Case Study 4

Volunteerism and
Adolescent Addiction


Carter, R.R., Johnson, S.M., Post, S.G., & Pagano, M.E. Addiction and “Generation Me”: Narcissistic and Prosocial Behaviors of Adolescents with Substance Dependency Disorder in Comparison to Normative Adolescents. (April, 2012).


  • Fixed effect regression analysis
  • Nested pair-clustering


We examined the link between self-centered/narcissistic behavior and addiction, exploring where volunteering and other other-oriented/altruistic actions can serve as a potential option to counter self-centered behavior in adolescents with substance dependency disorder. Study employed a quasi-experimental design with comparison groups were matched by age and gender. Adolescents with substance dependency disorder were compared with normative (non-substance dependent) sample of adolescents evaluating their psychosocial functioning via the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and a second sample of normative adolescents from the  General Social Survey for comparison of altruistic behaviors.


  • Featured in the The Huffington Post: “Can Helping Others Keep You Sober?” (April 21, 2016).

  • To date (2018) this work has been cited in 23 peer-reviewed journals, including 1 textbook.


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