Chinese young children’s tendency to balance claims to personal jurisdiction with compliance to adult authority

Mun Amanda WONG, Judith SMETANA

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

Four-, 7- and 11-year-olds (n=120) listened to vignettes featuring characters who wanted to do actions that conflicted with parental rules. Desires included behaviour associated with the personal domain: toy activity, creative activity and clothing choice. Scenarios involving moral rules served as a comparison. Chinese children predicted and explained characters' actions and emotions. The preliminary results showed significant increases with age in defending personal choice; especially when the character identified very strongly with the activity choice. Children tended to state that the characters should not break the moral rules to fulfil her/his desires. Children predicted the character would be unhappy if s/he had to give up her/his desire to comply with the rule of the mother. Older children tended to justify the characters' violation of the authority's rules by referring to the personal rights of the character. Findings are discussed in relation to the development of self and personal control.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Citation

Wong, A. M., & Smetana, J. (2011, October). Chinese young children’s tendency to balance claims to personal jurisdiction with compliance to adult authority. Paper presented at the International Moral Education Conference (AME): Cultivating morality: Human beings, nature and the world, Nanjing International Conference Centre, Nanjing, China.

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