Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Counselor Education


Leadership and Counselor Education

First Advisor

Suzanne Degges-White

Second Advisor

Douglas R. Davis

Third Advisor

Marc Showalter

Relational Format



Although academic entitlement (AE) has become a popular topic of discussion in the media, it has received very little scholarly focus in the higher education literature to date. AE has been defined as a belief held by students that they deserve high grades in school despite a lack of effort put forth into their work (Chowning & Campbell, 2009). AE has been linked to a variety of inappropriate behaviors in the classroom including sleeping during class or being rude to the instructor (Mellor, 2011). These uncivil behaviors pose as frustrating obstacles to the learning process for students and instructors. To date, few studies have yet been published that address the relationship between AE and other potentially relevant variables such as satisfaction with life and academic performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between AE, life satisfaction, and academic performance as measured by cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Two college student groups were utilized—those who were considered to be academically at-risk, as defined by having a cumulative GPA less than 2.0; and those who were considered to be academically non-at-risk, as characterized by having a cumulative GPA above 2.0. Additionally, the researcher sought to examine the differences between academically at-risk and non-at-risk students for AE and life satisfaction as well as the relationships between AE, satisfaction with life, and GPA within both student groups. Using purposive sampling, the researcher acquired 146 non-at-risk student participants from an introductory psychology class and 165 at-risk students from a course that focused on academic success. Results included academically at-risk students scoring significantly higher on AE and lower on satisfaction with life than their non-at-risk peers. Additionally, no significant relationship was found between both AE and GPA and AE and satisfaction with life for either group. Last, a significant relationship was found between GPA and life satisfaction but only for the non-at-risk students. Both the implications and limitations of these findings are discussed, as well as suggestions for future studies.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.