Does low self-control predict fictitious drug use and untruthfulness?

Ryan C. Meldrum, Alex R. Piquero, Jim Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This study tests Hirschi and Gottfredson's (1993) argument that self-control is related to survey response patterns. It is hypothesized that individuals who are low in self-control will be less likely to provide honest answers in survey research, a critical but untested question with respect to the general theory. Data from approximately 1,600 high school students in a Southeastern U.S. state are used to examine the relationship between low self-control and self-reported indicators of fictitious drug use and honesty when completing a survey questionnaire dealing with deviant behavior. Findings indicate that low self-control is significantly related to reports of having used a fictitious drug and having been untruthful when completing a survey questionnaire, suggesting that the reliability of survey research may depend on individual traits such as low self-control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-254
Number of pages13
JournalDeviant Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

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