Volume 10, Issue 4 (Autumn 2022)                   PCP 2022, 10(4): 309-318 | Back to browse issues page


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Taheri F, Jahan F, Yaghoobi A, Jahan A. The Mediating Role of Parental Non-involvement to Goals of Progress With Academic Dishonesty in Students. PCP 2022; 10 (4) :309-318
URL: http://jpcp.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-823-en.html
1- Department of Psychology, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran.
2- Department of Psychology, Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran. , faeze.jahan@gmail.com
3- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.
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1. Introduction
Considering the increasing growth of scientific centers and the tendency toward academic promotion, scientific and academic environments are among the contexts in which ethical actions have special importance. One of the most prominent examples of ethical actions in such contexts is academic dishonesty (Etemad & Jokar, 2018). Academic dishonesty is defined as any unauthorized assistance in performing a task, including fraud, plagiarism, copying other people’s documents, copying sentences without reference to the original source, using the help of others without the teacher’s permission, and using unauthorized tools during the test. It has been found that in almost all educational institutions, high rates of such behaviors are evident (Krou et al., 2021). In a study by Josephson (2012) on 20,000 high school students, it was shown that 32% copied from the internet, 51% cheated in the exam, and 74% copied the homework of peers, and finally, it was found that 50% to 70% of students performed some form of academic dishonesty (Blau & Eshet-Alkalai, 2017). Also, Ludlum et al. (2017) in their study found that 70% of students showed examples of academic dishonesty during their studies. Academic dishonesty is associated with many negative consequences, such as deteriorating educational conditions and adverse effects on intellectual and social development (Yu et al., 2017); meanwhile, in some cases, the credibility of the institution (Muñoz-García & Aviles-Herrera, 2014) is endangered. On the other hand, according to Ariely’s (2012) studies, serious behavioral risks, such as substance abuse, assault, and vandalism will not be far from the mind. These people will also have serious problems in the workplace as well as job inefficiency (Ives & Giukin, 2020).
Accordingly, given the prevalence of maladaptive behaviors and the consequences associated with academic dishonesty, it is necessary to understand the variables that intensify or cause such behaviors, which based on the objectives of the research can be referred to as the goals of progress and family non-involvement. According to Ames (1992), the goals of progress represent a coherent pattern of beliefs, documents, and emotions of individuals that cause them to approach situations in different ways, to work in that field, and finally to respond. Elliott and McGregor (2001) proposed 4 types of goals of progress: mastery-approach goals, mastery-avoidance goals, performance-approach goals, and performance-avoidance goals. Learners with mastery-approach goals tend to focus on developing their competency by mastering assignments and acquiring new skills. Learners with mastery-avoidance goals try as much as possible to avoid the lack of mastery or repeated failure in learning and are afraid of not understanding the material, failing to learn the material, or forgetting learned material (Geller et al., 2018). Learners with performance-approach goals tend to show their value to others and want to perform better in the educational environment and their goal from learning is to confirm their competency or ability (Mohammadi, 2014). And, learners with performance-avoidance goals try to avoid failure, inadequacy, receiving negative judgments about their progress, being incapable, or being inferior to their peers (Pintrich & Shank, 2002). Barani et al. (2019) in a study showed that the family atmosphere predicts academic dishonesty through academic self-concept.
In this regard, it must be acknowledged that family is one of the 3 basic dimensions of education. Parental involvement is often defined by parents as a means of coming to school and exchanging information, receiving advice from teachers, and attending parent meetings. The level of communication and influence of parents in the educational process is defined beyond these levels (Erol & Turhan, 2018). Thus, parental involvement includes their educational expectations for academic achievement, their expectations for the academic future, parents’ relationship with their children about education and school issues, their physical presence and participation in school activities, communication with teachers and parental supervision at home, and checking and helping in homework assignments (Castro et al., 2015).
In this regard, Argon and Kıyıcı (2012) demonstrated that parental involvement in education affects students’ progress, learning, and success. They also found that when the level of parental involvement in the process of educating and learning children is not optimal, it causes various problems, such as behavioral disorders, disciplinary problems, academic failure, low motivation, loneliness, and insecurity in students, and decreased motivation and performance in teachers. On the other hand, hand, parental academic pressure sometimes causes students to be academically dishonest to please their parents or perform better than their sib-lings or peers (Henning et al., 2013); whereas students whose parents talk to them before exams to reduce their stress are far less likely to commit academic dishonesty (Muñoz-García & Aviles-Herrera, 2014). 
Prior research indicates the role of multiple constructs in learners’ educational approach; however, it is noteworthy that learning performance is not limited to a few constructs and requires more and richer study contexts. This explanation indicates the effective role of parents in the special academic behavior of students. However, this role in the previous studies has been studied less, and instead stressful and anxious forces have been emphasized in most research. At the same time, the problems of education and learning have increased day by day, and despite many studies conducted in this field, its layers and hidden dimensions remain. This is well evident given the lack of domestic and foreign research findings comprehensively examining the academic constructs and possible causative factors. On the other hand, most studies have examined the variable of academic dishonesty in males, and in this study, because of the possibility of researchers’ access to the female gender community, this community has been used. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the mediating role of parental non-involvement in relation to goals of progress with academic dishonesty in students, so that a more or less comprehensive approach to related variables is considered by observing an effective factor, namely family role. Figure 1 shows the conceptual model of the research.




This study has three hypotheses: 
1) A direct relationship exists between academic dishonesty and goals of progress;
2) A direct relationship exists between academic dishonesty and parental academic non-involvement;
3) An indirect relationship exists between academic dishonesty and goals of progress mediated by parental non-involvement.
2. Participants and Methods 
Participants
This is a correlational study in which the relationships between the variables of the proposed model were investigated using structural equation modeling. The statistical population of the study included all female high school students in Semnan City, in the academic year 2020. In the path analysis, sample size can range from 5 to 15 observations for each measured variable (Equation 1): 
1. 5q≤n≤15q
Where, “q” is the number of variables observed or the number of items (questions) of the questionnaire and “n” is the sample size (Hooman, 2005). For this purpose, according to the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 350 people were included in this study using the convenience sampling method. 
The inclusion criteria: 1) being a high school student, 2) being female, 3) having 15 years of age, and 4) being satisfied to participate in the study. 
The exclusion criteria: 1) not answering more than 10% of the questions in the questionnaires and 2) unwillingness to continue with the research.
Study procedure
Considering the outbreak of COVID-19 and the lack of face-to-face school classes, the participants completed the questionnaires online (the questionnaires are accessible via this link) in the second half of 2020. After obtaining permission from the Research Council, obtaining the Ethics Code, and preparing the questionnaires on a website, the site link was sent to different virtual groups of students, along with explaining the content of the research. It should be noted that providing necessary explanations about the objectives of the study, voluntary participation, confidentiality, non-registration of identification details, the right to withdraw from all stages of data collection in the study, and the consent to participate in the study were necessary so that participants had to read the information and confirm them.
Research tools
In the present study, the following tools were used to collect data about variables.
Academic dishonesty scale
To measure academic dishonesty, the academic dishonesty scale, developed by McCabe and Trevino (1996) was used (Jokar & Haghnegahdar, 2016). The academic dishonesty scale includes 10 items measuring 2 types of exam fraud and homework fraud. At this scale, participants are presented with different types of academic dishonesty behavior and are asked to determine the extent to which they have performed each of these behaviors. Participants respond to items on a 5-point Likert scale from never (1) to always (5). The total score ranges from a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 50. All questions are scored directly. McCabe and Trevino (1996) reported a good Cronbach α validity (0.86) for their scale. In Iran, Jokar and Haghnegahdar (2016) have reported the validity of this tool via the confirmatory factor analysis method and obtained a validity of 0.81 by the Cronbach α method for the “exam fraud” dimension, 0.51 for the “homework fraud” dimension, and 0.76 for the “total score” dimension. 
Parental involvement questionnaire
The parental involvement questionnaire is a 42-item tool developed by Fan and Williams (2010). It is scored based on a 5-point Likert scale. In addition, it includes 8 subscales of parental enthusiasm (expectation), parental involvement in extracurricular activities, parental advice, parent-school communication about students’ school issues, school-to-parent contact, parents’ participation in school meetings, family regulations, and socioeconomic status. The total score ranges from a minimum of 42 to a maximum of 210. The validity of the test was reported by the internal consistency method (Cronbach α) to be in the range of 0.71 to 0.77. In a study by Ahi et al. (2016), 4 subscales of recommendations, parents’ participation in extracurricular activities, parents’ participation in school meetings, and parent-school communication about students’ school issues were used. The validity of the subscales obtained by the internal consistency method was 0.88, 0.86, 0.86, and 0.88, respectively. The results of the exploratory factor analysis showed the 4-factor structure of this questionnaire. The confirmatory factor analysis indices also showed the fitness of the model after applying the correction indices and deleting question 3.
The goals of progress scale 
To measure students’ progress goals, the questionnaire developed by Midgley, Maehr, Hruda, Anderman, Anderman, Freeman, Gheen, Kaplan, Kumar, R. Middleton, Nelson, Roeser & Urdan was used. The goals of progress scale includes 18 items and is arranged based on a 7-point Likert scale. It comprises 3 subscales, namely mastery goals, performance-approach goals, and performance-avoidance goals. This questionnaire does not have a total score. For each subscale, a minimum score of 6 and a maximum score of 42 is obtained. In a study by Midgley et al. (2000), the reliability coefficient of this scale was reported as 0.92, 0.87, and 0.81 for subscales of mastery goals, performance-approach goals, and performance-avoidance goals, respectively, via the Cronbach α method. In a study by Mahmoudi et al. (2013), these values were obtained at 0.92, 0.87, and 0.81. In addition, the confirmatory factor analysis method was used to determine the construct validity of the goals of progress scale. The obtained fit indices (GFI=0.93, AGFI=0.90, and RMSEA=0.07) indicate the appropriate fitness of the data with the measurement model.

Statistical analysis
Given the absence of missing data, descriptive findings Mean±SD are presented along with skewness and kurtosis indices and multivariate normal distribution of the indicator variables. The adequate sample size which consisted of 350 individuals and the linear relationship between the observed variables, correlation coefficient (using the SPSS software), and structural equation modeling analysis (using SPSS software, version18 and AMOS, v. 24) the model is presented. These measurements were used to assess the hypothesis and the model’s goodness of fit.
3. Results 
Table 1 shows the Mean±SD of variables of parental non-involvement, behavioral involvement, cognitive involvement, personal involvement, mastery goals, performance-approach goals, performance-avoidance goals, academic dishonesty, exam fraud, and homework fraud.



Table 2 presents information about the Pearson correlation index between positive emotion, negative emotion, parental non-involvement, goals of progress, and academic dishonesty.



The results obtained from the direct relationships of the research variables in the final (modified) model show that in the whole sample all path coefficients except the paths " Mastery goals→Academic dishonesty" and "Performance-approach goals→Parental non-involvement" were statistically significant. According to Table 3, the standard coefficients of all paths and critical values include (SE, Critical Ratio, Sig.) can be seen.



According to the estimated indicators, the results show that the modified structural relationship between mastery goals, performance-approach goals, and performance-avoidance goals with academic dishonesty through the mediating role of parental non-involvement in high school girls has fitness. According to Figure 2, the numbers on the paths are path weights or βs.



Among these coefficients, the highest coefficient (0.49) is related to the path of performance-avoidance goals and parental non-involvement and the lowest coefficient (0.23) is related to the path of academic dishonesty and parental non-involvement.
The followings are the results of the mediating relationships using the bootstrap test in the MACRO program to test the mediating paths shown in Table 4. In the final model of the present study, there are 3 indirect or mediating paths. The bootstrap method has been used to determine the significance of each of the mediating relationships and the indirect effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable through a mediator. The bootstrap results for the mediating paths of the final model of the present study can be observed in Table 4. The data shows the indirect effect on the original sample, and the boot is the average of indirect effect estimates in bootstrap samples. Also, in this table, the bias indicates the difference between data and boot and the standard error indicates the SD of indirect estimates in the bootstrap samples.



According to Table 5, the value of RMSEA is equal to 0.034, hence it is less than 0.1 which indicates the mean square of the model errors is appropriate and the model is acceptable. In addition, the Chi-square value in the degree of freedom (2.417) is between 1 and 3, and the amount of GFI, CFI, and NFI indices are approximately equal to and greater than 0.9, indicating that the measurement model of the research variables is appropriate.



4. Discussion
This study aimed to investigate the mediating role of parental non-involvement in relation to goals of progress with academic dishonesty in students. According to the goodness-of-fit indices and the results obtained from the structural modeling method, the research hypothesis was confirmed. The findings showed that academic dishonesty is predictable based on the goals of progress and the mediating role of parental non-involvement. In other words, goals of progress have both direct and indirect effects on academic dishonesty (mediated by parental non-involvement). The findings also indicated that the data generally fit the model, and goals of progress had a direct effect on academic dishonesty and parental non-involvement. Likewise, goals of progress and parental non-involvement have a direct effect on academic dishonesty. In addition, goals of progress have an indirect effect on academic dishonesty through mediating variables. Accordingly, to reduce academic dishonesty, individual (internal) and family (external) components should be considered. 
One of the findings of this study was that goals of progress have a direct effect on academic dishonesty. This finding is consistent with the results of research by Huang et al. (2015) and Moradi et al. (2018). In explaining this finding, considering the above research evidence, it can be maintained that learners with mastery goals seek more learning, success, efficiency, and individual competence in learning. These people, instead of giving up, continue their efforts and perseverance when faced with difficult tasks, and use the help of others when they need it. Also, they have high self-efficacy, reducing their academic dishonesty and increasing problem-solving strategies when dealing with academic assignments. 
According to Elliot and Harackiewicz (1996), individuals with this type of orientation have higher levels of intrinsic motivation, which is negatively associated with deviant behaviors, such as fraud. The existence of a negative relationship between mastery goals and academic dishonesty behavior is consistent with the theoretical frameworks and research findings on the consistent and positive consequences of this type of orientation. Students without this type of orientation consider competency to avoid homework and attribute the results obtained to inability, while in mastery goals, students define competency in terms of the requirements of the task and attribute the results to effort (Elliott & Murayama, 2008). Thus, just as the mastery goal is the negative predictor of academic maladaptive behaviors, the avoidance goal is the positive predictor of these deviant behaviors. Hence, it is natural for students with the mastery goal to choose fraud less because, in their view, it is a forbidden and improper action that is completely contrary to their inherent needs. People who participate in homework with the goal of learning are less likely to engage in immoral behaviors, such as cheating. Students feel independent in performance when they believe that they can do their homework successfully (need for competency), and at the same time having a good level of independence is a prominent prerequisite for a tendency to academic honesty to achieve a sense of competency. The student gains a sense of personal growth and pride by achieving good results without inconsistent academic behaviors. 
Because the successful completion of a task is achieved only when it is done without strict control and coercion by others. On the other hand, being connected and feel belonging to others provides the necessary assurance to be an independent initiator and reduces the occurrence of deviant and immoral behaviors to gain or maintain academic credibility. In this regard, Huang et al. (2015) in a study entitled, “The Relationship Between Students’ Goals of Progress and Academic Dishonesty” showed that, compared to other students, those with a mastery or performance approach to education and learning process had fewer tendency and reports of academic dishonesty behaviors. They reported higher levels of self-esteem and interest in learning. The results also revealed that students who had a less mastery approach tended to commit different types of academic dishonesty.
Learners with a mastery-avoidance orientation, on the other hand, are positive predictors of academic dishonesty. The positive relationship between this orientation and unethical academic behavior shows that even though people with mastery-avoidance orientation have absolute and intrapersonal criteria of competency because their orientation is avoidance, success, and mastery over tasks are not of primary importance to them. However, these people are more concerned with avoiding failure and incompetency. For this reason, when faced with difficult tasks, they resort to the deviant behavior of fraud to avoid failure and maintain their self-esteem. In confirming this explanation, Moradi et al. (2018) in a study entitled “Structure of Mastery Goal and Academic Dishonesty: The Mediating Role of Learning Goal Orientation” showed that the structure of mastery goal is a negative predictor of academic dishonesty and a positive predictor of learning goal orientation. Also, the results of path analysis showed the mediating role of learning goal orientation between the structure of mastery goals and academic dishonesty. At the same time, the avoidance goal is a positive predictor of academic dishonesty in students. On the other hand, Lang (2013) demonstrated that performance-approach orientation is also a positive predictor of academic dishonesty. Because this type of orientation is focused on competing and showing one’s competency and superiority over others and gaining the favorable judgment of those around. Therefore, achieving success and competing with others to achieve progress is of great value to these people. Thus, this relationship obtained in the research can be justified based on this explanation.
Finally, it is worth noting that this research had several theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, a model for academic dishonesty was introduced and confirmed in a sample of Iranian students, which is added to the literature on this construct. Practically, a pattern of relationships between other variables with academic dishonesty was obtained that educators and officials of the country’s education system can use to improve and enhance students’ learning. Therefore, the results of this study can provide the necessary knowledge to educators and teachers to lead their communication approach with students in a positive direction. For this reason, the necessary training in this field can be considered in in-service programs for teachers. 
Concluding this research and considering the importance of academic dishonesty for the country’s education system, it is suggested that school counselors, teachers, and principals pay serious attention to teaching students about academic honesty. In addition, given the role and importance of individual and family factors in classroom academic honesty, parental non-involvement, and goals of progress, teacher training programs are suggested to support basic psychological needs affecting student academic activities, emotional support for students, and emphasize the role and importance of family support for the student. Paying attention to satisfying the basic learning needs in the family and classroom context, and holding in-service classes for teachers and other administrative and educational agents to become more familiar with the issues raised can reduce the educational problems of the education system in terms of student dishonesty. Also, as a suggestion in future research, the effectiveness of intervention programs based on this research model in schools can be examined.
5. Conclusion 
This research demonstrated that academic dishonesty is predictable based on goals of progress and mediating role of parental non-involvement. In other words, goals of progress have both direct and indirect effects on academic dishonesty (mediated by parental non-involvement). The findings also indicated that the data generally fit the model, and goals of progress had a direct effect on academic dishonesty and parental non-involvement. Likewise, goals of progress and parental non-involvement have a direct effect on academic dishonesty. In addition, goals of progress have an indirect effect on academic dishonesty through mediating variables. Accordingly, to reduce academic dishonesty, individual (internal) and family (external) components should be considered. 
One of the limitations of this study is the type of community that was from female high school students and the participants in this study were selected only from high school students in urban areas of Semnan City, Iran. As a result, caution should be exercised in generalizing the findings of this study; therefore, it is suggested that similar studies be repeated in other statistical communities. Another limitation of the present study was the reliance on the data obtained from the questionnaire. With this in mind, it is suggested that similar methods be used in other studies to gather information to obtain more complete and accurate information. Finally, it should be noted that because this study was a correlational one, it is not possible to infer causality from the obtained relationships, and care should be taken in generalizing the results.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines

The paper was extracted from the PhD. dissertation of the first author, Department of Psychology Faculty of Humanities University of Semnan Branch, Islamic Azad University.
Funding
This research did not receive any grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or non-profit sectors. 
Authors' contributions
All authors equally contributed to preparing this article. 
Conflict of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest.

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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Cognitive behavioral
Received: 2022/04/10 | Accepted: 2022/09/13 | Published: 2022/10/1

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