The Effect of ROTC Training on Moral Development in a College Population
Final rept. 7 May 1981
ARMY MILITARY PERSONNEL CENTER ALEXANDRIA VA
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The present study was conducted to determine the effects of ROTC training on the moral development of college students. Sixty college subjects were assigned to one of four groups based on their year of schooling and participation or non-participation in ROTC training ROTC upperclass, ROTC freshmen, college upperclass, or college freshmen. Subjects were administered the Rest Defining Issues Test to determine stage scores of moral reasoning. A 2 x 2 x 2 repeated measures analysis of variance was performed on stage scores for conventional and principled levels of moral reasoning. This analysis revealed that the ROTC students scored significantly higher than the non-ROTC students at both levels of moral reasoning F 1,44 11.67 p .01 and that upperclassmen scored higher than freshmen F 1,44 5.99, p .05. Subsequent analysis of group means indicated that ROTC students have higher percent scores on the DIT at the conventional level than their college counterparts for both freshmen and upperclass. When compared on principled reasoning level, the ROTC freshmen scored significantly higher than the college freshmen, but the difference between upperclass groups was non-significant. ROTC training appears to have no discernible effect on principled level of moral reasoning beyond that of a normal college education however, it apparently promotes a higher regard for a conventional level of moral reasoning among its students.
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