Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Norman H. Hamm

Second Advisor

Joseph LaVoie

Third Advisor

William L. Blizek


This is a thesis dealing with moral judgment in adolescents. Specifically, the study tests the efficacy of cognitive conflict and reinforcement as agents of moral growth in adolescents. The purpose of the investigation is to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for development in moral reasoning.

Kohlberg (1958) has presented a systematic theory of moral growth in children, adolescents, and adults. He defined moral judgment as "the child's use and interpretation of rules in conflict situations and his reasons for moral actionsf (Kohlberg, 1964, p. 394)." Moral judgment is not correct knowledge of rules or conventional belief in them. This general definition gives rise to the developmental sequence of moral judgment offered by Kohlberg (1958). Specifically, his typology consists of three distinct levels, each containing two interrelated stages.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska at Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts.

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