Teenagers who cheat at school and who tell lies are more likely to grow up to be dishonest adults, according to new research from the Josephson Institute of Ethics.
- Researchers surveyed nearly 7,000 people from various age groups and found that young people are five times more likely than are adults over 50 to believe that lying and cheating are necessary to succeed.
- Those under age 17 years old are four times more likely to deceive their bosses and teachers, and three times more likely to keep money mistakenly given to them than older adults.
- Young adults ages 18 to 24 years old were twice as likely to lie to their spouses or partners, and three times more likely to misrepresent facts on job interviews.
“When you see that teenagers are five times more likely than adults to think it’s okay to cheat to get ahead, we have a problem,” said Rich Jarc, director of the Los Angeles-based Institute.
Jeff Sherrill, associate director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said that today’s students are under more social and parental pressure to excel than any other generation. He and others pointed to initiatives like No Child Left Behind that puts students under pressure to constantly pass standardized tests.