Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Voelker, Sylvia,


Psychology, Clinical.




This study examined the relationship between parental physical punishment severity as recalled by young adults and level of moral reasoning. Specifically, the relationships between 3 levels of maternal and paternal physical punishment severity (non-physical punishment, moderate physical punishment, and severe physical punishment) and level of postconventional (higher order) moral reasoning were investigated. One hundred and twenty four undergraduate psychology students completed a modified version of the Assessing Environments III (physical punishment severity measure used to classify participants into three punishment groups) and the Defining Issues Test (moral reasoning measure). Attrition due to inconsistency in completing the questionnaires resulted in a loss of approximately 21% of the original sample and produced a final sample of 83 individuals. Results indicated that participants did not differ in moral reasoning level depending on physical punishment severity. Additional analyses revealed relationships between consistency in completing the questionnaires and moral reasoning level, educational level, race, and socieconomic status. Explanations for these findings are considered and implications of these results are discussed.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1996 .W52. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 37-01, page: 0371. Adviser: Sylvia Voelker. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1996.