The Role of Parents in Moral Development: A social domain analysis

Journal of Moral Education 28 (3):311-321 (1999)
This article provides a social domain theory analysis of the role of parents in moral development. Social knowledge domains, including morality as distinct from other social concepts, are described. Then, it is proposed that, although morality is constructed from reciprocal social interactions, both affective and cognitive components of parents' interactions with their children may facilitate children's moral development. The affective context of the relationship may influence children's motivation to listen to and respond to parents; in addition, affect associated with responses to transgressions can affect children's encoding and remembering of those events. Although moral interactions occur frequently in peer contexts, parents' domain-specific feedback about the nature of children's moral interactions are proposed to provide a cognitive mechanism for facilitating moral development. Parents promote children's moral understanding by providing domain appropriate and developmentally sensitive reasoning and explanations about the child's social world, which may stimulate the development of more mature moral thought. Various findings from the socialisation literature are presented and interpreted from within the social domain framework
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DOI 10.1080/030572499103106
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Susan Moller Okin (1991). Justice, Gender, and the Family. Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (1):77-97.

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Michael W. Austin (2007). Fundamental Interests and Parental Rights. International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (2):221-235.

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