Varja Đogaš

Name: dr. sc. ĐOGAŠ VARJA dr. med.


Mentor:  prof. dr. sc. JERONČIĆ ANA

Qualifying research publications:
Đogaš V, Donev DM, Kukolja-Taradi S, Đogaš Z, Ilakovac V, Novak A,Jerončić A. No difference in the intention to engage others in academic transgression among medical students from neighboring countries: a cross-national study on medical students from Bosnia and Herzegovina,Croatia, and Macedonia. Croat Med J. 2016;57(4):381-91.
IF (JCR 2015) 1.483

Đogaš V, Jerončić A, Marušić M, Marušić A. Who would students ask for help in academic cheating? Cross-sectional study of medical students in Croatia. BMC Med Educ. 2014;14:1048. doi: 10.1186/s12909-014-0277-y.
IF (JCR 2014) 1.218

Academic cheating at the medical school is a strong predictor of disciplinary actions towards a medical doctor later on during his/her professional life. According to the General Medical Council of the Great Britain, academic cheating is one of the most frequent areas of concern relating to student fitness to practice. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to estimate wide range of individual and contextual factors proposed to affect occurrence and/or frequency of academic misconduct at medical schools and to propose a model for predicting student’s cheating.
The research was performed in three steps and is composed of the three studies. In the first two preliminary studies, 591 medical students (out of 600 surveyed or 98,5%) from the University of Zagreb, School of Medicine at 1st, 3rd and 6th year of study fully answered to specially constructed three-parts questionnaire used to test for possible differences among students at the different study years, and 594 students (out of 610 surveyed or 97,4%) from the University of Mostar to compare for possible differences between medical and non-medical students. The data were collected on: students’ intention to perform academic misconduct by engaging others, their intention to perform a non-academic behaviour also by engaging others (ask others for personal material favours), and their motivation for study/work. Also data were gathered on students’ age, gender, year of study, grade point average and failed/passed years of study. In the third study, the same questionnaires were distributed to 1409 (1373 fully responded or 97,4%) medical students studying in Croatia (Croatian students and students with western EU origin), Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia to test for possible differences in students’ propensity to ask for unethical academic favours, as well as personal material favours and their motivation for work/study among different countries.
In medical students intrinsic motivation was significantly higher (P<0,001) than in non-medical students at the University of Mostar, as well as on sub-scales Enjoyment (P=0,001) and Challenge (P=0,002), whereas extrinsic motivations were not significantly different (P>0,05). In both studies in Zagreb and Mostar intrinsic motivation was significantly higher in female respondents compared with males (P<0,001) especially on Enjoyment sub-scale
(P<0,001) and greater willingness to ask for favours both in academic cheating and personal material ones.
Predictive models explaining 14 to 18% of variance in cheating consistently showed that the willingness to ask others personal material favours was the strongest positive predictor of propensity for academic cheating (B=0,68; =0,31; 95% CI=0,56-0,79; P<0,001), followed by extrinsic motivation as a weaker positive (B=0,11; =0,16; 95% CI=0,07-0,14; P<0,001) and intrinsic motivation as a weaker negative predictor (B=-0,09; =-0,13; 95% CI=-0,12/-0,05; P<0,001). Country of origin was not associated with cheating, and grade-point average, gender and year of study were not confirmed as predictors in the cross-culture dataset. In addition, cheating was shown to be more cooperative process than non-academic counterpart behaviour indicating that ethical/social barriers preventing cheating may be vanishing.
Comparable students’ intentions to cheat at medical schools observed among neighbouring countries suggested that policies towards preventing cheating in these countries may be shared. The social aspect of high prevalence of willingness to engage others in academic cheating and the consequences of such behaviour are not only the problem of individual schools or countries but need to be addressed at the level of the whole community.
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