Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate levels of moral reasoning among a sample of battered women and compare them with a national normative sample. Method: The study involved collecting Defining Issues Test (DIT) data from 50 women (age, M = 33, SD = 10) beginning their stay at a shelter for battered women. Unlike the original method of assessing moral reasoning involving a lengthy interview, the DIT is a multiplechoice test. Consequently, it is easy to administer and score and, over the last 20 years, it has become the most widely used instrument for assessing moral reasoning. Results: Analysis indicated that the battered women comprising the sample were employing levels of moral reasoning comparable with the national normative sample. Conclusion: Implications of the findings for countering arguments that battered women are morally immature in the way in which they approach the stay/leave decision were explored and discussed.
- Battered women
- Moral development
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science