A COMPARISON OF MORAL REASONING, ROLE TAKING, GUILT, AND EGO STRENGTH AMONG JUVENILE DELINQUENT SUBGROUPS BASED ON MMPI CODE TYPES

JAMES JOHN KARPAWICH, Fordham University

Abstract

There are differences between subgroups of juvenile delinquents on moral development. The cognitive factors of moral reasoning and role taking were studied as well as critical transition variables between cognition and the dimensions of affect (trait guilt) and of behavior (ego strength). Delinquent groups, each composed of fifteen incarcerated males, were formed based on four MMPI code types (4-9, 4-8, 8-1,2,7, and No Elevation). These were matched on age, IQ, socio-economic class, and race. Each subject was tested individually on Rest's Defining Issues Test, Flavell's nickel and dime role taking task, Mosher's Forced-Choice Guilt Scale, and Factor C from Cattell's 16 PF (combined forms A and B). The monetary value of the role taking task was one and two dollars to increase the subject's motivation.^ Results indicated that there were significant differences between delinquent code types on the DIT, MGS, and Factor C, but not on the role taking task. The No Elevation group was significantly higher than the 4-8 and 4-9 code types on moral reasoning, than the 4-8 code type on guilt, and than the other three groups on ego strength. This group was labeled socialized. The 8-1,2,7 tended to be higher than the 4-8 and 4-9 groups on moral reasoning and guilt. They were significantly higher than the 4-8 groups when Sex Guilt items of the MGS were deleted. However, they scored low on ego strength. Thus, they resembled the neurotic. Both the 4-8 and 4-9 groups had deficits in their moral reasoning and guilt. However, they tended to differ on ego strength; the 4-9 scored higher and resembled the primary psychopath while the 4-8 resembled the secondary psychopath.^ None of the correlations between the four variables was significant. The only consistent positive relationship was between ego strength and the other variables. Therefore, this study supported the usefulness of MMPI based subgroups of delinquents and the importance of not limiting the study of moral development to only one area.^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

KARPAWICH, JAMES JOHN, "A COMPARISON OF MORAL REASONING, ROLE TAKING, GUILT, AND EGO STRENGTH AMONG JUVENILE DELINQUENT SUBGROUPS BASED ON MMPI CODE TYPES" (1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8323534.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8323534

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