Publication Date

Fall 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Jenni Redifer (Director), Dr. Carl Myers, and Dr. Ryan Farmer

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


Academic cheating frequency, motivating factors for cheating, and student reasons for cheating have been studied extensively for decades, but nearly all of the research has been conducted with typically-developing students. To date, only one published study has examined cheating among students with learning disabilites, despite over 2 million students in American schools having been diagnosed with a learning disability.

Students who engage in academic cheating, as well as students who have learning disabilities, are more likely to have low levels of self-efficacy, hold more performance goal orientations, and have higher levels of impulsivity. Therefore, in the present study, individuals with a learning disability were expected to cite significantly more reasons for cheating related to those three variables, as well as to endorse cheating as being acceptable in more academic situations.

Learning disability status, cheating tolerance, and reasons for cheating were measured in 77 Amazon Mechnical Turk adult participants through self-report surveys. Results revealed no difference in cheating tolerance between individuals with learning disabilities and their typically-developing peers. Individuals with a learning disability cited significantly more reasons for cheating related to low self-efficacy and performance goal orientations compared to their typically-developing peers, but not for reasons related to impulsivity. Strengths, limitations, and future directions are discussed.


Disability and Equity in Education | School Psychology | Special Education and Teaching