The male group effect: measuring moral judgment and reasoning among two cohorts of first-year college menShow full item record
|The male group effect: measuring moral judgment and reasoning among two cohorts of first-year college men
|Terry, Daniel J.
|Doctor of Education
|What kinds of experiences, interventions, or programs within the college context appear to foster or enhance moral growth beyond what one would expect developmentally from any 18-22 year old student? This quasi-experimental study is directed toward the effects of a particular aspect of the college environment on the moral judgment development of a particular group of students; specifically, first-year college men. The study investigates whether a certain cohort of men, Alpha Alpha (AA), who participate in a non-traditional, intentional, character-driven approach to fraternity membership demonstrated a rate of growth in moral judgment and reasoning that was greater than that of a similar cohort of men, Beta Beta (BB), who participated in a traditional approach to fraternity membership. The Defining Issues Test, Version 2 (DIT2), a neo-Kohlbergian instrument used to measure moral judgment and reasoning, was used to assess change/growth in moral development over time.^Differences in the pre-test moral judgment scores of AA and BB were found, though the differences did not reach significance (.075, p<.05). Strong statistically-significant differences in mean moral judgment scores were found in post-test test scores for AA and BB (.008, p<.05), though both groups saw decreases in group moral judgment scores from pre- to post-test. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that there were significant differences in the change/growth rates of AA and BB (.048, p<.05). An examination of the moral judgment and reasoning scores of AA and BB alongside normative national DIT2 data for males concluded that the post-test scores of BB were significantly lower than that of the mean for first-year undergraduate men.^In discussing findings, the researcher notes the mitigating effect of AA's intervention; that is, rather than fostering growth in moral judgment and reasoning, it only appears to slow what might otherwise be a significant regression in moral judgment as a result of a powerful male group effect found in fraternities. The nature of this group effect is explored, and implications for practice and research are offered.
|Mills, Donald B.
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- Doctoral Dissertations