Mom and Dad Still Matter, Cook’s Study on Morality Concludes

Kaye Cook, professor of psychology, will be landing in Shanghai Friday, October 21, and traveling to Nanjing for the Association for Moral Education meetings. As secretary of the board, she’s been a clearing house for information about visas, hotels, and train schedules, yet has never been to China.  While in Nanjing, Dr. Cook will give a presentation based on data collected from her four-year study of Gordon and Wheaton alumni funded by the CCCU entitled, Does Attachment Shape Morality? A review of Kohlberg and Diessner (1991). She’ll be presenting her paper with a current student, Landon Ranck, as co-author.  Here’s what she said as a result of the study:

“In the research, I have learned that peer attachment predicts morality but that religious motivation and belief (intrinsic religiosity and Christian orthodoxy) mediate the relationship between parental attachment and morality. In other words, parents remain the most powerful influences on an emerging adult’s religious development. Further, morality, for Christian college alumni, emerges from religiosity. This connection makes sense for us as Christians but the moral development literature pays little attention to either attachment or religiosity.”

Another fun fact, says Cook, is that “the weekend that I present the paper in Nanjing, I will have four papers in presentation: two by students who worked on the alumni research, one of whom is the co-author with me on the Nanjing paper. The second paper is authored by Laurieann Smith, Lauren Stone, and Matt van Hammersveld. The other two, presented at the Fifth Conference on Emerging Adulthood, are by colleagues on the alumni research.”

Talk about global impact!

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