Snowflake alert finally being disseminated.
Children whose parents described them as “more special than other children” and as kids who “deserve something extra in life” were more likely to score higher on tests of narcissism than peers who were not lauded in this way.
Researchers also measured how much parents overvalued their children by asking how much they agreed with statements like: “My child is a great example for other children to follow.”
The children were between seven and 11 when they entered the study. They and their parents were surveyed four different times, with each session six months apart.
“Children believe it when their parents tell them that they are more special than others,” said study co-author Brad Bushman, professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.
“That may not be good for them or for society.”
Parental warmth and encouragement may be a better strategy than inflating the ego, the study found.
Youths who said they were often told they were loved by their parents were more likely to show high self-esteem but not narcissism.