God owes me: The role of divine entitlement in predicting struggles with a deity.

Psychological entitlement is a stable personality trait known to predict a range of concerning outcomes in people’s lives. Recent research has suggested that entitlement might have domain-specific manifestations such as romantic entitlement, academic entitlement, and sexual entitlement. The present work sought to examine such a domain specific manifestation in the religious and spiritual realm. This new manifestation was called divine entitlement. The present studies sought to validate this construct and demonstrate its associations with concerning, domain-relevant outcomes. In 2 studies using 6 samples (Study 1, total N = 556; Study 2, Total N = 2,113) divine entitlement was validated as a construct and the Divine Entitlement Scale was developed and validated as a brief measure of this construct. Subsequent structural equation models found that divine entitlement also has a positive, predictive relationship with spiritual struggles with the divine. Through this association (divine entitlement with divine struggle), there was also an indirect association of divine entitlement with psychological distress more broadly. Collectively, these findings illustrate that entitlement may also be exhibited in a domain-specific manner in one’s religious and spiritual life and that this domain-specific manifestation may also have concerning outcomes in both religious and spiritual life and mental health more generally. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)