Narcissism and youth psychological well-being in urban vs. rural China

[Speaker] Wang, Qian:1
[Co-author] Zhou, Hui:2
1:The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), 2:Sun Yat-Sen University (China (People's Republic of China))

Among Westerners, subclinical narcissism defined as "a self-centered, self-aggrandizing, dominant, and manipulative interpersonal orientation" is positively related to psychological well-being (Sedikides et al., 2002). While narcissism may be incompatible with traditionally collectivistic Chinese culture that deemphasizes "the self," increasing Westernization and typically heightened parental investment may have changed the functional relevance of narcissism among the young generation in major urban areas in contemporary China. This research thus compared the relation between narcissism and psychological well-being (indicated by a composite of global self-worth, life satisfaction, and reverse-scored depression) among urban (N=365 with 250 females; mean age=12.70 years, SD=.42) vs. rural Chinese 7th-graders (N=356 with 147 females; mean age=13.13, SD=.72). Regression analysis revealed a significant interaction between region (urban=0, rural=1) and narcissism in predicting psychological well-being (β=-.44, p<.01), such that narcissism was positively related to psychological well-being among urban adolescents (β=.22, p<.001), but unrelated to psychological well-being among rural adolescents (β=.02, ns.).
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