This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Self-Esteem and Narcissism in Juvenile Sex Offenders




Peden, Sarah

Type of Degree





The present study sought to examine the relationship between self-esteem, adaptive, and maladaptive narcissism in juvenile sex offenders, and how these constructs relate to personality characteristics, psychopathology, and delinquent behaviors. Sixty-one boys residing in a juvenile detention facility completed a clinical interview, psychoeducational testing, and five self-report questionnaires measuring self-esteem, narcissism, personality, and psychopathology. Pertinent information was also extracted from their clinical file. Results indicated that individuals who reported sexual abuse had lower scores on several of the narcissism subscales but not on self-esteem, and physical abuse had no effect on any scores. No differences were found for scores on narcissism and self-esteem based on sexual offense victim age or gender. Most of the externalizing variables were positively predicted by either adaptive or maladaptive narcissism, some in combination with self-esteem. Most of the internalizing variables were negatively predicted by self-esteem, narcissism, or a combination of both. The maladaptive narcissism subscale was a significant predictor for most of the internalizing variables. These results highlight the need to assess self-esteem and narcissism in juvenile sex offenders to assist in treatment planning and evaluating the risk of recidivism.