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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158376 Find in a Library
Title: Prevent, Repent, Reform, Revenge: A Study in Adolescent Moral Development
Author(s): A C Diver-Stamnes; R M Thomas
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 236
Sponsoring Agency: Greenwood Publishing Group
Westport, CT 06881-5007
Publication Number: ISBN 0-313-29730-4
Sale Source: Greenwood Publishing Group
88 Post Road West
P.O. Box 5007
Westport, CT 06881-5007
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined what people hope to achieve through the sanctions they would choose to impose on wrongdoers, with attention to the attitudes and judgments of people in the age range of 9 to 21.
Abstract: The study was conducted in four phases. First, a structured interview was designed to elicit people's opinions about what consequences should be experienced by the offenders in three cases of wrongdoing. Second, a framework was devised to analyze those opinions. Third, 136 young people -- ages 9, 14, 17, and 21 -- were interviewed. Fourth, their audiotaped interviews were transcribed and the results interpreted through the analytical framework. The study found that knowing the age and gender of a youth during the years 9 through 21 was useless for predicting how that individual's views of sanctions and aims would compare with those of any other youth in that same age bracket. Hence, to learn a given adolescent's mode of moral reasoning, it would be necessary to study that individual's particular beliefs about aims and sanctions as expressed in an assessment of a variety of cases of wrongdoing. Still, results for the 136 respondents as a whole was informative. For example, 61 percent favored executing murderers under at least some circumstances; whereas, 36 percent would never favor execution. Ninety-one percent rejected corporal punishment for the girl who had copied test answers, and 75 percent recommended personal counseling for the adolescent drug traders, with counseling often combined with another sanction. Eight-four percent rejected the notion of publicizing the teenagers' drug use. 46 references, extensive tabular data, and an appended interview guidesheet
Main Term(s): Juvenile personality characteristics
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Moral development; Penalty severity rating; Sentencing/Sanctions
Note: From the series Contributions in Psychology, No. 30.
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