Navigate Up
Sign In
Media Site

Public Affairs, Community and Government Relations

Hot Topic:
Can over-praising your child
lead to narcissism?


Providence College’s faculty and staff members are ready to provide their expert opinion on all of today’s hot topics and trends. They are available to respond to all media inquiries regarding their studied areas of expertise.            


Dr. Jennifer Van Reet is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Providence College. 


Boston Globe - Psychologists have long warned parents to deliver praise with caution. The right words can build children’s confidence and self-worth, while the wrong words — even when well intentioned — may do harm.

The latest support for this comes from research published last month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study found that children whose parents “overvalue” them — believing, for instance, they are extra special and deserving of special treatment — later score high in narcissism.

Dr. Jennifer Van Reet is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Providence and says there's a fine line between a child's self esteem and making him or her feel special. 

To speak with her directly, please contact Chrissy Centazzo at (401) 340-5710, or   

Meet Our Expert:

Dr. Jennifer Van Reet,
associate professor of psychology;
Teaching at PC since 2008
  • Cognitive Development in Childhood
  • Development of Executive Function
  • Development of Pretend Play, Imagination, and Creativity Importance of Play
  • Development of Social Cognition
Selected Courses Taught:
  • Child Psychology
  • Experimental Child Psychology
  • The Psychology of Adolescence
  • Advanced Cognitive Development 

Steve Maurano
Associate Vice President for Public Affairs, Community & Government Relations​
(401) 865-2413​

Chrissy Centazzo
Public Affairs, Community & Government
Re​lations Specialist
(401) 865-2413




Catholic and Dominican

What does it mean to be a Catholic and Dominican college? We invite you to explore this question and the distinctive mission of Providence College.
About Providence College's Catholic and Dominican Identity