Researchers have postulated sociocognitive differences between delinquent and nondelinquent youths. However, prior studies have examined differences in prohibitive moral reasoning, and no studies of prosocial moral reasoning have been conducted with orphaned adolescents or in countries other than the United States. We examined prosocial moral reasoning in Brazilian institutionalized delinquent, orphaned, and noninstitutionalized adolescents. Delinquent, relative to nondeliquent, adolescents were expected to be less likely to prefer higher level, internalized types of prosocial moral reasoning and more likely to prefer lower levels of prosocial moral reasoning. No specific hypotheses were made regarding prosocial moral reasoning in orphaned adolescents. A total of 116 male and female Brazilian adolescents (38 delinquent, 38 orphaned, and 40 noninstitutionalized adolescents) were administered an objective measure of prosocial moral reasoning (PROM). In general, the main hypotheses were supported, and gender differences were found. Discussion focused on the correlates of prosocial moral reasoning and institutionalization in adolescence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science