A Longitudinal Study on the Development of Moral Judgement in Korean Nursing Students

Nursing Ethics 11 (3):254-265 (2004)


This longitudinal study examined the development of moral judgement in 37 nursing students attending a university in Suwon, Korea. The participants completed the Korean version of the Defining Issues Test to allow analysis of their level of moral judgement. The development of moral judgement was quantified using ‘the moral development score’ at each stage (i.e. the six stages detailed by Kohlberg) and the ‘P(%) score’ (a measure of the overall moral judgement level). The results were as follows: (1) the moral development score for stage 5A was consistently the highest across the four years of the students’ course, showing significant differences in some sociodemographic factors including home, birth order and monthly income; and (2) the P(%) score was higher in fourth-year (47.47 ± 11.21) than in first-year (46.13±9.73) students. There was no significant difference in the P(%) score according to sociodemographic factors. Further studies will examine in detail the correlation between curriculum and moral judgement development. We suggest that courses in ethics education should be made more relevant

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