A conference on research relating to how children acquire their systems of values and morality was held with the overall objective toward improving the quality of human life through greater scientific understanding of the developmental processes and the support of research on these complex problems. Participants stressed that many child-rearing practices, educational methods, and social work practices are predicated on unsupported assumptions about how people evolve their moral values and ethical standards. The discussions were intended to provide an interdisciplinary effort to digest and absorb what is known about moral development and the acquisition of values and to construct a variety of working concepts of morality on the basis of the most reliable scientific and philosophical evidence now available. A single theme predominated--values can only be meaningful when examined in the full light of their psychological, social, and historical context. Numerous theories were advanced: the influence of social attitudes, kinship relationships, behavior conditioning, attitude consistency from generation to generation, rapid social change and resulting psychological experimentation in a search for stability. Lack of universal definitions is a major handicap--terms relating to values or morality are surcharged with emotion and no adequate scientific model for study exists. (JMB)
Report of a Conference on Studies of the Acquisition and Development of Values sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH)
1 - Available on microfiche
National Inst. of Child Health and Human Development (NIH), Bethesda, MD.