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The Effects of Victim Awareness versus Decision-Making Enhancement Training on the Moral Development, Moral Agency, and Behavior of Adolescent Offenders.

Blackburn, Charles Flint
June 4, 2015

Source: (2005) Raleigh, North Carolina:A dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty of North Carolina State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for Doctor of Philosophy.

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two short-term group
interventions with adolescent offenders. The Victim Awareness Course (VAC) was
designed to help adolescents understand the multiple ways victims are impacted by
offenses. The Life Skills Course (LSC) focused on skill development ranging from anger
management to decision-making skills. Each intervention approached rule-breaking
behavior from different perspectives. From a moral development perspective, lower
levels of moral development reflect self-interest and lack of perspective for others. From
a social cognitive theory perspective, delinquent behavior is attributed to both internal
and external factors by which adolescents morally disengage prior to committing an
offense. Examples of these mechanisms are displacement of responsibility and
dehumanization of others. (author’s abstract)


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