Narcissism, well-being, and observer-rated personality across the lifespan

Patrick L. Hill, Brent W. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Previous studies have noted that narcissists do, in some cases, experience benefits. The current study adds to this discussion by examining whether age might moderate the links between narcissism and a self-reported benefit (life satisfaction) and an observer-reported benefit (observer ratings of personality). In a sample of college students and their family members (N = 807), the authors demonstrate that narcissism positively correlates with life satisfaction for adolescents and emerging adults, but not for adult participants. In addition, the relationship between narcissism and observer-reported neuroticism was weakly negative for undergraduate students, but significant and positive for their mothers. Taken together, these results suggest that narcissism is more beneficial for adolescents and emerging adults than for adults. Both sets of analyses also pointed to the importance of studying narcissism as a multifaceted construct. Findings are discussed with respect to personality development theories that emphasize adult role adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalSocial Psychological and Personality Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • development
  • person perception
  • personality
  • self-worth
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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