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Research Note: Assessing the validity of college samples: Are students really that different?


  • Wiecko, Filip M.


Objective The purpose of this research note is to explore the validity of college student samples for criminology and criminal justice research. Some scholars have suggested that college populations are comprised of individuals who are different from the rest of society and that the use of college students for social research may distort our theoretical understanding of crime and criminality.Method The National Youth Survey is used to assess, college students' self-reported behaviors, frequency of behaviors, and attitudes in relation to the general population.Results The results indicate that there is almost no statistically significant difference in behaviors and only minor differences in the frequency of behaviors and attitudes.Conclusion The findings from this investigation suggest that while college students may be culturally unique, this uniqueness does not seem to affect validity.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiecko, Filip M., 2010. "Research Note: Assessing the validity of college samples: Are students really that different?," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1186-1190, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcjust:v:38:y::i:6:p:1186-1190

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bohm, Robert M. & Vogel, Brenda L., 2004. "More than ten years after: The long-term stability of informed death penalty opinions," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 307-327.
    2. Joseph Henrich & Steve J. Heine & Ara Norenzayan, 2010. "The Weirdest People in the World?," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 139, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
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    Cited by:

    1. Gau, Jacinta M., 2011. "The Convergent and Discriminant Validity of Procedural Justice and Police Legitimacy: An Empirical Test of Core Theoretical Propositions," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 489-498.
    2. repec:eee:jcjust:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:12-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. McCuddy, Timothy & Vogel, Matt, 2015. "Beyond Traditional Interaction: Exploring the functional form of the exposure-offending association across online network size," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 89-98.
    4. Flexon, Jamie L. & Meldrum, Ryan C. & Young, Jacob T.N. & Lehmann, Peter S., 2016. "Low self-control and the Dark Triad: Disentangling the predictive power of personality traits on young adult substance use, offending and victimization," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 159-169.

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