Communications: the European Journal of Communication Research vol:34 issue:3 pages:305-321
The aim of this study was to construct a closed-end measure of moral reasoning on interpersonal violence (CEMRIV) and to explore the relationship between television exposure and children's use of moral reasoning strategies. Participants were 377 elementary school children in fourth to sixth grade who completed questionnaires containing measures on moral reasoning and violent and non-violent television viewing. The reliability and validity of the CEMRIV as a scale of moral reasoning are discussed. Regression analyses indicated that exposure to violent television content was positively related to a preference for authority-based reasoning on interpersonal violence. Violent television exposure was also a significant predictor of the preference for approval-oriented reasoning about prosocial dilemmas. Furthermore, non-violent television viewing was positively associated with a preference for perspective-based moral reasoning. These findings provide support for a mental model approach.