Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Elder, Anastasia D.

Committee Member

Adams-Price, Carolyn E.

Committee Member

Morse, Linda W.

Committee Member

Morse, David T.

Committee Member

Xu, Jianzhong

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Educational Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology


Academic entitlement is defined as the belief that academic benefits, positive outcomes, or preferential treatment should be given regardless of individual effort (Chowning & Campbell, 2009; Greenberger, et al., 2008; Kopp et al., 2011). The current study investigated antecedent and outcome relationships of endorsing academic entitlement beliefs (AEBs) among undergraduate college students using structural equation modeling (SEM). Specific variables evaluated in the model as predictors of AEBs included students’ beliefs regarding achievement goals (i.e., mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance), control beliefs (i.e., internal, chance, and powerful others), consumerism, narcissism, and parental involvement; as well as the background characteristics of students’ age and exposure to community college. Outcome variables included in the model consisted of students’ beliefs regarding academic policies, in-class behaviors, and academic expectations. An email was sent to all undergraduate students at a large university in the south eastern region of the United States soliciting participation for an online questionnaire. The responses of 904 participants were randomly divided into two equal subsamples: one for model evaluation and modification, and one to evaluate model stability. Results of the SEM model gave indication of multiple relationships. Specifically, powerful others, chance, mastery-avoidance goals, performance-avoidance goals, beliefs in consumerism, and parental over-involvement were all observed to positively predict AEBs. Endorsements of AEBs and consumerism beliefs were observed to positively predict students’ beliefs in preferential academic policies regarding grading, scheduling, and personal accommodations. The findings of the current model present a contemporary perspective on how AEBs relates to an array of both general and specific student beliefs. The positive correspondence between students’ endorsements of AEBs and students’ beliefs in accommodating academic policies suggests that AEBs are potential precursors to maladaptive in-class beliefs. The positive relationships observed between students’ AEBs and students’ beliefs in powerful others, parental over-involvement, consumerism, and chance all indicate that AEBs are an externally oriented system of beliefs. Future recommendations include improving measures as well as investigating developmental changes, behavioral consequences, parental over-involvement and individual differences in academic entitlement.



college students||structural equation modeling||academic entitlement