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Age Trends in Judging Moral Issues: A Review of Cross-Sectional, Longitudinal, and Sequential Studies of the Defining Issues Test
James R. Rest, Mark L. Davison and Steven Robbins
Vol. 49, No. 2 (Jun., 1978), pp. 263-279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1128688
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Adult education, Moral judgment, Kohlbergs stages of moral development, Formal education, Longitudinal studies, College students, Morality, High schools, Age, Moral development
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Cross-sectional data on several thousand high school, college, and graduate students from all regions of the United States show striking differences on the Defining Issues Test (DIT) when grouped by age-education level. Adults show stronger positive relationships with years of education than with chronological age. Longitudinal studies show that individuals over 2- and 4-year intervals generally show decreases in lower stages and increases in higher stages. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal studies suggest a general plateau in development in early adulthood and after formal education. Sequential studies indicate that generational effects do not account for age trends. Similarly, sampling biases and testing effects do not seem to be serious artifacts. The evidence supports Kohlberg's general model of moral development and the validity of the DIT as an assessment instrument.
Child Development © 1978 Society for Research in Child Development