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Mothers' and Teachers' Home and School Rules: Young Children's Conceptions of Authority in Context

Marie S. Tisak, Dushka Crane-Ross, John Tisak and Amanda M. Maynard
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
Vol. 46, No. 1 (January 2000), pp. 168-187
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23093347
Page Count: 20
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Mothers' and Teachers' Home and School Rules: Young Children's Conceptions of Authority in Context
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Abstract

Samples of 95 preschoolers, first graders, and third graders responded to questions whereby one authority (mother or teacher) permitted an act (moral or conventional) to occur across contexts (home and school) and the other authority prohibited the act from occurring across contexts. Participants (a) were asked which authority the child should acquiesce to and whether an authority has the right to permit and prohibit the acts across contexts and (b) ranked and rated the seriousness of the acts. The results revealed that children's evaluations were a function of three interrelated factors: the authorities' status, the context, and the domain of the act. Age differences in children's judgments and justifications are discussed.

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