Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1193–1204

Self-Entitled College Students: Contributions of Personality, Parenting, and Motivational Factors


    • Department of Psychology and Social BehaviorUniversity of California-Irvine
  • Jared Lessard
    • Department of Psychology and Social BehaviorUniversity of California-Irvine
  • Chuansheng Chen
    • Departments of Psychology and Social Behavior and EducationUniversity of California-Irvine
  • Susan P. Farruggia
    • Faculty of EducationThe University of Auckland
Empirical Research

DOI: 10.1007/s10964-008-9284-9

Cite this article as:
Greenberger, E., Lessard, J., Chen, C. et al. J Youth Adolescence (2008) 37: 1193. doi:10.1007/s10964-008-9284-9


Anecdotal evidence suggests an increase in entitled attitudes and behaviors of youth in school and college settings. Using a newly developed scale to assess “academic entitlement” (AE), a construct that includes expectations of high grades for modest effort and demanding attitudes towards teachers, this research is the first to investigate the phenomenon systematically. In two separate samples of ethnically diverse college students comprised largely of East and Southeast Asian American, followed by Caucasians, Latinos, and other groups (total N = 839, age range 18–25 years), we examined the personality, parenting, and motivational correlates of AE. AE was most strongly related to exploitive attitudes towards others and moderately related to an overall sense of entitlement and to narcissism. Students who reported more academically entitled attitudes perceived their parents as exerting achievement pressure marked by social comparison with other youth and materially rewarding good grades, scored higher than their peers in achievement anxiety and extrinsic motivation, and engaged in more academic dishonesty. AE was not significantly associated with GPA.


Sense of entitlementAcademic entitlementParenting processesSocially comparative achievement pressureAchievement anxietyStudent–teacher relationshipsAcademic dishonesty

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008