Stability and change of moral disengagement and its impact on aggression and violence in late adolescence

Marinella Paciello, Roberta Fida, Carlo Tramontano, Catia Lupinetti, Gian Vittorio Caprara

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251 Citations (Scopus)


Stability and change of moral disengagement were examined in a sample of 366 adolescents from ages 14 to 20 years. Four developmental trajectories were identified: (a) nondisengaged group that started with initially low levels followed by an important decline, (b) normative group that started with initially moderate levels followed by a decline, (c) later desister group that started with initially high-medium levels followed by an increase from 14 to 16 years and an even steeper decline from 16 to 20 years, and (d) chronic group that started with and maintained medium-high levels. The results attest that adolescents who maintained higher levels of moral disengagement were more likely to show frequent aggressive and violent acts in late adolescence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1309
Number of pages22
JournalChild Development
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008


  • Adolescent
  • Aggression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Morals
  • Social Behavior Disorders
  • Violence
  • Young Adult

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