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

Filip M. Wiecko

Journal of Criminal Justice, 2010, vol. 38, issue 6, 1186-1190

Abstract: 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.

Date: 2010
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