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ABSTRACT This study investigates the relationships among narcissism, self-esteem, and defensive self-enhancement in samples of 60, 84, 300, and 57 subjects. Using various self-report indices of these constructs we found that (a) defensive self-enhancement is composed of two orthogonal components: grandiosity and social desirability; (b) grandiosity and social desirability independently predict self-esteem and may represent distinct confounds in the measurement of self-esteem, (c) narcissism is positively related to grandiose self-enhancement (as opposed to social desirability), (d) narcissism is positively associated with both defensive and nondefensive self-esteem, and (e) authority, self-sufficiency, and vanity are the narcissistic elements most indicative of nondefensive self-esteem. The results are consistent with several theories that postulate a two-component model for self-esteem regulation and personality development.