An evaluation of the level of the moral judgment of behaviourally handicapped adolescent clinic school pupils of normal intelligence
Johnson, Rowan Alexander
MetadataShow full item record
This empirical study aimed at determining any significant difference in level of moral judgment between behaviourally handicapped adolescent clinic school pupils of normal intelligence (experimental group) and a matched sample of non-behaviourally handicapped pupils (control group). Moral judgment level was measured in terms of Global stage Scores and Weighted Average Scores using Kohlberg's Moral Judgment Interviews and standard Issue scoring. Secondary aims were to determine whether the data obtained indicated significant sex differences in level of moral judgment and to compare the mean level of moral judgment of the experimental and control groups with existing research. A statement and motivation of the problem and clarification of concepts were followed by an evaluation of applicable pre-Kohlbergian research, the philosophical foundations of Kohlberg’s theory and the theory itself. This was followed by an examination of the methods of research and the empirical study. The data generated indicated a significant difference in mean level of moral judgment between the research groups in favour of the control group when controlling for age, gender and socio-economic status. This difference was highlighted by comparisons with existing research. No significant gender differences in moral judgment were found. Important conclusions reached were: - Experimental group pupils were retarded in level of' moral judgment and, unlike the pupils in the control group, most had not yet reached stage 3 moral reasoning. - Sex differences in moral judgment were not found as is predicted in Kohlbergian theory (Colby & Kohlberg, 1987: 130). - Sub-group comparisons indicated chronological age to be an important factor in the measurement of moral judgment. The research findings imply that: - Attempts should be made to raise the level of moral judgment of pupils like those in the experimental group specifically, but also that of all pupils. - Planned moral education programmes can ignore sex differences, but not chronological age. - Varied research into moral judgment is necessary.
- Education