Understanding Entrepreneurial Intent in Late Adolescence: The Role of Intentional Self-Regulation and Innovation

G. John Geldhof, Michelle Weiner, Jennifer P. Agans, Megan K. Mueller, Richard M. Lerner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Entrepreneurship represents a form of adaptive developmental regulation through which both entrepreneurs and their ecologies benefit. We describe entrepreneurship from the perspective of relational developmental systems theory, and examine the joint role of personal attributes, contextual attributes, and characteristics of person-context relationships in predicting entrepreneurial intent in a sample 3,461 college students enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States (60 % female; 61 % European American). Specifically, we tested whether personal characteristics (i.e., gender, intentional self-regulation skills, innovation orientation) and contextual factors (i.e., entrepreneurial parents) predicted college students' intentions to pursue an entrepreneurial career. Our findings suggest that self-regulation, innovation orientation, and having entrepreneurial role models (i.e., parents) predict entrepreneurial intent. Limitations and future directions for the study of youth entrepreneurship are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-91
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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