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Children's Responses to Moral and Social Conventional Transgressions in Free-Play Settings

Larry P. Nucci and Maria Santiago Nucci
Child Development
Vol. 53, No. 5 (Oct., 1982), pp. 1337-1342
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1129024
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1129024
Page Count: 6
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Children's Responses to Moral and Social Conventional Transgressions in Free-Play Settings
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Abstract

Observations were conducted of children's responses to naturally occurring moral and social conventional transgressions during unsupervised free play in 10 playgrounds. Findings paralleled results of previous observational studies conducted in adult-governed (school) contexts. It was found that children responded to both moral and conventional forms of transgression. Responses of both the younger (7-10-year-old) and older (11-14-year-old) children to moral transgressions revolved around the intrinsic (hurtful and unjust) consequences of acts upon victims. Children's responses to conventional breaches, in contrast, focused on aspects of the social order (i. e., rules, normative expectations). Sex differences in the usage of specific forms of response to moral and conventional breaches were found.

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