A Multi-Institutional Assessment of Moral Reasoning Development among First-Year Students


The purpose of this study was to investigate the co-curricular experiences, course-taking behaviors, and educational practices that influence the moral reasoning development of 1,469 first-year students at 19 American colleges and universities. Results showed that contexts and practices that encourage students to engage divergent perspectives when approaching a problem or issue are those most conducive to moral reasoning growth. Implications for researchers in higher education and moral psychology are discussed.