The profile of academic offenders: Features of students who admit to academic dishonesty

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Dishonesty in academic settings is a reckless behavior that is unique to students and is associated with cheat ing and plagiarism of academic tasks. Incidents involving dishonesty in higher education have increased considerably in the past decade, with regard to the extent of these practices, the types of dishonesty employed, and their prevalence. The current study examines the profile of “academic offenders”. Which types are more prone to commit academic offenses? To what degree are they “normative” and do they represent the average student with regard to personal traits, personal perceptions, features of their academic studies, risk behaviors, and health risks. The study is based on a structured anonymous questionnaire. The sample consisted of 1,432 students, of whom 899 were female (63%) and 533 male (37%). The research findings indicate a common tendency among more than one quarter of the sample reported cheating on homework and 12.5% reported cheating on tests. Strong associations were found between academic dishonesty and various personal perceptions, the academic study experience, and involvement in other risky and deviant behaviors. Significant predictors of academic dishonesty were found, i.e., self-image, ethics, grades, time devoted to homework, and deviant and daring behaviors. The research findings might help indicate policies for optimally dealing with dishonesty, maybe even before the offense is committed, by means of cooperation between academic forces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3043-3055
Number of pages13
JournalMedical Science Monitor
StatePublished - 29 Aug 2016


  • Adolescent behavior
  • Ethical analysis
  • Public health administration


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