Adolescents' Application of the Virtues Across Five Cultural Contexts

Stephen J. Thoma*, David I. Walker, Yen Hsin Chen, Ana Frichand, Daniel Moulin-Stozek, Kristján Kristjánsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Little is known about adolescent applications of the virtues such as honesty, responsibility and courage across different cultural contexts. Using the Adolescent Intermediate Concepts Measure we analyze samples of adolescents (ages 12 to 20; N = 9,112) from 5 contexts: North Macedonia, Mexico, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Across samples, adolescents provide evidence of developmental growth in the ability to apply virtue concepts as assessed by responses to dilemma-based situations. Within these trends, participants found it easier to identify action choices that reflect the virtue concepts as compared to justifications for possible actions. Additionally, participants were better able to identify appropriate applications of the virtues as compared to inappropriate ones. Gender differences favoring females were noted across samples. Overall, similarities across settings were more striking than differences suggesting that there is value in viewing the virtues as a normative component of character development across the adolescent years.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Psychological Association.


  • Culture
  • Moral development
  • Virtues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Adolescents' Application of the Virtues Across Five Cultural Contexts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this