The effect of morality content stories on the young child's responses on a moral development inventory

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mary Livingston Stegall (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Helen Canaday

Abstract: The primary objective of the present study was to experimentally test the hypothesis that moral development could be fostered in first-grade children by reading them morality stories selected for their content similarity to the induction child-rearing techniques described by Hoffman and Saltzstein (1967). The induction technique involved instructing the child concerning the consequences of his misdeeds on others. In order to assess the treatment effect of the morality stories, the researcher developed the Moral Development Inventory (M.D.I.) for measuring level of moral development in first-grade children. This instrument, modeled after a guilt inventory used in the Hoffman and Saltzstein (1967) study, consisted of four Inventory Stories. Each story contained a protagonist the age of the subjects to be tested. In each story, the protagonist committed a misdeed known only to himself. In the administration of the instrument, the subject was asked to complete each Inventory Story by choosing from three possible endings, each ending corresponding to either high, medium, or low level of guilt. A pilot study (N = 316 first graders) confirmed that the instrument was suitable for use with first-grade subjects. The M.D.I, was then administered to 73 first graders in Walton County, Florida. A numerical score (R = 4-12) was obtained for each subject.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978
Children's literature $x Moral and ethical aspects
Children $x Books and reading
Literature and morals

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