Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Award

12-15-2006

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Catherine Miller, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Genevieve Arnaut, Psy.D., Ph.D.

Abstract

Extensive research comparing moral reasoning in delinquent and non-delinquent adolescents has been performed (Hains & Miller, 1980; Hanson & Mullis, 1984; Palmer, 2003; Tavecchio, Stams, Brugman, & Thomeer-Bouwens, 1999). In general, researchers have tended to group all delinquent adolescents into one category, and non-delinquent adolescents have reported higher levels of moral reasoning than delinquent adolescents. This study was designed to examine differences in moral reasoning between high- and low-risk juvenile delinquent adolescents. Forty high-risk male adolescents and 33 low-risk male adolescents involved in the Clark County Washington Juvenile Justice System participated in this study which was based on the hypothesis that low-risk adolescents would report higher levels of moral reasoning compared to high-risk adolescents. The Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment (Barnoski, 2004a) was utilized as the basis for determining adolescent risk level and the Defining Issues Test, Version 2 (Rest & Narvaez, 1998) was utilized to measure moral reasoning. Results of this study supported the hypothesis and demonstrated that there are significant differences between these two groups; low-risk males reported significantly higher levels of moral reasoning than high-risk males. Findings of this research may contribute to increased knowledge about adolescent decision making, differences between high- and low-risk juvenile delinquents, and treatment interventions for these two groups.

Share

COinS