Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The theoretical basis of this research was based on Kohlberg's cognitive model of moral development. Rest's operationalization of principled moral reasoning, Davison's scale score, and Thoma's utilizer score were specifically examined. A predictive relationship between certain demographic variables and the principled moral reasoning and Davison's score have been identified in the research literature. The purpose of this study was to examine further this predictive relationship. The James D. Foster and Beth A. LaForce research project provided the archival data for this research. From the existing data, demographic variables were selected as predictors of moral development among incoming George Fox College students. Moral development was measured by the Defining Issues Test. Multiple regression equations were derived for Principled moral reasoning, Davison's score, and the Utilizer score. The regression equations for the Principled Reasoning score and the Davison score were significant, but only Grade Point Average loaded. None of the variables entered the equation for the Utilizer score. The percentage of the variance accounted for in each equation was small and of little practical use. The six selected demographic variables, when in linear combination, were found to be ineffective predictors of moral development among incoming George Fox College students.

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