Social roles and moral reasoning: A case study in a rural African community

Sara Harkness, Carolyn P. Edwards, Charles M. Super

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Conducted the Moral Judgment Interview (MJI) with 6 traditional leaders (28-74 yrs old) living in Kenya and 6 men who were similar but were nonleaders. Leaders scored slightly but significantly higher than nonleaders on the MJI. The cultural values expressed are discussed in relation to Ss' community roles and the structure of their society. Thus, contrary to criticisms of L. Kohlberg (1971), findings demonstrate a significant relationship between a social indicator (i.e., status as a moral leader) and responses to moral dilemmas. (38 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-603
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1981


  • cultural values &
  • moral reasoning &
  • social roles &
  • social structure, 28-74 yr old male leaders vs nonleaders, Kenya

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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