Shocka: Narcissism among college students at worrisome levels

posted at 12:15 pm on February 27, 2007 by Allahpundit

Who could have guessed that reminding kids how special they are at every turn would have unhappy consequences?

Imagine a country populated by the teenagers in “Six Degrees of Separation.”

Today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, according to a comprehensive new study by five psychologists who worry that the trend could be harmful to personal relationships and American society…

The researchers describe their study as the largest ever of its type and say students’ NPI scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above-average scores, 30 percent more than in 1982…

The researchers traced the phenomenon back to what they called the “self-esteem movement” that emerged in the 1980s, asserting that the effort to build self-confidence had gone too far…

The study asserts that narcissists “are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors.”…

“Current technology fuels the increase in narcissism,” Twenge said. “By its very name, MySpace encourages attention-seeking, as does YouTube.”…

Campbell said the narcissism upsurge seemed so pronounced that he was unsure if there were obvious remedies.

I’ve got a ton of blogworthy stuff in the pipe so I’ll leave it to you guys to extrapolate about blue- versus red-state parenting models, future voting patterns, demographics, etc etc. Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen it yet, here’s the not-at-all narcissistic clip of a UNC student breaking up with his girlfriend in front of a huge crowd of people that’s gone nuclear at YouTube. It was revealed today to be a hoax, just as the viral bridezilla clip from last month was. If we have to put up with a generation of attention-hungry camera whores, at least we’ll get some entertainment out of it.

The language here is oh so blue, so please observe your official strong content warning.

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Narcissism? Yeah I’ve had one of those removed.

Couldn’t this just be teenagers being teenagers? I mean, I don’t know about you guys, but I was pretty narcissistic when I had -teen as a suffix to my age.

JasonG on February 27, 2007 at 12:21 PM

Well, if you believe the study, the teens today are considerably more teenager-y than teens were 25 years ago.

Allahpundit on February 27, 2007 at 12:24 PM

I’m not narcissitic, I’m just right
(and i’m 23)

Defector01 on February 27, 2007 at 12:26 PM

I need to show this to… well, just about all my friends. Most aren’t teenagers anymore but a lot of the narcissism stuck with them anyway.

Darth Executor on February 27, 2007 at 12:34 PM

I was man of the year.

infidel on February 27, 2007 at 12:37 PM

I think that teens are somewhat narcissistic by nature. I saw an interesting documentary about a study that suggested that a person’s sense of empathy is not fully developed until his or her early 20s.

Having said that, I don’t find it surprising at all that the “self-esteem” movement would produce a generation of more narcissist young people. Increased narcissism is clearly evident in the kinds of celebrities that young people worship, such as Paris Hilton, etc., and the “skank culture” evidenced by those celebrities and items such as Bratz dolls. Reality TV shows are fundamentally narcissistic.

The kind of moral preening that you seen in young liberals is also essentially narcissistic.

SWLiP on February 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM

I find it prevalent even among the middle age crowd. Being divorced and having to “get out” more, I find that even basic manners are missing in most people’s repertoire of social skills. JFK’s “ask not….” concept seems to be long forgotten. to boot.Then again,this is the SF.CA area.friggin’ moonbats by the bay central.

bbz123 on February 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Not me…..I’m better than that (and you BTW)

omnipotent on February 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Not me…..I’m better than that (and you BTW)

omnipotent
on February 27, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Goracle is that you?

infidel on February 27, 2007 at 12:43 PM

Now, how do we recruit these kids into the Military? They are a group of many, looking ugly sometimes, and it all isn’t “ME” in the military.

Just sort of making a statement of the mind set, the recruiters and advertisers must be up against.

StuLongIsland on February 27, 2007 at 12:44 PM

That clip is obviously a hoax; what college kids listen to Dixie Chicks anyway?

saint kansas on February 27, 2007 at 12:53 PM

Self esteem is overrated. What happened to humility and “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others what you would have them do unto you?”

Mission accomplished, Mr. Dewey.

Instead we’re supposed to “be all that we can be,” but nobody defines that. It should be, “Be all that God wants you to be.” But we wouldn’t want to “shove” “inhibiting” values and beliefs down the throats of young children, now would we?

emmaline1138 on February 27, 2007 at 12:54 PM

I was man of the year.


You
were man of the year? I was man of the year, too!

amerpundit on February 27, 2007 at 12:55 PM

You were man of the year? I was man of the year, too!

amerpundit

You couldn’t have been, I WAS!

Defector01 on February 27, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Allah, I agree with that study. 25 years ago this May I graduated from high school and went off to college. I am not saying I wasn’t somewhat narcissistic myself but not to the extent that these kids today are. I have a friend whose sister works for a small, private university near Indianapolis, IN, and heads up student activities for the school. She said the last 3-5 years have really seen a different breed of kids coming through. She’s been there for 15 years total now in some capacity with student services so she’s seen a lot. I know that kids certainly weren’t perfect & I was one of them. I did bring booze into my room, drive like a fool, did stupid things but these were generally the same things other kids were doing. It wasn’t about “me”. One of my high school classmates has a 19 year old at Purdue. She says over and over again that they have raised a monster and are doing things much differently with their 12 and 8 year olds. BTW when did it become the job of the parents to also pay for college. I mean if you can afford a full ride that’s great. I’m not saying my folks didn’t help me out some but I had to work, get scholarships and join the ROTC. I still left owing about 5K when I graduated.
Stu, I think the kids that join the military are probably raised differently than the majority of these kids. But I could be wrong

Catie96706 on February 27, 2007 at 12:58 PM

Well, if you believe the study, the teens today are considerably more teenager-y than teens were 25 years ago.

The Free-Love generation was (and is) mired in narcissism. Hell, you have an entire group of people that are called the “Me generation.” This just strikes me as little more than a “we weren’t like this at that age” by old farts in tweed jackets.

JasonG on February 27, 2007 at 1:02 PM

These people are jerks. I like how the “men” are all chanting “SLUT!” to the young woman. Where is the Group of 88 when you need them?

bloggless on February 27, 2007 at 1:04 PM

My kid beat up your honor student.

My child is citizen of the month at my elementary school – but so was everyone else’s child.

lorien1973 on February 27, 2007 at 1:06 PM

You were man of the year? I was man of the year, too!

I was TIME’S man of the year. Beat that! Losers!

lorien1973 on February 27, 2007 at 1:06 PM

You couldn’t have been, I WAS!

Defector01 on February 27, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Wait…we all were ‘person of the year’ in 2006. Stop it!

When I think of narcissism, one of my favorite words, along with idiosyncrasy, the person who comes to mind is, no doubt, Mr. John Kerry. Mr. Edwards is a close second.

For objectivity, I’m sure that this ‘sickness’ isn’t partial to politics.

Entelechy on February 27, 2007 at 1:09 PM

We see a lot of this narcissism on American Idol. People without talent believe that they are special. Simon gives a dose of reality and he is accused of being cruel.

Now fast forward 5 years or so when these charming and articulate people are applying for jobs. If John Edwards wins the White House they could be in charge of national security.

mkstach on February 27, 2007 at 1:10 PM

What’s interesting is that esteem may be going up, but there is much less reason for kids to feel good about their educational achievement. According to the graph linked, the state with the highest percentage of students who score at or above proficiency in reading is Massachusetts at 44 percent.

K-12 education has been so worried about how their students feel that they’ve forgotten to actually teach. The need for remedial education – just to get students to minimal higher ed standards – is on the rise.

In addition, the esteem curriculum has utterly failed to actually make a lot of students feel better about themselves. I can’t link to the data, as it’s in journals, but the rates of self-harm (cutting) among college students is on the rise; alcohol and drug abuse is growing; risky sexual behaviors are more common; and the number of students on psychiatric medications is definitely up.

I really hope this study addresses the serious harm that an over-focus on esteem has done to academic achievement, and how little it’s done to actually raise esteem to the point where students don’t feel the need to engage in dangerous or self-harmful behavior.

Slublog on February 27, 2007 at 1:10 PM

It’ll be interesting to see how they handle dhimmitude. I guess they could convert, but then there’s that burqa issue. What’s a narcissistic girl to do?

RedWinged Blackbird on February 27, 2007 at 1:12 PM

These students needed to spend more time in church. In church kids and adults learn humility, sacrifice, compassion, and caring for others. Of course, the parents of the narcissists probably thought that the church had no relevance.

Mallard T. Drake on February 27, 2007 at 1:18 PM

We see a lot of this narcissism on American Idol. People without talent believe that they are special. Simon gives a dose of reality and he is accused of being cruel.

I don’t think that’s narcissism. That’s delusional. I bet everyone who thinks they are great are constantly told by their friends that they are great singers – just cuz their friends don’t want to hurt their feelings. I blame their friends (and so should they when simon thwacks them). I guess it feeds into their narcissism, though.

lorien1973 on February 27, 2007 at 1:21 PM

Be reasonable, do it my way!

The clip looks like society checks and balances in action.
The jerky boyfriend was shown in public for what he is and he’ll probably continue receiving the life lessons he needs to conform and become acceptable.

I agree with the study, NPD is more rampant now than before.
Hopefully, societies’ natural consequences of acting a fool will straighten most of them out.

If we could just channel some of that narcissism into a sense of nationalistic pride, some good may come of it.

Speakup on February 27, 2007 at 1:27 PM

That’s interesting. I did some work a year or so ago that looked at generational marketing, and I seem to recall that this generation (generation Y or echo boomers) was refreshingly altruistic, meaning volunteering at much higher rates than the previous generations.

Would seem to contradict this study though.

honora on February 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Well I think this is a junk psych article on MSNBC for public consumption that mixes so many premises that it does not come across coherently. However, umm, I’m sorry but self-esteem is NOT over-rated nor is a narcissistic personality disorder (the article defines a “narcissist”) a product of “too much” self-esteem. It is in fact the opposite of self-esteem, which is why narcissists are so insecure and lack self-esteem and is why they are fake and manipulative in their relationships with others. It’s in the literature; I swear I’m not making this up, haha!

The people who have the biggest impact on a person’s personality and self-esteem are the parents and their chosen parenting style or lack thereof, as was patronizingly mentioned in the article as “a possible antidote”. The fact that more parents are willing to be lazy and not rear their children with a proper educational background or discipline with an authoritative parenting style; and instead let their children rot their brains and systematically reduce their attention spans by shoving the TV, the internet, or a cell phone in front of them at increasingly young ages, is the reason why we have so many jerks in my generation. Of course the educational standards in schools and university’s in the U.S. are laughable, I mean appalling too, and are responsible for much of the blame as well.

I am encouraged however if the findings reveal a more healthy egoistic view of the world in my generation; as opposed to the predominant, altruistic, worldview that a person must sacrifice their personal interests, desires, and aspirations to others in order be happy and lead a good life. But who knows what the research really shows, it’s hard to tell anything in this article when the last line defeats the whole premise of the story by saying… “It would be more depressing if people answered, ‘No, I’m not special’”. Umm yeah…

Roark on February 27, 2007 at 2:19 PM

That’s interesting. I did some work a year or so ago that looked at generational marketing, and I seem to recall that this generation (generation Y or echo boomers) was refreshingly altruistic, meaning volunteering at much higher rates than the previous generations.

What are the age parameters for generation Y?

Slublog on February 27, 2007 at 2:19 PM

If you keep telling your child over and over again that they cannot fail, it makes sense that the end result will be an adult that things they can succeed at anything. We all need our Kobayashi Maru

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 27, 2007 at 2:20 PM

To up the nerd factor, I’ll link it.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 27, 2007 at 2:20 PM

It’s almost impossible now for an American student to be able to transfer into a foreign school system, but foreign students find it easy to handle American schools. American kids’ educational skills are so low, at every grade, they can’t handle the foreign levels of work. It’s not just the self-esteem, it s the competencies. Who wants these students to end up as airline pilots or surgeons? Course, they won’t pass the tests, unless they’re dummied down. No risk of that, eh?

naliaka on February 27, 2007 at 2:27 PM

I remember my mom telling me “the world does NOT revolve around you.” I hear myself repeating that mantra often with my children and hope that they grow up understanding that they can’t just stomp their feet and pout to get what they want, which appears to be the case with so many young adults and teens these days. I love the internet, but it’s really screwed up an entire generation – they can video themselves, take pictures of themselves, post to the internet and get “insta-fame, insta-friends, insta-gratification.” Buying a prada handbag on e-bay is only a click a way! Hell, you don’t even have to make the effort to actually GO to the store to pick out a wedding gift in person. Just buy it online – no handwritten card wishing the couple a nice life, just a print out receipt. Everything is made these days to make our lives more convenient – so convenient in fact that all personalized attention is gone, it’s all about me… me…. me….

Can you imagine the day these self-absorbed twits go into apply for a job out of college? what do you think they’ll do when they aren’t offered a 6 figure salary right off the bat? That’s what I hate about all this self-esteem crap – If you never tell them they’ve screwed up, or that they are actually WRONG, how will they learn life’s important lessons?

Example: I was correcting my daughter’s math homework yesterday. She had a few problems wrong. She said, “but it’s close.” I told her that in math if it’s not right, it’s not right – you don’t get points for “almost.” Same with spelling. It’s either RIGHT or WRONG. There is no in between. By not pointing this out, I would be doing my child a great disservice. I’m sorry if it hurt her feelings, but tough.

I’m ranting.

pullingmyhairout on February 27, 2007 at 2:37 PM

“We need to stop endlessly repeating ‘You’re special’

What the heck is Stuart Smalley going to do? Run for Congress?

PinkyBigglesworth on February 27, 2007 at 2:40 PM

f you keep telling your child over and over again that they cannot fail, it makes sense that the end result will be an adult that things they can succeed at anything. We all need our Kobayashi Maru

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 27, 2007 at 2:20 PM

What’s wrong with thinking you can’t fail? Isn’t it the “can do” attitude that makes this country so great? I think more accurately is telling them that if they do fail, they should fix what went wrong and try again until they get it right.

pullingmyhairout on February 27, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Slublog: I believe it’s early 80s to late 90s. So the older ones would be in college and grad school.

I try not to go down the “when I was a kid” trail too often, though it is tempting. Mainly because it’s a telltale sign of getting old!

honora on February 27, 2007 at 2:43 PM

Oy, what are the Olberkinder to do?

Entelechy on February 27, 2007 at 2:47 PM

Certainly, we were all narcissistic as college kids. I think the difference was that we were narcissistic in an introverted way. Today, kids are narcissistic in an extroverted way.

For example, there were always kids who thought they were smarter than the experienced adults. The difference is that now there are kids who openly defy the experienced adults and demand things be done their way because, well, because it’s their way. I’m just astonished at the kids who come to work, have been to a class on a subject, and think they know more than somebody who has been working in the field for years. Now, lots of kids always thought that, but none of us said it out loud as they do now.

I blame it on this original concept by Rousseau of the “noble savage” who is better because he is uncontaminated by society. Then they are trained that everything they do is good in Montessori schools. Then they all get soccer trophies for just being on the team. When they should be learning good manners, they learn a bad attitude is better. Then they enter the workplace as feral employees who occassionally show up late.

I see America as plagued by kids who have far more self-esteem than competence. For them, I believe the only cure is repeated battering by the two-by-four of experience.

Tantor on February 27, 2007 at 2:49 PM

meaning volunteering at much higher rates than the previous generations.
Would seem to contradict this study though.
honora on February 27, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Hard to know, because now the schools have institutionalised “volunteering” and “community service” as transcript polishing for colleges. With the dumbing down of the SATs – colleges have to look at other things to determine ability, and whether one volunteers or not counts. So, schools bus kids around here and there for a few hours at this or that, every now and then. It’s not like holding down a regular position, and developing skills that can be used later. The old days, many volunteer positions were as challenging, even more so than quite a number of paid positions. It’s pretty shallow – disappointingly so.

naliaka on February 27, 2007 at 2:51 PM

pullingmyhairout: “What’s wrong with thinking you can’t fail?”

Because it makes it harder to talk them back in off the ledge of the skyscraper.

Tantor on February 27, 2007 at 2:51 PM

I have to agree with the editorial that Paul Greenburg wrote a few weeks ago.

He basically said that a lot of the problems we are having today stem from focusing on self-esteem rather than self-respect.

He defined self-esteem to be the mindset of “You are awesome! You are number one! You are unique and great and wonderful!” that is currently being pushed in schools (and really, all across the country).

He defined self-respect as the mindset where a person is taught to respect who they are an their abilities. When they do something well, they feel proud about it. When they fail at something, they learn to try harder next time as opposed to still getting the same gold star that everyone else got whether they got an A+ or an F. He said that unlike self-respect stems from self-discipline and the real achievements that it leads to.

Anyhow, I found it to be quite an interesting read.

Here’s the link:

JadeNYU on February 27, 2007 at 3:02 PM

Let’s try this again….

Here’s the link

JadeNYU on February 27, 2007 at 3:03 PM


I believe that children are the future….

All together now!

ronsfi on February 27, 2007 at 3:06 PM

Those Born 1920-1979 TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930′s, 40′s, 50′s, 60′s and 70′s!

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms…….

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

If YOU are one of them CONGRATULATIONS!

Ahhhh, the good old days…………

PinkyBigglesworth on February 27, 2007 at 3:22 PM

Slublog: I believe it’s early 80s to late 90s. So the older ones would be in college and grad school.

Yikes. I hate it when people now in college were born in years I remember.

I try not to go down the “when I was a kid” trail too often, though it is tempting. Mainly because it’s a telltale sign of getting old!

It’s inevitable. I embrace it – my friends say I’m the youngest codger they know.

Slublog on February 27, 2007 at 3:28 PM

What’s wrong with thinking you can’t fail? Isn’t it the “can do” attitude that makes this country so great? I think more accurately is telling them that if they do fail, they should fix what went wrong and try again until they get it right.

pullingmyhairout on February 27, 2007 at 2:40 PM

There is a lot of difference between narcissistic foolish and the heart and character it takes to achieve great things.

Narcissistic foolish comes from others telling you, you’re great.
Heart and character comes from experience and confidence earned from ‘knowledge of achievement’.

Please don’t waste your money traveling to Nepal, climbing a mountain and asking a guru the meaning of life (if you like send me the money instead).
The meaning of life is (drum roll) Struggle.
Where and how is our choice.

Speakup on February 27, 2007 at 3:28 PM

Pinky, that was perfect :)

Wyrd on February 27, 2007 at 3:37 PM

Very nice Pinky. Brings back memories.

Speakup on February 27, 2007 at 3:40 PM

This study done ostensibly by a member of the Baby Boom generation. Pot, meet kettle.

spmat on February 27, 2007 at 4:04 PM

Hey, I teach high school–this surprises me not at all. I’d like to hope that they improve by the time they graduate from college, but whoowhee…they are arrogant little monsters when they leave my classroom.

Some of them. The better parented ones are a pleasure to teach.

Bob's Kid on February 27, 2007 at 4:09 PM

I think more accurately is telling them that if they do fail, they should fix what went wrong and try again until they get it right.
I hear ya, but there’s a major difference between what you are saying and what is happening. Kids today aren’t told not to accept failure, they are being told that there’s no such thing as failure. In the childs world of today, there are no losers and there are no failures. Parents and educators hide the harsh reality that in the real world, sometimes you lose and sometimes you do not succeed. A world of no failures and no losers isn’t America, it’s frigging socialism.

BohicaTwentyTwo on February 27, 2007 at 4:21 PM

“The jerky boyfriend was shown in public for what he is…”

Yep. He got a public castration, alright.

She got the better of the argument, IMHO.

georgej on February 27, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Tantor wrote: “Certainly, we were all narcissistic as college kids. I think the difference was that we were narcissistic in an introverted way. Today, kids are narcissistic in an extroverted way.”

Moi?

A narcissistic college kid?

You betcha!

To misquote Mark Twain, when I was 18, I thought my father was pretty dumb. When I graduated college, and had to get a job and start paying my own bills, I was supprised how much the old man had learned in 4 years.

(And I was man of the year, too! ;^)

georgej on February 27, 2007 at 5:00 PM


The language here is oh so blue, so please observe your official strong content warning.

AP, from 22 years in the Navy, this disclaimer was questionable. Do you think that next time you might warn us that we will have to listen to a Dixe Twits song!!!

TugboatPhil on February 27, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Personally, I think that the Baby Boomers are just pissed that there’s a generation with more charisma and self confidence than them…

damn know-it-all teenagers with their internet and weblogs…

WoodStock vs. the Ipod/MP3 Player?

AKA: listening to music in a muddy field surrounded by drugged out hippies for the first and last time? or listening to all the music ever recorded whenever you want wherever you want?

pfft. no contest.

I’m the Internet Generation (AKA “Generation Y” or “The Millennials”)

So stoners & Hippies from the Baby Boomers, and Yuppies/MTVers from GEN-X can go do whatever it is people do when their time is past.

It’s time for us to fix the screwups of our predecessors.

Jones Zemkophill on February 27, 2007 at 7:09 PM

So stoners & Hippies from the Baby Boomers, and Yuppies/MTVers from GEN-X can go do whatever it is people do when their time is past.

Wait a minute…members of generation X are considered old now?

Darn youngsters…

Slublog on February 27, 2007 at 7:21 PM

About the current state of narcissism in college students. As a recent graduate (last spring), I admit that my peers are and I am, at times, rather self-centered. The thing is, my education didn’t come with much of that self-esteem crud. The worst thing I can remember is the “most improved student” award at school. If you, like me, got all A’s, you got the look of satisfaction from your parent and possibly a 5% discount on a Papa John’s pizza. If you flunked miserably during the first term and barely scraped by in the next, you got a boombox, television, mountain bike, or other absurd gift. That does not encourage success as much as they’d like to believe.

I have also read that the narcissitic turn in culture can explain why more and more people have personal blogs, whether or not they live interesting lives.

It’s almost impossible now for an American student to be able to transfer into a foreign school system, but foreign students find it easy to handle American schools. American kids’ educational skills are so low, at every grade, they can’t handle the foreign levels of work.

I disagree with this point, because I am one of the American students who has successfully done this. (I just realized that this response might strike some as narcissistic…sigh.) I did it at a Japanese private university in Tokyo called Waseda. Many of my friends have done the same at schools all over the world. Foreign language education can go a big way towards competence in a study abroad program. Don’t write off American students as a whole. The good seeds are out there, I promise. Just make sure they have their heads screwed on right before they get to college, and encourage them at every turn. (But do so without relying on boomboxes, etc.)

Deas on February 27, 2007 at 8:44 PM

Why is that cameraman filming their bewbies? They aren’t even that impressive?

Anyways, yes my students are more Narcissistic than ever. I’m amazed that they think that they will be millionaires after high school.

The saddest one was the girl (she was fat none the less) whose parents told her she could get a “record contract” when she turned 18 and she seriously thought she was the next big thing. Every time I teach her (I’m a sub), I dread her. She never does her work and is failing most her classes.

Tim Burton on February 27, 2007 at 10:21 PM

I belive everyone needs a good self image but it also takes work, You need to read and not stop reading after high school. You need to respect other people and be responsible for your own actions. Kids nowdays are much like we were when we were kids ,however they think they are owed everything and thier parents and most of the way schools have dumbed down the students enmass you can see why they are not the bright light that they might think they are. Hard work, respect, disipline and a good mentor will get them where they want to go. Same as when we were kids, it does not change except for the technology that makes it excellerate. You either keep up or let an illegal fly by you with all the benifits and you can cry about it all you want but most students from other coutries are going farther and faster then most of the students here in this country. Ya think it might have something to do with morals,ideals, sense of respect for your fellow man? I wonder and keep uplifting whenever I can but I am not afraid to put someone in thier place also.

bones47 on February 27, 2007 at 10:38 PM

This is nothing that a swift kick in the pants won’t fix.

My children don’t dare challenge my authority, just as I don’t challenge my father or him his.

You may not like your dad, but if you’re in my house you’d better respect him.

unamused on February 28, 2007 at 12:24 AM

Let me clarify for those of you who believe parenting involves a whole lot of thinking and theory:

Without struggle there is no value. The major role of a parent is to provide measured struggle while ensuring absolute security. Somehow we lost sight of the fact that struggle is necessary. We began to worry more about what harm we would do to our children when we should have been worrying about what harm life would do to them if they left home unprepared.

unamused on February 28, 2007 at 12:29 AM

Narcissism is a problem, however this is an example of the term’s over-use. I’m no PhD, but am pretty sure clinical NPD is in actuality an inward gross lack of self-esteem. The narcissist overcompensates by not only exaggerating their own position but often reducing the position of those around them. The disorder has been co-opted to describe self-centeredness and self-importance, without the associated esteem inversion present in the disorder.
Next week on psychology with Buck – “Splitting” and “Transference”.

Buck Turgidson on February 28, 2007 at 1:17 PM