Publication Date

2018-06-28

Availability

Open access

Embargo Period

2018-06-28

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Department

Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense

2018-04-02

First Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Second Committee Member

Carol-Anne Phekoo

Third Committee Member

Debbiesiu Lee

Fourth Committee Member

Susan Mullane

Abstract

Academic misconduct exists among undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds and continues to undermine higher education. To better understand the decision to engage in such behavior, this study examined whether the relationship between moral reasoning and academic misconduct differed between traditional and nontraditional students. An electronic questionnaire was used to survey a convenience sample of undergraduates at a public university in the Southeast. Three research questions guided the study: (1) Does moral reasoning differ between traditional and nontraditional students? (2) Do unethical behaviors, pertaining to academic misconduct, vary between traditional and nontraditional students? and (3) Does the relationship between moral reasoning and academic misconduct differ between traditional and nontraditional students? While no significant differences in moral reasoning were observed between traditional and nontraditional students, it was a significant predictor of academic misconduct. In addition, demographic and educational factors were significant in relation to several items used to measure moral reasoning and academic misconduct. Implications for higher education stakeholders are discussed. Suggestions for future research include implementation of the original DIT (Defining Issues Test).

Keywords

Moral reasoning; academic misconduct; traditional students; nontraditional students

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