When the going gets tough — in college or on the job — young people with inflated self-esteem fall apart, says a USA Today story.
Overall, research shows that self-esteem scores have increased with the generations, says Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University who compared studies on self-esteem of 66,000 college kids across the USA from 1968 through 1994. Such studies are typically based on self-ratings.
She also has noticed that the undergraduates she teaches tend to have an inflated sense of self.
“When you correct writing, they’ll say, ‘It’s just your opinion,’ which is infuriating. Bad grammar and spelling and sentences being wrong is not my opinion, it’s just bad writing,” she says.
So when the criticism flows, some college students are increasingly seeking counseling.
Sam Goldstein, a neuropsychologist at the University of Utah, likened some students to bubbles: On the surface they seem secure and happy, yet with the least adversity they burst.
Employers complain that young workers have an exaggerated sense of entitlement. They’ve heard “good job” too many times from Mom to realize that they’re not always doing a good job.