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The relationship between disciplinary practices in childhood and academic dishonesty in college students.

Although academic dishonesty is known to be prevalent in institutions of higher education, little research has examined the role that differences in disciplinary techniques used in childhood play in its occurrence. This study investigated the relationship between specific disciplinary practices, particularly harsh physical discipline, and the level of academic misconduct in college. Using an online survey, 231 students from three colleges responded to questions regarding their participation in college cheating, satisfaction with family relations, and parental disciplinary practices. Consistent with past studies, 80% of the participants in the study endorsed engaging in some form of cheating in college. In addition, 35% of the sample reported experiencing at least some form of severe physical discipline (e.g., being slapped) during childhood. A hierarchical regression revealed that students who reported experiencing more severe forms of physical discipline engaged in higher levels of academic dishonesty. The use of less punitive disciplinary techniques, including spanking, and family satisfaction was not associated with increased college cheating. The deleterious effect that severe physical punishment may have on moral development and parent-child attachment may explain the study's findings.


Many studies, both professional and popular, have found that academic dishonesty in its various forms is a significant problem on college campuses, with prevalence rates running upward to 80% among students (e.g., Gabriel, 2010; McCabe, 2005; Robinson, Amburgey, Swank, & Faulkner, 2004). Cheating compromises the educational process by creating a way for students to claim they have mastered the core concepts of a particular discipline without having done so. Engaging in academically dishonest practices also provides an unfair advantage for students who cheat over those who do not by allowing those who cheat to spend less time on scholastic tasks than those who are honest. Finally, cheating in college reinforces a pattern of dishonest behavior that is likely to occur again in the professional lives of students once they enter the work force (Alt & Geiger, 2012; Lupton & Chapman, 2002).

Previous researchers have investigated many environmental and personal factors associated with academic dishonesty. Environmental factors found to influence the prevalence of academic dishonesty include the quality of students' secondary education (Jackson, Levine, Fumham, & Burr, 2002), perceived sanctions against cheating on college campuses (Robinson et al., 2004), childhood background in a collectivistic versus individualistic culture (Alt & Geiger, 2012; Martin, Rao, & Sloan, 2011), and perceptions regarding the normalcy of cheating among students at different institutions (Whitley, 1998). Individual differences associated with cheating in college courses have included gender, with men found to cheat more than women (McCabe, 2005; Niiya, Ballantyne, North, & Crocker, 2008); previous cheating (Harding, Mayhew, Finelli, & Carpenter, 2007; Sieman, 2009); lower prior academic performance (Nathanson, Paulhus, & Williams, 2006); college major (e.g., business) (Harding, Mayhew, Finelli, & Carpenter, 2007; McCabe, 2005), and personality traits such as honesty, intrinsic motivation, and neuroticism (Brunell, Staats, Barden, & Hupp, 2011; Jordan, 2011; Staats, Hupp, & Hagley, 2008; Stone, Kisamore, & Jawahar, 2008).

Differences in parenting techniques also may relate to academic dishonesty among college students. For example, Estep and Olson (2011) investigated whether those who perceived lower levels of parental involvement and warmth during childhood would endorse more favorable attitudes toward cheating in college. However, these investigators failed to find a significant correlation between parental warmth/involvement and more tolerant attitudes toward academic dishonesty. Estep and Olson suggested that one reason for the lack of an association between parental warmth/involvement and college cheating may be that cheating has become so common and "normalized" that positive parenting may not have an influence on its occurrence in the same way that it would on the prohibition of other antisocial behaviors.

Another possible parenting difference that may relate to academic dishonesty is the type of discipline used in families. Little research has been conducted in this area, but Vitro (1971) found a curvilinear relationship between the disciplinary practices of fathers and academic dishonesty such that both "nominal" (e.g., talking to a child) and "harsh" types of discipline (e.g., spanking) were related to higher amounts of academic dishonesty, whereas moderate discipline (e.g., withdrawal of privileges) was associated with less cheating. From these findings, he concluded that both students who experience very limited negative consequences and those who experience harsh physical punishment in childhood are more likely cheat in college as the result of a failure to internalize pro-social moral values. Vitro failed to find a relationship between maternal discipline and cheating among college students.

More recently, Madill, Gaia, and Qualls (2007) investigated the extent to which academic dishonesty was associated with the quality of family communication and disciplinary practices used in childrearing. In their study, Madill et al. found that college students from families who demonstrated higher levels of positive communication engaged in fewer incidents of cheating. Additionally, they found that students who received higher levels of physical punishment as children (e.g., being spanked or slapped) endorsed engaging in more academic dishonesty. In explaining these findings, Madill et al. pointed to previous research that suggests that more open and nurturing parenting styles, along with a decreased reliance on corporal punishment, promotes a greater internalization of moral values (Grusec & Goodnow, 1994; Hart, Atkins, & Ford, 1999; Hoffman, 1983; Smetana, 1999).

Consistent with Madill et al.'s interpretation that increased cheating may be associated with greater amounts of physical discipline through its association with lower levels of moral internalization, Gershoff (2002), in a meta-analysis on the effects of corporal punishment, found an inverse relationship between the use of corporal punishment and value internalization in children. Additionally, Lopez, Bonenberger, & Schneider (2001) found that the greater use of physical punishment, like spanking, was associated with lower scores on measures of moral judgment and empathy in college students. Somewhat unexpectedly, however, Lopez et al. failed to find that more severe physical punishment (e.g., punching, kicking) was associated with less moral internalization, though they acknowledged that the low incidence of harsh physical punishment in their sample may have constrained their ability to find any potential association with moral judgment.

The type of discipline employed in childhood also may be related to decreases in academic integrity in college because of a well-established link between punitive parental discipline and the later development of antisocial behavior in adults. Several notable studies and reviews (e.g., Grogan-Kaylor, 2004; Malinosky-Rummell & Hanson, 1993; Murray, Irving, Farrington, Coleman, & Bloxsom, 2010) have found harsh physical discipline in childhood to be an important antecedent of antisocial behavior in adulthood. For example, Grogan-Kaylor using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth database found that increased corporal punishment, even when controlling for variables such as prior antisocial behavior, family income, and level of cognitive stimulation, led to higher levels of antisocial behavior. This relationship between increased physical punishment and antisocial actions may be attributable to a poorer parent-child attachment, which in turn leads to a reduction in the effectiveness of parental discipline to promote pro-social behavior (Farrington, 2005). In this connection, a recent meta-analytic review of parent-child attachment deficits (Fearon, Bakermans-Kranenburg, IJzendoom, Lapsley, & Roisman, 2010) found a significant positive association between both insecure and disorganized attachments in childhood and antisocial behaviors (e.g., stealing; lying; aggression). It is reasonable to think of academic dishonesty as an antisocial behavior and therefore it is possible that it might be more prevalent among college students who received harsh physical punishment as children through its relationship with disrupted parent-child attachments.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between disciplinary practices used in childrearing and the frequency of academic misconduct among college students. This investigation addressed the limitations of the Vitro and Madill et al. studies by recruiting a larger sample of college students from multiple campuses. My specific prediction was that the use of severe physical disciplinary techniques would be associated with higher rates of academic dishonesty. This prediction was made on the basis of the Gershofif's (2002) finding that increased corporal punishment was associated with decreased moral internalization, research linking harsh parental discipline with antisocial behavior (Grogan-Kaylor, 2004; Murray et al., 2010), and Vitro's and Madill et al.'s findings that harsh physical punishment was associated with increased academic dishonesty.



The participants were 231 undergraduates with a mean age of 19.95 (SD = 3.29) from three small colleges (enrollments < 1,500 students; two private and one public) in the southeastern portion of the United States. The participants were enrolled in a variety of introductory and advanced classes in economics, business, psychology, and general education. Fifty-five percent of the sample was female and 88% was Caucasian. Most students were in their first year of college (42%), followed by juniors (22%), and the remainder of the students were equally divided between sophomores and seniors (18% respectively). The majority of participants reported being reared primarily by both biological parents (81%), followed by mother alone (11%), and mother and step-father (3%). The remaining 5% of students were reared by grandparents (2%), father alone (1%), adoptive parents (1%), and father and step-mother (1%). Twenty percent of the participants were psychology majors, followed by 11% who were undecided about their majors, and 8% who were majoring in nursing, biology, and business.


Disciplinary Practices Survey. Participants rated the frequency with which they experienced different disciplinary methods during their childhoods chosen from a subset of items adapted from the Parent-Child Conflict Tactics Scales (Straus, Hamby, Finkelhor, Moore, & Desmond, 1998). A copy of this instrument may be found in the Appendix. Students responded using a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (very frequently) for each of the 14 different disciplinary methods. The reported frequencies of these disciplinary practices may be seen in Table 1.

As may be seen from the table, the most commonly used disciplinary technique employed at least "sometimes" was praise, reported by 86% of the participants, followed by being lectured (80%), and privileges being removed (78%). The most common type of physical discipline was the use of hands in spanking buttocks with 50% of the participants reporting that they were spanked in this maimer "sometimes" or greater. However, the use of other forms of more severe physical discipline, including slapping, hitting, and kicking, was not uncommon with 35% (n = 78) stating that they had been slapped, hit, or kicked at least once by their parents. Interestingly, there were no gender differences in the use of the various disciplinary practices with the exception of praise, with women (M= 3.94; SD = 1.06) reporting that they were praised more than men (M = 3.40; SD = 1.18), <219) = 3.63, p < .001. Otherwise, both men and women expressed receiving equal amounts of the different types of discipline, including being spanked, slapped, and hit (all p's > .05).

An examination of the data from the Disciplinary Practices Survey revealed several significant inter-correlations. This prompted the use of a factor analysis to further investigate the structure of this instrument. A principal components analysis using a varimax rotation revealed the presence of five factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 and containing at least two items with factor loadings of .5 or above. As may be seen in Table 2, Factor 1 (eigenvalue = 4.21; 30.09% of variance explained) appears to measure spanking of all types. Factor 2 (eigenvalue = 2.34; 16.71% variance explained) is composed of items assessing severe physical punishment (being

slapped, hit, or kicked). Factor 3 (eigenvalue = 1.50; 10.69% variance explained) consists of items measuring the use of nonphysical, negative consequences such as being grounded. Factor 4 (eigenvalue = 1.23; 8.79% of variance explained) appears to assess the use of verbal disciplinary methods, and Factor 5 (eigenvalue = 1.01; 7.22% of variance explained) contained two items measuring the use of positive consequences for desirable behaviors. Following the results of this factor analysis, five categories of disciplinary practices were created and used as predictors in subsequent analyses. These categories were Spanking, Severe Physical Punishment, Nonphysical Negative Consequences, Negative Verbalizations, and Positive Consequences.

Academic Dishonesty Scale. This scale consisted of eight items in which participants rated the extent to which they had engaged in different forms of academic misconduct using a five-point scale ranging from never (1) to very frequently (5). Similar items have been used in other measures of academic dishonesty including McCabe's Academic Integrity Survey (McCabe, 2008) and Roig and DeTommaso's Academic Practices Survey (1995). This scale's items and the frequencies with which these items were endorsed may be seen in Table 3. Reliability for the instrument was excellent (Cronbach's alpha = .87). The results from a factor analysis using a principal components analysis with a varimax rotation of the items revealed a single factor solution with an eigenvalue of 4.17, which explained 52.1% of the variance. All of the items on the Academic Dishonesty scale had a factor loading of .62 or higher.

As may be seen from the table, the most common type of academic dishonesty was allowing another student to copy answers on quizzes or examinations, with 28% of the sample reporting that they had allowed fellow students to copy answers "sometimes" or greater. The majority of the participants (58%) reported that they had observed cheating on quizzes/examinations at least "sometimes." Participants' responses to this scale were combined, minus the item assessing observation of others' cheating, and the mean of this measure was used as the primary dependent variable in the test of the study's hypothesis.

Family Communication Scale (Olson & Barnes, 2011). The Family Communication Scale is a 10-item instrument taken from the larger Parent-Adolescent Communication Scale (Barnes & Olson, 1982). Participants responded to questions about different aspects of family communication on a five-point Likert-type scale with choices ranging from 1 "does

not describe our family at all" to 5 "very well describes our family." The questions included items such as "Family members are able to ask each other for what they want" and "Family members can discuss problems with one another." Prior research has shown the scale to have an internal consistency of .90 and a test-retest reliability of .86 (Olson & Barnes, 2011).

Family Satisfaction Scale (Olson, 1995). The Family Satisfaction Scale is a 10-item instrument designed to assess family members' satisfaction with different aspects of family life. As with the Family Communication Scale, participants responded to questions on a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 "does not describe our family at all" to 5 "very well describes our family." The questions included items such as "How satisfied are you with the degree of closeness between family members?" and "How satisfied are you with your family's ability to share positive experiences?" Internal consistency for this scale

has been shown to be excellent (Cronbach's alpha = .93; Olson, 1995).

Participants' results from the Family Communication and Satisfaction Scales were combined in the current study to create a variable entitled Family Environment because of the large correlation between the two scales, r = .81, p < .001. The internal consistency of the combined measures was excellent (Cronbach's alpha = .96). The decision to combine the Family Communication and Satisfaction Scales also was supported by the results from a factor analysis using a principal components analysis with a varimax rotation that revealed a single factor solution with an eigenvalue of 11.1, which explained 55.48% of the variance. All of the items for the Family Environment measure had a factor loading of .55 or higher.


This study was approved by the institutional review board (or similar group) for each of the three colleges at which the investigation occurred. Participants for the study were recruited from introductory and general education classes. Students' were invited to complete the study's questionnaire either during a visit by the principal investigator to their classroom or by their class instructor, with some instructors providing extra credit in their courses for their students' participation in the study. Students who indicated a willingness to participate in this research provided their email address on a sign-up sheet circulated in their classes. These students were later emailed a link to the consent form and the study questionnaire. Once students had given their informed consent, they were routed to the instruments previously described. The completion of the survey took approximately 15 minutes.


Preliminary Analyses

Zero-order correlations for the Family Environment Scale, the five disciplinary subscales from the Disciplinary Practices Survey, and the mean of the Academic Dishonesty Scale may be seen in Table 4.

The table shows that the quality of participants' family environment was inversely correlated with the level of spanking, severe physical punishment, and negative verbalizations as well as positively correlated with the use of positive consequences. Therefore, college students who reported receiving higher amounts of spanking, severe physical discipline, and negative verbalizations also were more likely to express less satisfaction with their family environments. Conversely, participants who expressed receiving more frequent positive consequences (e.g., praise; tangible rewards) reported greater levels of satisfaction with their families. There was not a significant relationship between family environment and the use of nonphysical, negative consequences such as the use of time-out or being grounded.

Significant inter-correlations also were found among the five disciplinary subscales, with spanking being positively correlated with severe physical punishment, negative verbalizations, and the use of nonphysical, negative consequences. That is, college students who reported being spanked more frequently as children also endorsed receiving greater amounts of other types of negative discipline. The use of positive disciplinary techniques was inversely associated with the frequency of severe physical punishment but positively associated (though weakly) with the use of negative, nonphysical consequences. Therefore, students who reported receiving higher levels of praise and rewards were less likely to have been slapped, kicked, or punched as children, but slightly more likely to have been grounded or placed in time-out for their actions.

Regression Analysis

The demographic variables of age, gender, race, year in college, major, and primary caregiver type were entered as the first step of a hierarchical regression with the mean of the academic dishonesty scale serving as the criterion variable. Each of the categorical variables was dummy coded for this regression. Together these variables explained less than one percent of the variance associated with academic dishonesty (adjusted [R.sup.2] =.003,p= .43). As a result, the demographic variables were removed from the regression equation. With the removal of these variables, family environment was entered as a predictor into the regression model. As may be seen in Table 5, family environment proved to be a small, but statistically significant, predictor of academic dishonesty explaining approximately 2 percent of the variance.

The entrance of disciplinary practices in the final step of the regression accounted for an additional 11% of the variance (medium effect size). However, among the different categories of disciplinary practices, only severe physical punishment proved to be a significant predictor of academic dishonesty. Furthermore, family environment failed to remain a significant predictor of cheating once the disciplinary techniques were inserted into the regression. That is, even though there was overlap among several of the disciplinary categories and family environment, only severe physical punishment was associated with college cheating.

The finding that students who reported receiving greater amounts of severe physical discipline also admitted to more academic dishonesty was consistent with the study's prediction. In addition, with the inclusion of severe physical punishment in the regression model, the measure of satisfaction with one's family life during childhood no longer proved to be a significant predictor of academic dishonesty. This suggests that the initial relationship between family environment and academic dishonesty may have been due to its association with ratings of severe physical punishment.

Follow-up analyses

Performing a correlational analysis between academic dishonesty and the specific items within the severe punishment category revealed that each of these three disciplinary methods - slapping, hitting with fists, kicking - was similarly associated with cheating, with their individual correlations with academic dishonesty yielding Pearson r's of .30, .32, and .33 respectively (all p's <. 001). Additional analyses revealed significant correlations between participants' ratings of severe physical punishment and each of the specific types of academic dishonesty, with individual correlations ranging from a low r of .20 for the failure to properly cite sources to a r of .38 for fabricating sources cited in papers (all p's were <.001). Therefore, higher levels of severe physical punishment were associated with increases in all types of academic misconduct measured in this study.

In order to better understand the relationship between severe physical punishment in childhood and cheating in college, I divided participants into two categories: those students who denied ever being slapped, kicked, or hit with fists (w = 143) and those who reported experiencing any of these behaviors, even if it "almost never" occurred (n = 78). The results of a t-test revealed that college students who endorsed receiving any severe physical punishment in childhood reported engaging in more academic dishonesty (M = 1.77; SD = .78) than those who reported never being severely physically punished (M= 1.53; SD = .53), t(214) = 2.74, p < 01.

Not unexpectedly, those who endorsed experiencing any severe physical punishment also reported being spanked more frequently (M= 2.84; SD = 1.19) than those who denied such treatment (M= 1.84; SD = .89), t (214) = 6.96, p < .001. Likewise, participants who reported having ever been severely physically punished rated the quality of their family environments as poorer (M= 63.69; SD = 14.59) compared to those who denied receiving harsh physical discipline (M= 73.55; SD = 15.92), /(214) = 4.53, p < .001. Similar differences were found between these groups for the frequency of negative consequences (t = 4.95, p < .001) and positive discipline (t = 2.39, p = .02). Taken together, these findings indicate that being slapped kicked, or hit with fists in childhood, to any degree, was associated with greater academic dishonesty in college.


The purpose of the study was to investigate whether certain disciplinary practices used in childhood would be associated with different rates of academic dishonesty among college students. The specific prediction was that higher rates of severe physical discipline would be associated with greater amounts of academic dishonesty. In the current study, the vast majority of students, 80%, admitted to engaging in one or more forms of cheating in college, with copying the answers of other students on quizzes/tests being the most common method of cheating. Unfortunately, this is in line with the findings from other studies investigating the incidence of academic dishonesty among college students (e.g., Gabriel, 2010; McCabe, 2005). In terms of experiencing severe physical punishment, one-third of the participants reported being slapped, hit with fists, or kicked on at least one occasion by their parents. Additionally, over half of the sample reported being spanked at least "sometimes" or more frequently.

In examining the potential indicators of academic dishonesty, none of the demographic variables, including gender, proved to be reliable predictors. Though this is inconsistent with the findings of some past investigations which found that gender (McCabe, 2005; Niiya, Ballantyne, North, & Crocker, 2008) and college major (Harding, Mayhew, Finelli, & Carpenter, 2007; McCabe, 2005) were significant predictors of cheating, other studies did not find a relationship between these demographic variables and college cheating (Crown & Spiller, 1998; Jackson et al., 2002; Roig & DeTommaso, 1995).

Turning to the findings for disciplinary practices, the hypothesis that severe physical punishment would be predictive of academic dishonesty was supported. The results indicated that increased slapping, punching, or kicking was associated with higher rates of college cheating. In fact, follow-up analyses revealed that any amount of severe physical punishment by one's caregivers was associated with increased academic dishonesty. This finding largely replicates the results of Vitro (1971) and Madill et al. (2007) who also found that increases in harsh physical punishment were associated with higher rates of academic dishonesty. Additionally, the incidence of severe physical discipline remained a significant predictor of cheating in college even when considering the effects of participants' ratings of their family satisfaction and communication. Therefore, the relationship that harsh physical punishment shares with academic dishonesty appears to transcend any association between quality of family relations and cheating in college.

The link between severe physical discipline and cheating is consistent with prior research showing that an over-reliance on harsh corporal punishment decreases the internalization of moral values in children (Gershoff, 2002; Grusec & Goodnow, 1994; Hart et al., 1999; Rothbaum & Weisz, 1994; Smetana, 1999). Similarly, the correlation between harsh physical punishment and academic dishonesty is in keeping with the results of past studies that have found that extreme physical discipline is an important etiological factor in the development of adult antisocial behavior (e.g., Malinosky-Rummell & Hanson, 1993; Murray et al., 2010). Therefore, it may be that academic integrity is one of the pro-social behaviors negatively affected by punitive parenting techniques such that decreased levels of moral internalization are associated with reductions in students' inhibitions against cheating in college.

Interestingly, spanking when considered in the same model with severe physical punishment was not found to be a significant predictor of academic dishonesty. It may be that the use of spanking as a disciplinary technique is not harsh enough to disrupt the internalization of moral sanctions against cheating. Spanking, however, did appear to share a significant relationship with the use of severe physical discipline in that higher rates of spanking were associated with a greater likelihood of harsh corporal punishment. That is, college students who reported being spanked more often were much more likely to endorse being slapped, hit by fists, or kicked by their parents. Therefore, whereas the results of the current study do not show a direct link between the use of spanking and cheating in college, as might be predicted by the work of researchers like Gershoff (2002) and Murray et al. (2010), spanking appears to be related to an increase in academic dishonesty through its relationship with severe physical punishment.

What is it about receiving harsh physical discipline in childhood that leads to a decrease in academic integrity among college students? One possibility is that the use of this type of physical discipline disrupts the development of healthy parent-child attachments. In this connection, prior research has shown that poor parent-child attachments are associated with an increase in externalizing behavioral problems such as lying and stealing (Fearon et al., 2010; Rothbaum & Weisz, 1994). Relatedly, it may be that adolescents who have experienced disruptions in their relationships with their parents are more likely to cheat in college than those who have stronger bonds with their parents because of a decreased level of respect they have for authority figures.

A second possible explanation for the relationship between harsh physical punishment in childhood and college cheating has to do with severe physical discipline's connection with moral development. Previous studies have found that extremely punitive discipline and abuse are associated with deficits in moral internalization (Gershoff 2002; Koenig, Cicchetti, and Rogosch, 2004). Therefore, students who have experienced harsh physical discipline may be more likely to cheat because of poorly internalized values. Students with lower levels of internalized values would be particularly vulnerable to cheating in college given that the level of monitoring and supervision of academic work in many college environments is relatively lax. Both of these possible explanations - disrupted parent-child attachments and reduced moral internalization --are likely related and should receive further study as possible correlates of increased academic dishonesty in future research.

Study Limitations and Future Research Recommendations

The findings of the current study should be viewed in light of its potential limitations. In this regard, even though the number of participants in this study is significantly greater than in similar prior investigations, the generalizability of the study's findings are limited by the relative homogeneity of its participants in terms of racial background (overwhelmingly European-American) and primary caregivers (largely two-parent families). An additional potential limitation is the reliance on students' self-reports of their engagement in different amounts and forms of academic misconduct as well as their memory of their caregivers' discipline. As a result, it is possible that students' self-reports of these behaviors may contain inaccuracies.

In addition to obtaining a more representative sample, future studies investigating the influence of disciplinary techniques on academic integrity may want to include specific measures of moral internalization and parent-child attachment to assess the relationship that these variables may have with childhood disciplinary methods and academic misconduct in college. In conclusion, the findings from the present study add severe physical discipline in childhood to the list of correlates of academic misconduct in college.


Discipline within your Family

Parents or caretakers use a variety of methods to discipline children. Using the scale below, rate the extent to which your parents/caretakers used each of the disciplinary methods during your childhood.
  1        2         3          4       5
Never   Almost   Sometimes   Often     Very
        Never                        Frequently

-- Time-out (being placed or told to go to an area somewhat away from others to calm down)

-- Removal of privileges (access to activities (e.g., TV) taken away for a period of time)

-- Grounding (opportunity to go to desired places (e.g., friend's house) is restricted))

-- Praise for desired behavior

-- Rewards given (provided with wanted items (e.g., toys; treats) because of a desired action--do not count weekly allowances)

-- Lecturing (stem verbal command to refrain from an undesired action)

-- Shouting/Screaming (very loud verbal outburst in reaction to an undesired action)

-- Cursing (Profanity used to express displeasure with an action)

-- Spanking with hand on buttocks (use of manual force in reaction to an undesired action)

-- Spanking with object (e.g., belt, switch) other than hand on buttocks

-- Spanking with object (e.g., belt; switch) other than hand on some part of body other than buttocks

-- Slapping (use of hand to strike on a part of the body other than buttocks (face or arm))

-- Hitting (use of fist to strike you in reaction to an undesired action)

-- Kicking (use of foot to strike you in reaction to an undesired action)


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R. Christopher Qualls

Emory & Henry College
Table 1 Types and Frequencies of Disciplinary
Techniques Experienced during Childhood

Technique                                    % of Participants
                                           Endorsing Each Choice

                                       Never   Never    Sometimes

Time-out                                23       23        36
Removal of Privileges                    9       13        31
Grounding                               17       19        22
Praise                                   6       8         24
Given                                    9       17        31
Lectured                                 7       13        26
Screaming                               19       26        21
Cursing                                 41       26        13
Spanking- Hand on Buttocks              26       24        21
Spanking- Object on Buttocks            45       18        14
Spanking- Object other than Buttocks    68       12         8
Slapping (other than on buttocks)       66       15        10
Hitting with fist                       88       6          2
Kicked                                  92       4          2

Technique                                  % of Participants
                                         Endorsing Each Choice

                                       Frequently   Frequently

Time-out                                   11           7
Removal of Privileges                      27           20
Grounding                                  25           17
Praise                                     33           29
Given                                      27           16
Lectured                                   32           22
Screaming                                  21           13
Cursing                                    14           6
Spanking- Hand on Buttocks                 19           10
Spanking- Object on Buttocks               14           9
Spanking- Object other than Buttocks       8            4
Slapping (other than on buttocks)          7            2
Hitting with fist                          3            1
Kicked                                     1            1

Table 2 Factor Loading for Disciplinary Techniques
within the Disciplinary Practices Survey

             Technique                 Factor 1   Factor 2   Factor 3

Time-out                                 -.26       .24        .68
Removal of Privileges                    .17        -.10       .86
Grounding                                .26        -.02       .82
Praise                                   .02        -.08       .05
Rewards Given                            -.05       -.07       .06
Lectured                                 .08        -.10       .28
Shouting/ Screaming                      .29        .12        .17
Cursing                                  .11        .18        .01
Spanking- Hand on Buttocks               .82        .10        .25
Spanking- Object on Buttocks             .87        .13        .07
Spanking- Object other than Buttocks     .70        .45        -.11
Slapping (other than on buttocks)        .48        .56        .00
Hitting with fist                        .24        .84        .05
Kicked                                   .07        .87        .00

             Technique                 Factor 4   Factor 5

Time-out                                 -.12       .26
Removal of Privileges                    .23        .00
Grounding                                .19        -.02
Praise                                   -.20       .83
Rewards Given                            .05        .83
Lectured                                 .58        .34
Shouting/ Screaming                      .79        -.16
Cursing                                  .80        -.16
Spanking- Hand on Buttocks               .07        .00
Spanking- Object on Buttocks             .17        -.02
Spanking- Object other than Buttocks     .23        .01
Slapping (other than on buttocks)        .30        -.16
Hitting with fist                        .12        -.11
Kicked                                   .00        -.02

Table 3
Types and Frequencies of Academic Dishonesty Committed during College

                 Item                           % of Participants
                                             Endorsing Each Behavior

                                          Never   Never    Sometimes

Copied answers on quiz/exam                45       34        17
Observed copying on quiz/exam              16       26        38
Allowed copying answers on quiz/exam       46       26        21
Unauthorized material used on quiz/exam    59       23        14
Failed to cite sources on papers           64       21        10
Fabricated Sources                         81       12         5
Copied out-of-class assignments            64       21        10
Provided inappropriate out-of-class        47       29        18
Submitted internet papers as one's own     85       8          5

                 Item                         % of Participants
                                           Endorsing Each Behavior

                                          Frequently   Frequently

Copied answers on quiz/exam                   2            2
Observed copying on quiz/exam                 13           7
Allowed copying answers on quiz/exam          5            2
Unauthorized material used on quiz/exam       2            2
Failed to cite sources on papers              4            1
Fabricated Sources                            1            1
Copied out-of-class assignments               3            2
Provided inappropriate out-of-class           5            1
Submitted internet papers as one's own        1            1

Table 4 Zero- order Correlations among Family Functioning,
Disciplinary Behaviors, and Academic Dishonesty

              Variable                    1        2         3

1. Family Environment                    --
2. Spanking                            -.26 **     --
3. Severe Physical Punishment          -.31 **   .55 **     --
4. Negative Nonphysical Consequences    -.04     .19 **     .09
5. Negative Verbalizations             -.42 **   39 **    .33 **
6. Positive Consequences               .38 **     -.07    -.20 **
7. Academic Dishonesty                 -.13 *    .16 *     37 **

              Variable                   4       5      6     7

1. Family Environment
2. Spanking
3. Severe Physical Punishment
4. Negative Nonphysical Consequences     --
5. Negative Verbalizations             .31 **    --
6. Positive Consequences               .14 *    -.10    --
7. Academic Dishonesty                  -.04    .09    -.07   --

Note. * p < .05; ** p < .01.

Table 5 Results of a Hierarchical Regression
assessing Predictors of Academic Dishonesty

Predictors [R.sup.2]                b      SE     P        t

Block 1 (Model [R.sup.2] = .02)
  Family Environment              -.01    .003   -.14   -1.95 *
Block 2 (Model [R.sup.2] = .13;
[DELTA][R.sup.2] = .11)
  Family Environment              -.002   .003   -.06    -.72
  Severe Physical Punishment       .39    .08    .38    4.63 **
  Spanking                        -.03    .05    -.04    -.52
  Negative Consequences           -.04    .05    -.06    -.79
  Negative Verbalizations         -.03    .06    -.04    -.48
  Positive Consequences            .02    .05    .03      .47

Note. * p [less than or equal to] .05; ** p [less than or equal to] .01.
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Author:Qualls, R. Christopher
Publication:College Student Journal
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2014
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