This paper was published as Child Study Journal, 2002, 32 (4), pp. 215-230.Metadata only entryThe moral judgment of violence was studied in a group of 20 physically abused and 20 nonmaltreated boys (8 to 13 years old), in order to determine whether the experience of abuse from parents affects children's moral judgment of violence. Factors such as the motive of the offender, the consequences of the action, the age of the offender and the relationship between the offender and the victim, were investigated for judgments about both verbal and physical violence. The results show no significant differences between physically maltreated children and the control group. Main effects of motive and consequences were significant, but no differences between the two groups, the kind of violence (physical or verbal), age, or proximity were found. This result is congruent with previous research indicating that moral judgments of violence, unlike behavior, are not affected by maltreatment in childhood and thus seem to act as an independent cognitive process
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