Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Child Dev. 1994 Jun;65(3):852-68.

Maternal reports of conscience development and temperament in young children.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242.


Multiple manifestations of emerging conscience, their development, organization, and links with temperament were studied in 171 21-70-month-old children. A new parental report instrument was designed to measure conscience, with good psychometric qualities and predictive of children's behaviors in a laboratory. For most aspects of conscience, the major developmental shifts occurred around age 3.2 components of early conscience emerged in factor analyses: Affective Discomfort, significantly higher for girls, that encompassed guilt, apology, concern about good feelings with the parent following wrongdoing, and empathy with others, and Active Moral Regulation/Vigilance, which included confession and reparation following wrongdoing, internalization of rules of conduct (self-regulation), and concern about others' wrongdoing. Children's temperament, assessed by maternal reports, was associated with conscience. Low impulsivity and high inhibitory control were associated with Active Moral Regulation/Vigilance for both sexes and, for girls only, also with Affective Discomfort. For girls, temperamental reactivity related positively to Affective Discomfort and negatively to Active Moral Regulation/Vigilance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center