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Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Abstract

A rigorous investigation of the psychometric properties of the Academic Entitlement Questionnaire (AEQ) was undertaken. Academic entitlement (AE) is defined as the expectation that one should receive positive academic outcomes (e.g., high grades), often independent of performance. AE had been theoretically linked with uncivil student behavior, but this relationship had not been evaluated empirically prior to this study. Responses on the AEQ were gathered from compliant and noncompliant students. Measurement invariance was established for the AEQ across these compliant and noncompliant samples. As predicted, the noncompliant sample was significantly higher in latent AE than the compliant sample. Relationships between AE scores and theoretically-relevant external variables (e.g., metacognitive regulation, help-seeking, agreeableness, conscientiousness) provided further validity evidence. Given the wealth of validity evidence for scores derived from the AEQ, this instrument could be used to assess the effectiveness of student programming to reduce AE. Additionally, the AEQ could be used to identify students high in AE, who could then be targeted for intervention. Moreover, this study suggests that AE is an important construct that should receive increased focus from researchers, educators, and administrators.

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