Authors

Abstract

Background and Objectives Cheating is a common phenomenon that can undermine the credibility of university tests and certificates. Cheating is a more sensitive issue among medical students. The present study was conducted to investigate the performance and attitude of undergraduate students of Golestan University of Medical Sciences in Iran towards cheating, as well asthe factors that influence cheating. Methods The present descriptive analytical and cross-sectional study was conducted in 2014 on 524 female and male undergraduate students of Golestan University of Medical Sciences. Convenience sampling was used to select the participants. The data were collected using a valid and reliable 64-item questionnaire on performance and attitude towards cheating with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.88. The obtained data were then analyzed using descriptive tests and the χ test. P < 0.05 was set as the level of statistical significance. Results Demographically, women made up 58% of the study population. In terms of ethnicity, 68.5% of the population wereFars, 24.6% Turkmen, and the rest were other ethnicities. A total of 70.6% of students had negative attitudes towards cheating. In terms of performance, 57.1% of students admitted to cheating. Significant relationships were observed between the attitude and performance of students (P = 0.001). The relationship between gender and occupational status, and attitude and performance was also found to be statistically significant (P < 0.050). Male and employed students had more positive attitudes towards cheating and actually did it more frequently than their female counterparts. Conclusions The majority of nursing students were against cheating in terms of attitude and performance. Nevertheless, to better understand this behavior and develop coping strategies, further studies should be conducted on the phenomenon of cheating in other academic activities among medical students.