Relations of proactive and reactive dimensions of aggression to overt and covert Narcissism in Nonclinical adolescents

Andrea Fossati, Serena Borroni, Nancy Eisenberg, Cesare Maffei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


In recent years, there has been increasing acknowledgment of the multidimensionality of narcissism and that different types of narcissism may relate differently to other domains of functioning. Similarly, aggression-a frequently discussed correlate of narcissism-is a heterogeneous construct. In this study, the relations of proactive and reactive aggression with overt and covert manifestations of narcissism were examined in a sample of 674 Italian high school students (mean age = 15.5 years, SD = 2.1 years). Overt narcissism was positively related to both proactive and reactive subtypes of aggression, whereas covert narcissism related only to reactive aggression. Vanity, Authority, Exhibitionism, and Exploitativeness were the components of overt narcissism related to Proactive Aggression (all remained unique correlates when controlling for Reactive Aggression), whereas Reactive Aggression was associated with the Exhibitionism, Superiority, and Entitlement subscales (only the latter was uniquely related when controlling for Proactive Aggression).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010



  • Aggression subtypes
  • Covert narcissism
  • Overt narcissism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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