Evaluation of Theft, Lying, and Fighting in Adolescence

Abstract

The nature of age and gender differences in the evaluation of three everyday immoral behaviors was analyzed with a 21-item questionnaire. The items included examples of theft, lying, and fighting expressed both as omissions and commissions, commissions further specified with positive motives, negative motives, duress, or provocation. Three age groups were included in the study: pre-adolescents, midadolescents, and late adolescents (N = 2594). The most important findings were that boys accepted all immoral acts better than girls, the “immoral peak” in midadolescence, the low differentiation between the different types of acts in preadolescence, and the flexible usage of different rationales in middle and late adolescence.

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Keltikangas-Järvinen, L., Lindeman, M. Evaluation of Theft, Lying, and Fighting in Adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence 26, 467–483 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024585406173

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Keywords

  • Gender Difference
  • Late Adolescence
  • Immoral Behavior
  • Positive Motive
  • Negative Motive