Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Education and International Services

First Advisor

Ruth R. Murdoch

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

John B. Youngberg



The most important concern of Seventh-day Adventists is the proper and fullest development of character. This study investigates perception patterns on character values and factors influencing positive character development held by subjects on a church supported university campus (Andrews University).


The self-administered questionnaire, developed by Kreps (1970) to examine the attitudes held by college students concerning values that are important in promoting positive character development in individuals, was modified in part to conform to background characteristics of Andrews University students. The socio-economic class of each subject was determined by the McGuire-White Social Class Index (1955). A percentage and frequency count and the chi- square test were employed to analyze the data. Randomized selected subjects were proportionally stratified by sex (N = 185).


Subjects selected Spiritual Development, Honesty and Integrity, Seeing Each Person as Having Dignity and Worth, Self- Discipline, and Moral Courage as the five most important values involved in character development. Self-Reliance, Determination, and Intellectual Inquisitiveness were the values selected as ones parents most often succeed in helping children learn. Spiritual Development, Self-Discipline, and Seeing Each Person as Having Dignity and Worth were the values selected as ones parents most often fail to help children learn. Subjects selected the Mother (parent) and the Family (social institution) as having the greatest influence on the child's character development. Model and Examples was selected most often as the most effective manner to learn values, Reward and Punishment was selected most often as the method parents use to teach character values. All of the non-directional null hypotheses were supported..


From the data of this study and the research reviewed, it would appear.that SDA philosophy influenced the perception rankings. The findings suggest that sex exerts an influence on the values held. Results of this study, because of the randomizing selection of subjects (as opposed to the biased method used by Kreps in her study) are more precise (and do not agree with Kreps) in this regard. It is recommended that this investigation be duplicated with (a) a national sample of high school and college students, (b) a cross-culture interfaith sample of SDA students, and (c) an interfaith sample of college students.

Subject Area

Character; College students--Conduct of life

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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