Links between justice sensitivity and moral reasoning, moral emotions, and moral identity in middle childhood
Strauß, S.; Bondü, R.
Child Development 93(2): 372-387
ISSN/ISBN: 1467-8624 PMID: 34687470 Accession: 080372753
Associations between moral-related traits, such as justice sensitivity (JS), the tendency to negatively respond to injustice, and moral development are largely unknown. From May to December 2018, 1329 5- to 12-year-olds (M = 8.05, SD = 1.02; 51.2% girls, 1.3% transgender and gender-nonconforming) from Germany rated their JS, moral reasoning, emotions, and identity; parents and teachers rated children's theory of mind (ToM) and empathy. Victim JS (caring for own justice) predicted more attributions of positive emotions to norm transgressors in structural equation models (β = .295). Altruistic JS (caring for other's justice) predicted less attributions of positive emotions (β = -.343) and a stronger moral identity (β = .392) unless ToM was considered. Particularly altruistic JS showed associations with advanced moral development. Hence, moral-related traits deserve more attention by moral-development research.