Study: Today’s Youth Are Lazy And Overly Entitled


“Kids today…” has been a phrase muttered with exasperation by older folks discussing up and coming adults for generations. New research indicates that the current generation of younger adults may be more deserving of their elders’ disdain than any before.

A study published by Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin indicates that recent high school graduates place a higher value on material wealth but are less willing to work hard than previous generations.

Analyzing data from “Monitoring the Future”, a survey that has tracked youth trends since 1976, researchers Jean M. Twenge and Tim Kasser suggest that today’s youth are largely representative of entitlement culture.

“Compared to previous generations, recent high school graduates are more likely to want lots of money and nice things, but less likely to say they’re willing to work hard to earn them,” said Twenge, a San Diego State University psychology professor and author of the book Generation Me.

“That type of ‘fantasy gap’ is consistent with other studies showing a generational increase in narcissism and entitlement,” Twenge said.

Compared to students of the same age surveyed in the 1970s, 62 percent of recent graduates believe it’s important to have a lot of money, while just 48 percent had the same belief in 1976-78. Likewise, 69 percent of recent high school graduates thought it was important to own a home, compared to just 55 percent in the 1970s.

While seeking financial success and home ownership is a popular idea among today’s youth, working in order to do so isn’t. Thirty-nine percent of recent graduates surveyed admitted they didn’t want to work hard, compared to only 25 percent in 1976-78.

“This suggests that advertising may play a crucial role in the development of youth materialism,” said Twenge. “It also might explain the gap between materialism and the work ethic, as advertising rarely shows the work necessary to earn the money necessary to pay for the advertised products.”

Personal Liberty

Sam Rolley

Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After covering community news and politics, Rolley took a position at Personal Liberty Media Group where could better hone his focus on his true passions: national politics and liberty issues. In his daily columns and reports, Rolley works to help readers understand which lies are perpetuated by the mainstream media and to stay on top of issues ignored by more conventional media outlets.

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  • Shirley Crowfoot

    Hurray!! someone is finally willing to admit that Generation Me (the product of everyone gets a trophy, show up and breath in and out and you will get a passing or better grade, and household chores are unnecessary) lacks work ethic, commitment to accomplishment, and expects something for nothing from their parents, their teachers, and their employers…if they ever have one.

    They are entitled to anything they want and if they don’t get it, it is someone else’s fault!

  • Harold Olsen

    I hate to say it, but today’s yourth ARE lazy. I’ve run into kids who have graduated from college and complain they don’t have jobs even though they have college degrees. In each case, when I’ve asked where they have looked to find a job they all respond that they haven’t looked anywhere. When I asked how they expect to find a job if they are not out looking, they each responded that it’s up to the government to find them a job, not themselves. Most of them added, that Obama promised to find them jobs.

  • KG

    Ya know, Aristotle said the same thing concerning the youth of Athens 2000 years ago. This is nothing new. But the reactionaries are ready to take out their paintbrushes and paint all of society as the “problem.” When, if you look closer, many of the “problem” kids are coming from those same homes.

    What needs to happen is to stop this stupid “college only” track we have given our children. Our communities need plumbers, electricians, and carpenters as well as lawyers. Labor Unions are the only entity in America that is willing to spend the money on Apprenticeship programs. Every business owner wants a craftsperson who has the training, but they DO NOT want to pay for it. However, in this world, you get no “free lunches.” Let’s save our well trained Union workers and rebuild America using our own kids instead of those foriners.

    • Stuart Shepherd

      You’re lying. While you’re correct that a college education is probably a waste of time and money for the majority of those who attend it, labor unions are definitely not the only entity in America (far from it) that offer some type of on the job training and can be cronyistic. A union job is great if you can get it, but socialism is not the answer and in many cases there is much corruption and thug imposition and destruction of American competitiveness overall.

      • KG

        No you are wrong. There are “private” “training” facilities that offer “Government loans for tuition”, but can’t seem to turn out the qualified craftspersons that a Union apprentice program can produce. Ask any true person in the construction trades who gets the best training.Besides, the Union training is subsidized by the membership NOT the Government. That should tickle your libertarian fancy.

        • rendarsmith

          We’ve seen how unions operate. We saw how they attacked that Fox News host.

          • KG

            I guess you don’t live in the real world? What about those Air Force pilots who bombed those innocent civilians in Iraq? How about the union organizers in LA that were attacked by non union goons? How about all the families suffering because of the greed of hedge fund managers?

    • Dirty Daug

      Most of the kids of today are lazy and think an education will get you a job. As a business owner I find the the best workers are the ones who don’t have a college education and are willing to start at the bottom to learn a trade. In fact the very best never graduated from high school.

    • Dirty Daug

      It sounds like you are an Union lover and once upon a time Unions had their place in America but not lately. Unions have became crooked to the point that they have been gave special treatment from the government to do whatever it takes to make themselves stronger.

    • peter

      Spot on KG. You cannot build anything of substance by anything else than constructive labour. Making fortunes on the stock market is just gambling and not creative in any way. America was not built that way at all. But in that the kids today have seriously retarded icons as their idols, most are in for ‘ serious wake up calls ‘ and those who are creators will make it anyway. Nothing for nothing and very little for sixpence. Teaching people to actually build things, to make things and to repair things is the way to go. There are many degreed folks out there that now wish they had rather learnt a trade, since their degrees are worthless and unneeded. It cost a fortune to make them redundant, useless and basically unwanted. Excuse me now, I need to call my plumber, the geyser just popped!

    • rendarsmith

      And the people that worked at Hostess? How much are they getting paid now?

      • KG

        If the Hedge Fund managers that owned Hostess didn’t steal all of their pension money to give themselves a huge raise instead of giving the Union their “breadcrumbs” we would be up to our necks with Twinkees. And that’s a fact.

    • Kim Valentine

      You are wrong!!!! The educational system does not care if you go to college. The ‘No Child Left Behind’ policy tells our children they don’t have to work hard and yet they still pass. Kids in school are NOT required to take the same classes their parents where. They are NOT required to maintain a high GPA. They are told not to worry about learning all the mundane class work as long as they can pass a test. Their curriculum is dumbed down for ‘career pathways’ and counselors that tell them, if this subject is too hard we’ll put you on a different ‘career pathway’ so that you don’t even have to try.

      • KG

        Have you served on your local school board? Have you even looked at what your children are being assigned? It’s all Dinosaurs, Dolphins, and Diversity.

    • Vigilant

      “Ya know, Aristotle said the same thing concerning the youth of Athens 2000 years ago.”
      And look at what happened to Athens.

      • KG

        What did happen to Athens? Tell me. I want to know.

  • Jurgy

    well that’s what they said about us hippies too …

  • chocopot

    I have two teenagers. I have done my best to be an active part of their lives and to instill proper values and ethics, but I am losing the battle to “the popular culture.” To put it in plain and simple words, the popular culture is toxic and is destroying our kids. I can sum up the message they receive, day and night, from the popular culture: have a good time, that is all that matters; today is here – enjoy it now and do not worry about tomorrow; have respect for no one and nothing – that includes people of authority, your parents, and even yourself; you exist, therefore things are owed to you – you do not have to earn anything since you deserve it just for existing. I could go on but you get the gist. This attitude is reinforced in school, where everything has been dumbed down to the point where a college degree now requires less of the students than a high school diploma of 40 years ago, and where no one is allowed to lose – everyone must be a winner, so in many schools, competition of any sort (sports, spelling bees, debate clubs) has been eliminated because there can only be one winner, but in today’s world, everyone must be a winner. Great message that gives the kids, no?. They graduate from college (which has now become just another ‘entitlement’ that is given out just for existing and does not have to be earned) with “a degree,” yet most of them can’t read or write plain English to any extent, and because of the indoctrination they receive in school, where they are taught not how to think but what to think, they are incapable of functioning in a competitive world. Then they go out and vote for the likes of Obama because he promises to keep giving them more of the free things they have become accustomed to receiving their entire lives, whereas conservatives actually expect people to work for things and earn them before they get them. Take a look at the state of this country and tell me I’m wrong. My boys are classic cases.

    • Michael Shreve


  • rendarsmith

    So kids do respond to what they see on TV. So what good is it then, when they see fathers as bumbling idiots on nearly every TV show, movie and commercial? That is if it even shows a father at all. It’s even happening now in kids’ cartoons.

  • me

    i hit the real world in 1969.Getting old. My age group were considered the best ever. We made good money back then and spoiled our kids. The child abuse laws were pushed thru by our parents who whipped our butts. We could have lost our kids for physical punishment. this created a lazy bunch who their parents made it too easy for them and gave them everything. I’d almost bet i had $10 worth of christmas presents and was thrilled. It got to be several hundred dollars every year for our kids and thy complained it wasn’t enough. my parents and my generation are to blame because we made it too easy and didn’tteach them any responsibility. they got too much as kids and now think they have to live like it was when they were kids. my sstepdaughter got every thing from grandparent all her life. After she grew up grammas paid all her bills and she lived off the system with hud, welfare and food stamps along with grammas help. she is fat and lazy like momma and grammas let he be. now she is drawing social security because mof weight caused health problems. everything ive always had to work for. I see kids all the time with government supplied vision cards buying food all the time. Us responsible people pay for it while dead beats benefit. Hell of a life for some.

  • JimH

    I’m in contact with kids because of my job. I see some ambitious ones with a good head on their shoulders and I see some that are in for a big shock when they hit real world.

    There are some, that with a little guidance will be on the right track.

    It depends on the parents, mostly, and on the kid.
    I see some that with the household they come from, it’s amazing how well they do.
    To say “all” are lazy is like any generalization.

  • FreedomFighter

    I tried to hire at 10 bucks an hour and free lunch, some local kids to help do some yard work, didn’t want to hire illegals.

    None wanted the work. NONE. Well one black kid did, but wanted 15 bucks an hour and only wanted to work 2 or 3 hours (no idea what that as about), really sad.

    Hired some local Latino handyman for 10 an hour and no free lunch, he came with his own tools, truck an hauled the refuse away for free and I didn’t lift a finger.
    Laus Deo
    Semper FI

  • Boomer

    Sure wish I knew the answer to this. I grew up in the 50’s raised by a widowed mother. I had to work in my teens (can I wash that windshield). I have two kids in thier 40’s who are polar opposites even though they were raised the same. One sold her car as soon as she graduated college, caught a plane to NYC and is now a partner in an investment management co and a successful writer. Her first job there was waiting tables. Her brother lives upstairs and hasn’t worked in 14 years. Don’t tell me to kick him out. I assure you his mommy would see to it that it was I out in the street.

  • olyvant joyner

    Welcome to the “great society” created by Lyndon Johnson back in the 1960’s !!
    Due to Obama and his minions passing out freebies for votes,and declaring total war on ” working hard and prospering” , a large portion of adults are just as guilty.
    Adults leading by example!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael Shreve

    This is the fault of the educational system, peers, society and the PARENTS. FAR to many parent have spoiled their children and created a dependency just as damning as drugs and the U.S. Welfare system.

  • samurai

    I know what Sam is talking about. Sook Young and I have 4 kids. Our oldest has graduated from college as a biochemist. He is currently working full time at Indiana University Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. He is verey independent and asks us for nothing, except to visit and for advice. Our duaghter graduates this year as a chemical engineer. She has no job yet, due to her difficult class and study schedule, but she says she will start looking for a job after she garduates. She has 3 companies asking her to work for them when she graduates, due to her high GPA (4.0). Our second sone has returned from the army and is currently working a part time job as a stocker at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. He also plans to go to Indiana University this August. He said he will save up what he can so we don’t have to pay for anything. He even plans to work on the weekends to have money in the bank. We have our youngest son still living with us, but he currently attends high school, studys hard, and works around the house (He likes helping his mom). Since Sook Young and I do not believe in being lazy, not being entitled to anything you don’t earn, our kids did well in school and in the world of today. Here is an article that will show part of how the young generation has lost their morals and refuse to take responsibility for their actions.
    FOR GOD AND COUNTRY! 하나님하고 나라를 위해서!
    You need both love of country and faith in God to be a patriot.
    “We might come closer to balancing the budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule.”
    Ronald Reagan

  • Betta

    The old way of raising kids will always be the best way. Kids now are insolent, smart-mouthed, disrespectful and know for a fact there are no consequences for their actions. At least not while they’re growing up. They find out the hard way when the police have to show them. Too bad that we let child psychologists tell us the wrong way to raise our children.

    I know a lot a people will say “You should never hit a child. I never had to hit mine” Yes, and I see how disrespectfully your children talk to you too, like you have a tail. They’re not scared of you and have no respect for you either. Yes, those who spare the rod, I have seen how your children disrespect you.

    At the age of 2, my daughter decides to start having temper tantrums. She would get mad, lay out on the floor and cry, scream, etc. Stupid pediatrician said “Ignore it. If she knows it bothers you she will keep doing it.” What BULL HOCKEY! When she next did it my grandmother was there who said “whup her ass.” I did a few swats on her rear end and the behavior stopped IMMEDIATELY. She never did it again. Problem solved.

    Glad I listened to my grandmother instead of some stupid pediatrician.