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J Dent Educ. 2013 Oct;77(10):1379-83.

Attitudes of students and teachers on cheating behaviors: descriptive cross-sectional study at six dental colleges in India.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, KSR Institute of Dental Science and Research, KSR Kalvi Nagar, Thokkavadi, Thiruchengode, Tamil Nadu 637215, India;


Cheating behavior has been a serious problem in dental institutions across the globe. Attitudes of dental students have an impact on the quality of health care provided to their patients. This descriptive cross-sectional study had the following objectives: to assess and compare the attitudes of dental students and teachers about cheating behaviors, to assess students' opinions of various justifications for their cheating, and to assess teachers' attitudes towards various punishment options for cheating behaviors. The study sample consisted of 1,261 undergraduate students and 131 teachers from six randomly chosen dental colleges in Tamil Nadu State, India. A closed-ended questionnaire was used for respondents to rate the seriousness of cheating behaviors. The students were asked to justify their cheating behavior, and the teachers were asked to assign punishments for the cheating behaviors. The attitudes of students and teachers on the cheating behaviors were analyzed and compared using a Pearson chisquare test, with a confidence interval of 95 percent and significance level of p≤0.05. The attitudes of the teachers and students were statistically different in two cheating behaviors: copying during exams and helping other students copy in exams. The two main justifying reasons students gave for cheating behavior were to pass the exam (59.3 percent) and to obtain a better grade (31.3 percent). Warning and counseling to help the students reassess their moral values were preferred to penalizing punishments by the teachers.


India; academic dishonesty; cheating behavior; dental students

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