Telegraph: The young people of today are more sure of themselves and the fact they will make excellent parents, partners and employees than their parents ever were.
But researchers, who studied the self-assessments of the Millenials, or Generation Y, warn that instilling children with such confidence could be simply setting them up for a fall.
They warn that many young people could sink into depression when they are confronted with life's harsher realities.
Professor Jean Twenge, head of psychology at San Diego University, and lead author of a report about young people's self-confidence and views about the future, said: "Boomer parents are more likely than any group of parents before them to praise children - and maybe overpraise them.
"This can foster great expectations or perhaps even smugness about one's chances of reaching the stars at work and in family life.
"Their narcissism could be a recipe for depression later when things don't work out as well as they expected."
Prof Twenge and her team compared the 1975 and 2006 results from an annual US survey called Monitoring the Future which polls high school students about their views on life.
They found that a third more 17 to 20-year-olds today believe they work harder than their parents did and will be better than them when it comes to being parents, spouses and work colleagues - earning them the nickname the Smug Generation.
Many teenagers appear to think that future success will be handed to them on a plate: They claim to do 20 per cent less school homework than their parents said they did in 1975, said the report.
Professor Twenge, who has written a book about young people today called Generation Me, said that modern culture appeared to be teaching the young to be over-confident.
She said: "A growing body of research shows that today's young generation is highly individualistic and has very high expectations. It will be interesting to see if their expectations are met as they enter adult life and the workforce."
Fellow researcher Keith Campbell of the University of Georgia, said: "Previous generations had more realistic ambitions. Today's teenagers have been taught to shoot for the moon without being warned that many of them will not make it."
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