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Bridging the gap between moral reasoning and adolescent engagement in risky behavior.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of adolescence
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
4
Pages
409–422
Identifiers
PMID: 10936014
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Relations among moral reasoning, domain judgment and engagement in risky behaviors were assessed with 68 students attending a Just Community school and 122 comparison students from the larger high school with which the alternative school is affiliated. Risky behaviors were perceived as personal decisions, rather than as ones of morality or convention. Engagement and domain judgment of risky behavior interacted; with increasing substance involvement, students were more likely to view the decision to use drugs and alcohol as a personal decision than as either a moral or conventional decision. Domain judgments of risks appeared to moderate the relation between moral reasoning and engagement in risky behavior, suggesting that moral education interventions must encourage youth to explore their views that much of their behavior is only their own business.

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