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The family as context of moral development: an approach of the theory of moral judgment of Jean Piaget and of the social domain theory

Grant number: 13/24697-0
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: March 01, 2014 - August 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Human Development Psychology
Principal Investigator:Luciana Maria Caetano
Grantee:Luciana Maria Caetano
Host Institution: Instituto de Psicologia (IP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project is organized in four parts: the first one presents a literature review of the constructs obedience, justice, respect and reciprocity according to the theory of Moral Judgment of Jean Piaget; the second one, summarizes the results of our survey of Brazilian mothers and fathers on these constructs and their relation with the construction of the moral autonomy of teenagers (Caetano, 2009), whose results and discussions are triggers of emerging issues that guide this research proposal. In the third part, these problematics are considered as the leading issues of the present investigation. Among them, there is the difference between the results of our research, which point at conflicts and the relationship between parents and children (it is worth mentioning that the topic of moral judgment and moral action is the most important one). The other leading issue refers to the results of the research based on the Social Domain Theory, which considers the moral domain as a domain in which the conflicts in the relation between parents and children do not occur. The fourth and final part of the project, outlines their goals and methods. Our main objective is comparatively to investigate the role of the family as a context of moral development in the theory of Moral Judgment of Jean Piaget (1932) and the Theory of Social Domain (Turiel, 1983, 1998). Our hypothesis is that the conflicts we found in the relationship between parents and children in our research, and that are not observed in studies of the theoretical framework of the Theory of Social Domain, have as main explanation the difference in consideration of the concept of morality for the two different theoretical frameworks: Piagetian Theory and the Social Domain. Some other objectives of this project are: to perform an updated theoretical review of family studies as a context of moral development, from the perspective of the Theory of Social Sphere; investigate the responses of parents to the constructs obedience, justice, autonomy and respect, considering such constructs face to the contents proposed by the Theory of Social Domain. To meet these objectives, the research uses a survey instrument that is a range of closed questions, the result of the instrument's range Conceptions Educational Society Meeting (The study of the construction and validation of Scale Educational conceptions found in: Caetano, LM (2009) Autonomy, Adolescents and Parents Relationship: Educative Conceptions Scale. PhD thesis IP/ USP, São Paulo) and two other instruments used respectively by the studies and research of the Theory of Social Domination, being respectively. Scales from Parental Authority Index (PAI) (Hasebe et al., 2004) and Stimuli Items for the Parental Authority Questionnaire (Smetana and Asquith, 1994). The participants will consist of parents, mothers and/ or caregivers of adolescents from 12 to 20 years old. In our previous study, the people involved were only the parents, and as the researches of the Theory of Social Domain are conducted with parents and children, we also propose the comparison of the responses that we find in this dyad, and to heed to our main research goal. We want the data analysis to be performed by instruments for quantitative analysis, but also propose to provide a qualitative analysis of the responses, based on the comparison of the two proposed theoretical approaches. (AU)

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