Motives for Academic Dishonesty: Gender Differences Among Criminal Justice Students




Miller, Brooke Anderson

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Regardless of the level at which it occurs, academic dishonesty is a serious matter. The issue of collegiate academic dishonesty is especially problematic, as it undermines the goals and principles of academia. Because of this, it is essential for universities to more fully understand academic dishonesty, specifically the motives and rationales that students embrace. In doing this, universities can minimize future transgressions and preserve the dignity of higher education. This research explores the topic of collegiate academic dishonesty. Relevant literature from various disciplines is reviewed, with special attention given to which students of higher education cheat, why they engage in academic dishonesty and whether any significant gender differences exist. The hypothesis presented in this paper is that among undergraduate college students enrolled in criminal justice courses, differences exist with regard to the cheating behaviors of women and men. Specifically, male college students will cheat more than their female counterparts. Cheating can be classified as a deviant or a criminal act. For this reason, theories of delinquency and crime serve as an appropriate framework for studying academic dishonesty. In this study, Hirschi’s social control theory and rational choice theory are used to explain the cheating behaviors of female and male students. The hypotheses presented in this paper are that the attachment component of social control theory will better explain the cheating behaviors of women and that rational choice theory will better explain the cheating behaviors of men.



cheating, academic dishonesty, education, criminal justice, academic dishonesty


Miller, B. A. (2005). Motives for academic dishonesty: Gender differences among criminal justice students (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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