Health risk and deviant behaviors among undergraduate students at an academic institute in Israel (pp. 191-201)
Authors: Liat Korn and Hagit Bonny-Noach
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of health risk behaviors (such as cigarette and hookah smoking, alcohol consumption and marijuana use), and deviant and delinquent behaviors (such as theft, property damage, drug abuse, cheating on exams and various driving violations) among undergraduate students at an academic institute in Israel. The novelty of this study is its investigation of a broad variety of health risk and deviant behaviors as a whole among undergraduate students, and the understanding of their contribution to predicting cannabis use. This study used a structured, self-reported anonymous questionnaire dealing with health, welfare and risk behaviors. The questionnaire was distributed among 1,574 undergraduate students at a large academic institute in Israel. The mean age of the sample subjects was 27 (SD=6.64). The findings demonstrate that approximately one fourth of the students reported cheating on exams. Additionally, around one fourth reported smoking marijuana and over one third of the drivers reported not stopping at a stop sign. All of these behaviors were found in higher frequency among males. The considerable prevalence of these behaviors among undergraduate students raises the question: In their eyes, are these behaviors considered a social norm or a deviance?