Despite often simplistic, black-and-white portrayals of good and evil, children and adolescents face complicated moral issues that can raise more questions than answers. Becoming aware of what constitutes morality is only the first step in determining a course of action, identifying and avoiding problems, and building communities that nurture morality.
Young people learn to define and respond to moral dilemmas by interacting with and observing numerous sources. They acquire knowledge from family members, teachers, church leaders, peers, and members of neighborhood organizations. Raising themes of cultural pluralism, responsibility, complexity, affectivity, and practicality, Nurturing Morality addresses such issues as:
- Definitions of morality that link past and current debates, enabling a more thorough understanding of moral functioning.
- Personal responsibilities and impediments to moral functioning.
- How societal structures can facilitate or inhibit moral agency and development.
- The importance of acknowledging the common good as well as individual accomplishments.
- Nurturing morality through wisdom.
Drawing from a wide range of independent research programs, Nurturing Morality makes clear that most forms of human interaction are laden with moral content. It highlights thorny and complex moral questions that cannot be resolved by simple adherence to moral rules. And on the basis of empirically grounded findings, contributors to this volume provide recommendations for how adults can offer valuable guidance to young people learning to negotiate life in a global society.
For clinicians, researchers, and students, Nurturing Morality provides much-needed insight and advice on young people’s moral development.