MORAL DEVELOPMENT THEORY
Moral Development Theory refers generally to theories of individual psychology that investigate how moral reasoning emerges and develops as the individual matures.
Moral development theory should be distinguished from ordinary developmental theories in criminology. Moral development theories are most often regarded as "eclectic" theories in the field of criminology.
Moral Development Study in the 21st Century: Introduction to Moral
Motivation through the Life Span: Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, volume 51 -
Carolyn P. Edwards, University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Interest in moral development theory and motivation has been prominent in the field of psychology since Sigmund Freuds theory about the Oedipus complex and the formation of the superego. Indeed, during certain earlier decades, especially the 1970s and 1980s, moral development theory was a hot and contentious topic among social and behavioral scientists. Some important books, such as Lickona (1976), Kurtines and Gewirtz (1984), and Eisenberg, Reykowski, and Staub (1989), grew out of those debates, and, even today, these sources are useful for reading clear statements of the alternative theoretical perspectives, which are presented as competing approaches to the study and interpretation of moral development theory. However, following that lively but contentious period, the 1990s represented a quieter time of solid and steady gains in research study of moral development theory and prosocial behavior as well as a period of serious attempts at theoretical reconciliation and bridge building.
Moral Development Theory and Its Practical Application: Moral Education in
the American Public School System