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An analysis of narcissism and aggression: In relationship to vocational -technical school adolescents in rural, suburban, and urban Massachusetts communities

Janice Felicina Chiaradonna, Johnson & Wales University


The purpose of this study was to conduct an analysis of the relationship among adolescent self-esteem, specifically narcissism, and aggression in rural, suburban, and urban Massachusetts's communities. The literature has identified two opposing positions on the question of this relationship. The traditional position supports the idea that low self-esteem is a predictor of violent behavior (Jankowski, 1991). The non-traditional position supports the idea that positive self-esteem, specifically narcissism, is associated with aggression (Baumeister, Boden, & Smart, 1996). Evolutionary-sociometer theory was applied to explore the non-traditional theory of positive self-esteem, specifically the narcissistic personality, as it relates to aggression. Using a sample of adolescent boys and girls in grade nine, ages 13 to 18 (N = 1,234) living in Massachusetts's rural (n = 392), suburban (n = 372), and urban (n = 470) communities, the researcher administered two instruments: the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and the Aggression Questionnaire. This study attempted to determine whether aggressive adolescents are narcissistic. The findings suggest that a moderate, positive, and highly significant correlation between narcissism and aggression exists in adolescents in the general population at Massachusetts's vocational-technical high schools ( r = .28, P = .0001, N = 1,227). Additional analyses suggest that both males and females who were high in narcissism (n = 425) had higher mean aggression scores (high narcissism males M = 96.84, high narcissism females M = 99.42) than males and females who were low in narcissism (n = 404; low narcissism males, M = 83.04, low narcissism females M = 86.07; F = (3,828) = 24.70, p < .0001). Among this group of males and females that scored either high or low on narcissism, there were no significant main effect of gender on aggression (F = (1,828) = 2.98, p = .085) and there was no significant interaction between gender and high and low narcissism (F (1,828) = .019, p = .89). The implication is that narcissism is a risk factor in adolescent aggression.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Academic guidance counseling|Social psychology|Vocational education

Recommended Citation

Chiaradonna, Janice Felicina, "An analysis of narcissism and aggression: In relationship to vocational -technical school adolescents in rural, suburban, and urban Massachusetts communities" (2003). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3106402.