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Raising children with high self-esteem (but not narcissism)

Raising children with high self-esteem (but not narcissism)
Raising children with high self-esteem (but not narcissism)

With the rise of individualism since the 1960s, Western parents have become increasingly concerned with raising their children’s self-esteem. This is understandable, given the benefits of self-esteem for children’s psychological health. However, parents’ well-intentioned attempts to raise self-esteem, such as through inflated praise, may inadvertently breed narcissism. How can parents raise self-esteem without breeding narcissism? In this article, we propose a tripartite model of self-regard, which holds that the development of self-esteem without narcissism can be cultivated through realistic feedback (rather than inflated praise), a focus on growth (rather than on outperforming others), and unconditional regard (rather than regard that is conditional). We review evidence in support of these practices and outline promising directions for research. Our model integrates existing research, stimulates the development of theory, and identifies leverage points for intervention to raise self-esteem and curtail narcissism from a young age.

development, narcissism, self-esteem, socialization
83-89
Brummelman, Eddie
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Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2
Brummelman, Eddie
b35dff27-28b1-4184-ab81-da7815676194
Sedikides, Constantine
9d45e66d-75bb-44de-87d7-21fd553812c2

Brummelman, Eddie and Sedikides, Constantine (2020) Raising children with high self-esteem (but not narcissism). Child Development Perspectives, 14 (2), 83-89. (doi:10.1111/cdep.12362).

Record type: Article

Abstract

With the rise of individualism since the 1960s, Western parents have become increasingly concerned with raising their children’s self-esteem. This is understandable, given the benefits of self-esteem for children’s psychological health. However, parents’ well-intentioned attempts to raise self-esteem, such as through inflated praise, may inadvertently breed narcissism. How can parents raise self-esteem without breeding narcissism? In this article, we propose a tripartite model of self-regard, which holds that the development of self-esteem without narcissism can be cultivated through realistic feedback (rather than inflated praise), a focus on growth (rather than on outperforming others), and unconditional regard (rather than regard that is conditional). We review evidence in support of these practices and outline promising directions for research. Our model integrates existing research, stimulates the development of theory, and identifies leverage points for intervention to raise self-esteem and curtail narcissism from a young age.

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Brummelman Sedikides 2020 Child Dev Perspect - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 16 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 April 2020
Published date: 1 June 2020
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Authors. Child Development Perspectives published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Society for Research in Child Development
Keywords: development, narcissism, self-esteem, socialization

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439379
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439379
PURE UUID: 6221ffe7-8b7f-46f0-8d23-6e91d0a3b9cc
ORCID for Constantine Sedikides: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-4036-889X

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Date deposited: 21 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 23 Sep 2022 04:01

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Contributors

Author: Eddie Brummelman

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