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Teen Health 411

Cheating Students: Is it Rare?

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The Josephson Institute in Los Angeles recently surveyed 26,760 students anonymously at 100 randomly selected public and private high schools in the United States and discovered some pretty scary realities.

The results from that survey suggest that:
  • 30 percent of U.S. high school student have stolen something from a store in the past year;
  • 20 percent reported stealing something from a friend;
  • 23 percent reported stealing something from a parent or other relative;
  • 64 percent have cheated on a test int he past year; and
  • 38 percent have cheated more than once.
Here is the scariest part - 93 percent of the students were satisfied with their personal ethics and character - including the stealing and cheating. Some possible explanations (and in my humble opinion, excuses) are the intensified expectations, increased competition and cynicism, and a lack of education about what it means to be an ethical person.

I fear we are raising a generation of personality disordered adults! How can these behaviors be considered OK and what does it mean for our future?
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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