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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 121324 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescents' Conceptions of "Moral:" Haiti, the United States, and Zambia: International Perspectives on Youth Behavior
Journal: Youth and Society  Volume:21  Issue:2  Dated:(December 1989)  Pages:196-206
Author(s): C Michel; R M Thomas; I Maimbolwa-Sinyangwe
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study compares the conceptions of "moral" held by youths in the United States, Haiti, and Zambia, with speculation about what cultural conditions might account for similarities and differences in perspectives among the three groups.
Abstract: Data were obtained from an opinionnaire administered to students in secondary schools. The 100 Haitians attended a Catholic girls' school in Port-au-Prince. The 151 Zambian students were in a coeducational public school in Livingstone; and the 55 Americans were in two coeducational schools, one public and the other Catholic, in Santa Barbara, Calif. The opinionnaire contained 29 descriptions of incidents designed to show types of actions or events people might regard as involving morality and conditions under which such acts constitute moral issues as contrasted to conditions under which they are not regarded as moral matters. The four negative categories of behavior involved causing or threatening physical harm to people, animals, or plants; acting dishonestly; violating social conventions; and violating people's belief systems. Regarding four incidents, far more Haitians than Zambians or Americans regarded them as involving morality: unmarried couple living together, boy lying about a birthday card, young man smoking cigarettes, and child breaking a toy. Zambians displayed less intragroup agreement than did the other two groups. Americans attributed more rights and privileges to minorities and to animals than did either Haitians or Zambians. 4 references, 1 table.
Main Term(s): Adolescent attitudes
Index Term(s): Haiti; Moral development; United States of America; Zambia
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