Belonging to and exclusion from the peer group in schools: influences on adolescents' moral choices

Luba Falk Feigenberg, Melissa Steel King, Dennis J. Barr, Robert L. Selman
2008 Journal of Moral Education  
This paper reports on a mixed methods study of adolescents' responses to case material about social exclusion. First, a qualitative coding method is presented that describes the way adolescents choose and justify strategies to negotiate such situations. The responses were then analysed quantitatively using chi square tests and multinomial logistic regression. Findings indicate that adolescents' interpretation of their social context was a significant factor in their choice of strategy. Those
more » ... lescents who invoked normative rules and conventions as the most salient justifications were more likely to recommend bystanding rather than joining in the exclusion. However, adolescents who viewed the protagonist's own choice as an opportunity for making long-lasting positive changes in the social environment were more likely to recommend helping the victim. Gender and school context also were associated with adolescents' choice of strategy. Implications for research in moral development as well as practical implications for school-based programming are discussed.
doi:10.1080/03057240802009306 fatcat:jyqif3s4fnf37owd3mmlootaca