Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


School of Education


Curriculum and Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Ruth R. Murdoch

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Wilfred Liske


Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is losing a great number of youth. The unfavorable attitudes on the part of many youth toward god's commandments are thought to have been partially responsible for this apostasy phenomenon.

Method. This study was designed to find out whether the Piagetian theory of moral judgment development can give some insight into this problem and its solution. Two Piagetian paired-stories sets were used to test children's moral judgment. Chi Square tests were employed to analyze data. The following hypotheses were tested:

1. There will be no differences between the various age levels in the way American or Hong Kong subjects respond to stories containing moral themes.

2. There will be no difference between the Seventh-day Adventist and the non-Seventh-day Adventist subjects in America or in Hong Kong in the way they respond to stories containing moral themes.

3. There will be no difference between American Seventh-day Adventist and Hong Kong Seventh-day Adventist subjects in the way they respond to the stories containing moral themes.

4. There will be no difference between American public school and hong Kong public school subjects in the way they respond to stories containing moral themes.

5. There will be no difference between total Hong Kong response and total American response.

Results. The comparison of a selected sample of American and Hong Kong children's response to Piagetian-type stories indicated that his theory of moral judgment is applicable in the United States of America and overseas. From the sample tested it was found that moral judgment development is sequential, age related, and cognitively geared. American and Hong Kong subjects, both Seventh-day Adventists and non-Seventh-day Adventists, made similar responses to stories containing moral themes. The only exception was found among Seventh-Day Adventist subjects of the five-to-nine age group in both populations who showed greater moral maturity compared to their public school counterparts.

Conclusion. Data from the sample studied lead to the conclusion that the universality of the applicability of Piagetian theory on moral judgment development can contribute to Seventh-day Adventist moral education practices. The developmental approach should help to make Seventh-day Adventist moral education programs more efficient and effective.

Subject Area

Moral education

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."