A multisample, multistudy project aimed at understanding how individual differences in narcissism during early adolescence are related to distortions in the aggression, and the reactivity of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis to negative and positive experiences. The findings indicate that individual differences in narcissism are a remarkably stable aspect of personality during early adolescence. It is predictably related to an inflated view of the self that is not warranted by objective indices of social functioning. Further evidence shows that it promotes the continuity of aggressive behavior and is more strongly related to reactive aggression than to proactive aggression and more strongly related to relational aggression than to physical aggression. Finally, there is evidence that distortions in the self may derive from the inadequate functioning of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis, one of the body's main response system for dealing with stress. These findings are discussed in terms of the processes by which early adolescents react to threats and arousal in their daily functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1249-1262
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopment and psychopathology
Volume21
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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