Moral reasoning among children in India: The intersection of culture, development, and social class
The study included 144 Indian children in middle childhood and early adolescence of high and low SES. Based on the cultural-developmental approach, the aims were to test hypotheses about use of the three Ethics of Autonomy, Community and Divinity, and to gain qualitative insights into the children’s indigenous moral concepts. Three findings stood out: 1) Older children employed a rich set of indigenous duty concepts, thereby also using the Ethic of Community more than younger children. 2) Younger children already reasoned in terms of the Ethic of Divinity. 3) High-SES children used the Ethic of Autonomy more than low-SES children and conceptualized the individual in independent and psychological terms; whereas low-SES children’s view of autonomy invoked fear of physical punishment. The cultural-developmental theory and methodology revealed sides of children’s moral reasoning that are largely missing in Western studies, and point to new research directions in moral development and socialization.
Applied Developmental Science
Pandya, Niyati; Jensen, Lene Arnett; and Bhangaokar, Rachana, "Moral reasoning among children in India: The intersection of culture, development, and social class" (2023). Psychology. 819.