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By Heath B. Grant

Supply examines the felony socialization of youths by way of conceptualizing felony reasoning (how youths cause concerning the significance of ideas and legislation) as a resiliency variable which may mediate the adverse affects of threat elements drawn from the criminological literature on self-reported delinquency. Grant’s examine additionally examines the consequences of criminal tradition on socialization via adolescence perceptions of the legitimacy of legislation enforcement. The pattern of over 10,000 Mexican youths partaking in a state-wide application designed to certainly impact perceptions on the topic of ideas and legislation is unheard of within the criminal socialization literature.

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85). However, as a word of caution, they also found that tests of moral reasoning in Egypt, Kuwait, and Sudan were contrary to the expectations of Kohlbergian stage theory. Authors such as Rest et al (1999) argue that moral reasoning is not a function of type of religion, but may be a question of orthodoxy versus non-orthodoxy. Postconventional thinking has been found across diverse faiths – the main area where religion can clash with higher stage thought is on the question of whether or not religious laws can be the subject of the interpretation of man based upon principles of human dignity and justice.

Later efforts, classifying moral reasoning into general schemas rather than strict stages, has found greater incidence of post-conventional thinking in the general young adult and adult populations (Rest, Bebeau & Thoma, 1999). Furnham and Stacey (1991) stress that, consistent with Kohlberg’s (1969) moral reasoning, each stage of legal reasoning is dependent upon experiencing the prior stages. However, they also note that this theory “assumes not only that the direction of moral development is towards internalized individual moral controls but also that the higher stages of morality move beyond dependence on culture and society to dependence on a selfless, rational, morally autonomous individual” (Furnham and Stacey 1991: 159).

The key is to look at the principles of the rule of law as offering the best possible means to achieve a good quality of life, an outlook most consistent with level three thinking (NSIC, 2000). Finally, exposing the youths to diverse perspectives and even conflicts with respect to rules and laws is also seen as integral to legal reasoning development (Tapp, 1987). This diversity can come in the form of “ideas, values, practices, and roles” (Furnham and Stacey, 1991:160) that promote cognitive development.

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