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ERIC Number: EJ922041
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0885-2014
The Effects of Social Injustice and Inequality on Children's Moral Judgments and Behavior: Towards a Theoretical Model
Arsenio, William F.; Gold, Jason
Cognitive Development, v21 n4 p388-400 Oct-Dec 2006
Our goal in this paper is to examine the potential origins of children's understanding of morally relevant transgressions, with a particular focus on how children's perceptions of both proximal and distal unfairness might influence their social reasoning and behavior. A preliminary theoretical model is presented that addresses connections among aggressive children's social cognitive biases, their attachment histories, and their working models of societal justice and fairness. It is argued that difficulties in early parent-child interactions in combination with hostile larger social environments act to undermine emotional reciprocity, empathy, and concern for others in ways likely to promote proactive, uncaring forms of victimization and harm. Furthermore, it is proposed that given sufficiently toxic social experiences, some children will develop beliefs that life does not primarily revolve around caring or fairness, but around power and domination. Discussion focuses on the potential implications of these non-normative but coherent moral beliefs for theory and intervention.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A