Academic dishonesty among Italian nursing students: A longitudinal study.
TL;DR: The results show that students get accustomed to taking academically deceitful actions and come to consider their behaviours acceptable and normal, thereby stabilizing them, which increases the probability of stabilizing subsequent deceitful behaviours.
Abstract: Considering the ethical issues related to nursing and that Ethics is an integral part of the nursing education in the degree course, one would suppose that academic dishonesty might be less frequent in nursing students than in students of other disciplines. However, several studies show that this trend of deceitful behaviour seems to be similar among the university nursing students and those of other disciplines. The aim of this study is to investigate the phenomenon of academic dishonesty in the classroom from a longitudinal perspective within a cohort of Italian nursing students. A non-experimental longitudinal design was used. All nursing students were recruited from the Nursing Science Bachelor Degree Program of a big Italian university in the centre of Italy and participants were part of an ongoing longitudinal research project which started in 2011 on nursing students' wellbeing. The results show that students get accustomed to taking academically deceitful actions. They come to consider their behaviours acceptable and normal, thereby stabilizing them, which increases the probability of stabilizing subsequent deceitful behaviours. The stability through time of academic cheating behaviours committed during higher education, within the study's timeframe, provides important perspectives into the establishment of rigorous standards of ethical and moral behaviours by the students.
Summary (1 min read)
- Procedure and participants Participants were part of an ongoing longitudinal research project startedin 2011 on nursing students' wellbeing.
- Preliminary exploratory factor analyses supported the uni-dimensionality of the scale both at T1 and T2 and for both the version of the scale (cheating behaviours acted by the students and cheating behaviour acted by their colleagues).
- Differences have been valued through a series of ANOVA levels of eachitem related to eachtime period, and the greatest differences effecthas been expressed through apartial index(TabachnickandFidell 2007).
- The only significant difference for calculated probability where p <0.05isrelated to the self-reported behaviouritem of copying from the student’s own notes or bringing in illegitimate materials during the exams.
- Suchbehaviour shows a significantincrease amongthe two time points, although the Cohen’sd associated with this difference suggests it is arather modest increase.
- Relative to Time period 2 (T2), such differences would seem to weaken, and relative to the differences comparing the kind of behaviour, the results show that giving answers to a colleague during an examination(self_cheat_2) is more frequently committedby females;whereas, insisting teachers give higher evaluation scores (self_cheat_7) is more frequently committedby males.
- This general tendency weakens inT2, whereperceptions of cheating behaviours associated with agebythe other_cheatgroup are weaker in both T1 and T2comparedwith the self-reported perceptions.
- Honesty is considered a fundamental ethical value in all academic settings, and academic integrity has an undisputed importance in educational environments.
- Therefore, the existenceof academic dishonesty must be established, first, to explorein context the state of academic integrity, and, second, to prevent the diffusion and stabilizationof unethicalbehaviours.
- Considered as having the tendency to remain stable through time.
- Some have not identified meaningful demographic differences in deceitful behaviours (Hilbert, 1988; McCabe, 2009; McCabe et al., 2001).
- Student nurses become nurse professionals who are tied to the moral norms of the Deontological Code; patients must be able to trust in the assistance received, and that it must disburse ethical and moral integrity in every nursing activity (Kenny, 2007; Stonecypher&Willson, 2014; Nick & Llaguno,2015).
CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS
- According to Searle (2000)and Nick &Llaguno (2015), nursing is considered a profession that asks for a deeply ethical standard, and it is dependenton the moral integrity of the individualprofessional whose purpose is to furnish and guarantee professional nursing assistance tothe patient.
- The profession must find an end tothe possible escalationof these behaviours.
- For these reason, results of this study highlighted the importance of monitoring this phenomenon in the educational setting and examined the individual and the contextual factors that could influence the engagement in such kind of behaviour.
- The dimensions that could predictacademic dishonesty need to be identify.
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"Academic dishonesty among Italian n..." refers methods in this paper
...Analytical strategies The stability of the cheating behaviours among the two considered time points has been evaluated with a series of t-tests for repeated measures related to every item, and differences have been expressed through ―d‖ (Cohen, 1988)....
"Academic dishonesty among Italian n..." refers background or result in this paper
...In fact, some studies have not found any relationship between gender and deceitful behaviours (Hilbert, 1988; McCabe, 2009; McCabe et al., 2001) and others (Aiken 1991) that male students cheat more than female students (Stonecypher & Willson, 2014)....
...With regards to age results of the present study are in line with McCabe et al. (2001), that younger students committed deceitful behaviours more than the senior students....
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