ERIC Number: ED229133
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Maternal Influences on Preschoolers' Use of Intent in Moral Reasoning.
Larrieu, Julie A.; Gruen, Gerald E.
A study was conducted whose primary objective was to examine the relationship between mothers' responses to children's intentions and children's development of moral reasoning. It was hypothesized that children of mothers who responded positively to their child's positive intent and negatively to their child's negative intent would use intent information to a greater extent in making moral judgments than would children whose parents did not respond differentially to intent. A secondary objective was to replicate, with children younger than those typically studied, the often-reported finding that with an increase in age, children display an increase in consideration of intentions underlying an act and a decrease in consideration of outcomes. A total of 72 preschool children ranging in age from 4.5 to 6.5 years were read stories designed for balance between consequences and intentions; following stories, children responded nonverbally by symbolically rewarding or punishing the story character. In a separate session, subjects' mothers completed a questionnaire on which they chose phrases describing their usual responses when their children's intentions resulted in negative consequences. Results indicated that children's use of intent information in making moral judgments did increase with age. Mothers were found to respond differentially to older and younger children with respect to use of positive intent and, regardless of the child's age, to respond with disapproval when negative intentions were displayed. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Intention; Moral Reasoning
Note: Paper presented, in part, at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Detroit, MI, April 21-23, 1983).