Narcissism is a personality trait characterized by a grandiose sense of self-importance, uniqueness, and superiority. Individuals with narcissistic traits engage in interpersonal exploitation for their personal gain, lack empathy toward others, feel entitled, and have a strong need for excessive admiration from others. Enduring, pervasive, and persistent patterns of narcissism contribute to a diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder in adults (i.e., over the age of 18), according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (a classification system for child, adolescent, and adult mental health problems). This personality trait is most frequently observed in adolescents and adults, but several theories suggest that narcissism begins to emerge during the crucial identity development stages of childhood. This entry therefore examines narcissism across the life ...

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