Narcissism as a life span construct: Describing fluctuations using new approaches

Patrick L. Hill, Brent W Roberts

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Personality trait development has been linked to the major life transitions and developmental challenges individuals confront across the life span. This work typically focuses on how people may be encouraged to increase on the dispositional characteristics that promote success during these transitions, such as conscientiousness and emotional stability. The current chapter focuses on employing these same theoretical frameworks for understanding how individuals change on narcissism from adolescence through adulthood, focusing on "normal range" levels of narcissistic traits, rather than clinical manifestations. This chapter explores how individuals may change their dispositions as a result of experiencing the benefits in daily life associated with lower levels of narcissism. In addition, we describe how a socioanalytic approach to personality traits proffers new opportunities for considering how to change narcissism over time, by intervening upon the state-level manifestations of the trait. The chapter concludes by setting forth an agenda for future research, focusing on the need for additional studies that chart the trajectory of narcissism over time, as well as efforts to formally test the potential framework for explaining change in narcissism over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Trait Narcissism
Subtitle of host publicationKey Advances, Research Methods, and Controversies
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783319921716
ISBN (Print)9783319921709
StatePublished - Sep 27 2018


  • Adult role adoption
  • Narcissism
  • Personality development
  • Sociogenomic trait intervention model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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