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ERIC Number: EJ1059597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
ISSN: ISSN-0272-930X
The Nature of the Association between Moral Neutralization and Aggression: A Systematic Test of Causality in Early Adolescence
Ribeaud, Denis; Eisner, Manuel
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Journal of Developmental Psychology, v61 n1 Article 5 p68-84 Jan 2015
This article examines possible causal linkages between moral neutralization--a generic term for the related concepts of neutralization techniques, moral disengagement, and self-serving cognitive distortions--and aggressive behavior by using a set of repeated measures in a culturally diverse urban sample at ages 11.4 and 13.7 (N = 1,032). First, correlational analyses show a strong cross-sectional association between moral neutralization and aggression. Second, fixed-effects regressions indicate substantial within-individual association implying that the cross-sectional association cannot be explained away by population heterogeneity. The within-individual association also remains stable when controlling for a number of potential confounds, which supports the notion of a direct causal relationship. Third, results of path analyses revealed near-zero "lagged effects" of moral neutralization on aggression when controlling for antecedent aggression and vice versa, thus suggesting no "longer-term independent" causal effects in either direction. Moreover, "synchronous effects" of moral neutralization on aggression when controlling for antecedent aggression and vice versa are same-sized and significant. Overall, results suggest a close "short-term" interdependence of both constructs.
Wayne State University Press. The Leonard N. Simons Building, 4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309. Tel: 800-978-7323; Fax: 313-577-6131; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Switzerland