Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Primary Subject Area
Education, Guidance and Counseling; Religion, General; Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
This research project addresses the relationship between parenting styles and the development of moral judgment in college students enrolled in a four year private University in Central Virginia. The purpose of this study is to identify the extent to which parenting styles are one of the "building blocks" for the development of moral judgment in adolescents. The instruments used are the Parental Authority Questionnaire (Buri, 1988) and the Defining Issues Test - II (Rest, 1999). The researcher hypothesized that the levels of moral judgment found in college students who perceive that they were parented by parents utilizing an Authoritative parenting style will be significantly higher than the levels found in college students who perceive their parents relied primarily on Authoritarian or Permissive Parenting Styles. Statistical analysis was performed using regression analysis and the hypothesis was rejected because the permissive style was found to have a more powerful impact on moral development than the less powerful, although significant, authoritative parenting style.