J. B. Edwards
Feb 1, 1974
Summary An investigation was carried out to ascertain how 700 children aged seven to 15 (half boys and half girls), acquired the ability to define certain moral concepts, how they decided on whether an action was right or wrong, and what influenced the acquisitional process. The results showed older age‐groups gaining significantly higher mean scores in defining concepts, with a sex difference favouring girls, but no significant social class differences. However, even older age‐groups encountered difficulties with some concepts, e.g. ‘doing right’ and ‘being good’. In deciding whether an action was right or wrong, more older children claimed they decided for themselves, and a significantly higher number of older girls stated that they did so. The sample claimed that their mothers had been a major influence in acquiring moral concepts, much more so than peer‐groups. The mass media was not thought by the sample to be accepted uncritically, and the church was believed to help them most. Evidence from this re...