- 金沢大学外国語教育研究センター = Foreign Language Institute Kanazawa University
- 言語文化論叢 (ISSN:13427172)
- no.15, pp.159-181[含 英語文要旨], 2011-03
Social control theory, which was first presented by Travis Hirschi in 1969 inCauses of Delinquency and is one of the most widely cited theories in criminology, argues that humans by nature are hedonistic and, thus, inclined to engage in any acts, including crime and other forms of deviance,in pursuit of their self-interest. The present study proposes that the fourgeneral elements identified in the theory comprise a social bond that, whenpresent, serves as a constraint against academic cheating: attachment,commitment, involvement, and belief. First,attachment refers to anemotional bond to conventional others. Students who are so attached areless inclined to commit academic cheating for fear of hurting those to whomthey are attached and/or jeopardizing their relationships with them. Forstudents, relevant attachments are those to parents, peers, and school.Attachment to, or caring about the feelings of parents has also threesubcomponents: identification with and affection toward parents, intimatecommunication, and parental supervision. Second, commitment refers tothe stakes in conformity the student has developed, such as investments ineducation and preparation for labor force participation. Students whohave made such investments, the present study argues, are inclined to avoid violation of school rules because they have more to lose by taking therisk of getting into trouble. Third, involvement is a student's investment oftime in conventional activities, time that makes the student unavailable foracademic cheating or exposure to opportunities for such misconduct. Thetheory assumes a finite amount of time available to an individual, so timespent in conventional activities reduces time available for academiccheating. Finally, belief refers to belief in the moral legitimacy of the law –the view that the law is binding on one's own behavior and has legitimacy inprohibiting one's pursuit of one's self-interest through acts of force and fraud.Students who acquire such a belief while growing up are more bonded toconventional society and, thus, less free to engage in academic cheating. Inthe research reported here, measures of social bond variables that resemble,and in many cases are identical to measures used by Hirschi, are developed.The effects of these four elements on people's experience to commitacademic cheating are then examined in a sample of Japanese collegestudents. The analysis provides rather limited support for the theory.Parental supervision and belief function as constraints that preventstudents, more or less, from engaging in acts of fraud (i.e., academiccheating) in pursuit of their self-interest, but the findings for the otherelements of social bond appear less compatible with the theory.