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Academic Dishonesty: Behaviors and Attitudes of Students at Church-related Colleges and Universities
Bourassa, Mark J.

2011, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toledo, Higher Education.

The purpose of this study was to examine acts of academic dishonesty of students at church-related colleges and universities to inform policy decisions aimed at reducing these behaviors. The study examined self-reported cheating rates among students at four-year Mennonite-affiliated colleges. This study involved assessing attitudes towards cheating and the cheating practices of students at these institutions. The relationship of contextual factors, such as the peer culture, and of individual difference factors, such as gender, academic achievement, age, and extracurricular involvement to academic dishonesty, were also examined.


Results of this study indicated that students at these church-related institutions were engaging in cheating behaviors. The overall self-reported cheating rate was 77% based upon responses to 24 possible cheating behaviors. These behaviors included cheating practices related to plagiarism, cheating on tests and examinations, and inappropriate sharing of work in group assignments. Cheating rates for these behaviors ranged from less than one percent to nearly 45%.


There were several differences in perceptions and attitudes towards academic dishonesty between groups of students that engaged in cheating behaviors and groups of students that did not engaged in cheating behaviors. Students that engaged in academic dishonesty were more likely to have observed actual incidents of cheating. They were also more likely not to report cheating and to perceive that other students were involved in the inappropriate sharing of work in group assignments.


Data analysis suggested that most individual difference factors were not significantly related to academic dishonesty. The exceptions to this were in age and involvement in intramural athletics. Students who reported having engaged in cheating behavior tended to be younger and more involved in intramural athletics than those who reported not having engaged in academic dishonesty behaviors.


This study sought to provide additional resources to assist students, instructors, and administrator in better understanding the prevalence of cheating within the context of institutional religious affiliation. Based upon the results of this study, there does not seem to be evidence of a relationship between student cheating attitudes and behaviors and the religious status of their institutions.

David Meabon, PhD (Committee Chair)
Christine Fox, PhD (Committee Member)
Sally Weaver, PhD (Committee Member)
Thomas Stuckey, PhD (Committee Member)
164 p.

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Bourassa, M. (2011). Academic Dishonesty: Behaviors and Attitudes of Students at Church-related Colleges and Universities. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Bourassa, Mark. "Academic Dishonesty: Behaviors and Attitudes of Students at Church-related Colleges and Universities." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Toledo, 2011. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 19 Sep 2018.

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Bourassa, Mark "Academic Dishonesty: Behaviors and Attitudes of Students at Church-related Colleges and Universities." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. University of Toledo, 2011. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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