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ERIC Number: EJ792819
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1055-6699
Liars, Cheaters, and Thieves: Correlates of Undesirable Character Behaviors in Adolescents
Kelley, R. Mark; Young, Michael; Denny, George; Lewis, Carri
American Journal of Health Education, v36 n4 p194-201 Jul-Aug 2005
Many commentators have indicated that our nation is in a crisis of character. This study examined the relationship between cheating and lying behaviors and constructs previous research has shown to be associated with health behaviors. Participants in the study were 700 students in grades 6-12 from a single southern school district. The questionnaire included items dealing with health and character issues, self-esteem, educational expectations/life goals, self-efficacy scale, and religious beliefs. Results indicated that substantial numbers of students had participated in the following undesirable behaviors in the last year: told lies to stay out of trouble (83.95%), told lies to keep someone else from getting in trouble (70.68%), cheated on an examination in school (47.54%), stole one or more items from stores (17.29%), and stole items from an individual (24.51%). Those who thought these behaviors were wrong were significantly less likely to have engaged in these behaviors. A variety of negative behaviors were related to religious feelings, religious behaviors and educational expectations. Logistic regression results indicated that, of the self-esteem subscales, school self-esteem made the most consistent contribution to distinguishing between students who had engaged in lying, cheating, or stealing and those who had not engaged in these behaviors. Results indicate a high rate of occurrence of some of these undesirable behaviors, highlight the relationship of the home, school, peers, and religion to these behaviors, and have implications for the development of intervention programming. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; Grade 6; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A