Social networking sites use and narcissistic traits in school-aged children: the roles of attention-seeking and downward social comparison
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Nowadays, almost every adolescent uses social networking sites (SNS). At the same time, narcissistic traits have increased among the same age group. Unfortunately, no research has been done among adolescents so far. The aim of this longitudinal study was to explore whether non-clinical narcissistic traits can predict an increase in active SNS use and whether attention-seeking motives can explain this increase. Additionally, this study examined whether narcissistic traits increase downward social comparison tendencies. Lastly, it is studied whether SNS use increases narcissistic traits and whether downward social comparison tendencies can explain this increase. A total of 1419 adolescents (M age: 13.3, 55% male) have completed the questionnaire of the Digital Youth Project twice, with an interval of one year. The results of this study only indicate a positive longitudinal effect of narcissistic traits on SNS use. This effect seems to be explained by attention-seeking motives. Since narcissistic traits do also increase downward social comparison tendencies, additional analyses were conducted, showing that downward social comparison also seems to explain the effect of narcissistic traits on SNS use. In conclusion, it seems that adolescents with narcissistic traits make more active use of SNS, because of attention-seeking motives and downward social comparison tendencies.