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The personal belief in a just world and domain-specific beliefs about justice at school and in the family: A longitudinal study with adolescents

By Claudia Dalbert and Joachim Stoeber


This article investigates the relationship between the personal belief in a just world (BJW) and domain-specific beliefs about justice and examines how justice cognitions impact on adolescents' development, particularly on their achievement at school and their subjective well-being. A longitudinal questionnaire study with German adolescents aged 14-19 years was conducted over a period of five to eight months. The pattern of results revealed that evaluations of the school climate and of the family climate as being just were two distinct phenomena, both of which impacted on the personal BJW, which in turn affected the domain-specific beliefs about justice. However, the domain-specific beliefs about justice did not impact on each other directly. Moreover, an evaluation of the family climate (but not of the school climate) as being just reduced depressive symptoms, whereas depressive symptoms did not weaken the evaluation of one's family as being just. The evaluation of the school climate as being just improved the grades received in the next school report, whereas the grades received did not affect the justice evaluation of the school climate. Finally, all relationships persisted when controlling for age and gender. In sum, the pattern of findings supports the notion that justice cognitions impact on development during adolescence

Topics: BF
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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