Causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

The exact causes of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are still unknown. As with any other type of mental disorder or personality disorder, the causes are often complex and a combination of several factors that could lead to the development of the condition. These include:

  • An extremely sensitive personality
  • Parenting problems
  • Unpredictable parenting or care giving during childhood
  • Dysfunctional childhood
  • Excessive pampering and praise during childhood
  • Lack of praise or love and affection during childhood
  • High expectations placed on the child
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • There are also theories that suggest that narcissistic personality disorder could have its roots in genetics or psychobiology but more studies are required to prove these theories.
There are also certain factors that may increase a person's chance of developing this condition. These are known as risk factors and include:

  • Gender: Narcissistic personality disorder affects more men than women
  • Age: The condition tends to develop during early adulthood. Though some adolescents may also exhibit traits of narcissistic personality disorder, more often than not, these disappear over time
  • Extremes in Child Rearing: Children who have been raised by parents who have either neglected them or overindulged them are more likely to develop the condition
  • Cultural Factors: These include exposure to narcissistic role models on TV or growing up in adverse environments could increase the chances of narcissistic personality traits from developing

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  2. L. Bobadilla, J. Taylor, Antisocial and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, In: Editor-in-Chief: V.S. Ramachandran, Editor(s)-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Human Behavior (Second Edition), Academic Press, San Diego, 2012, Pages 154-160, ISBN 9780080961804, 10.1016/B978-0-12-375000-6.00026-4.