Emotions shape our social lives. They play an influential role in how young people evaluate morally relevant situations such as conflicts about fairness, justice, and social inclusion and exclusion. Feelings of empathy or guilt can help adolescents understand the difference between moral concerns, such as fairness, and amoral concerns, such as personal gains or peer group functioning. Such feelings can also serve as motives for prosocial behavior and can inhibit antisocial behavior. Still, young people s
emotional experiences in morally relevant situations are complex and do not necessarily lead to moral choices or adaptive social behavior.
This volume examines the question of how emotions relate to adolescents decision making, reasoning, and behavior in morally relevant situations. It provides a summary of current research on emotions, morality, and adaptive behaviors. Furthermore, it discusses new approaches to research on emotions, morality, and socially adaptive behavior in adolescence. By doing so, the articles provide new insights into adolescents emotional and moral development and show how emotions contribute to the way
adolescents negotiate, resolve, and adapt to the moral and social conflicts that inevitably occur in their everyday lives.
By integrating innovative perspectives from developmental, educational, and clinical research, this volume has much to offer for researchers, youth practitioners, and educators.
Editor s Notes 1Tina Malti
Executive Summary 7
1. Emotion and the moral lives of adolescents: Vagaries and complexities in the emotional experience of doing harm 13Cecilia Wainryb, Holly E. Recchia
The authors address the diversity of adolescents affective experiences following their own moral transgressions.
2. Adolescents emotions and reasoning in contexts of moral conflict and social exclusion 27Tina Malti, Sophia F. Ongley, Sebastian P. Dys, Tyler Colasante
For reasons of fairness and empathy, adolescents experience a variety of negative emotions when they intentionally harm or exclude others. Adolescents with higher sympathy are more likely to report feelings of guilt following these moral and social conflict situations.
3. Moral judgments and emotions: Adolescents evaluations in intergroup social exclusion contexts 41Shelby Cooley, Laura Elenbaas, Melanie Killen
The moral and emotional development of young people is informed by their social experiences and understanding of group dynamics. Due to the increasing salience of group membership in adolescence, youth today often weigh the consequences of resisting group norms. The authors provide new insights into the integration of emotional evaluations and moral judgments in the context of social exclusion in childhood and adolescence.
4. Linking moral emotion attributions with behavior: Why (un)happy victimizers and (un)happy moralists act the way they feel 59Tobias Krettenauer
The author discusses conceptual links between moral emotion attributions and children s and adolescents social behavior. He proposes three links that exemplify three forms of moral agency as they emerge over the course of children s and adolescents moral development.
5. Behaving badly or goodly: Is it because I feel guilty, shameful, or sympathetic? Or is it a matter of what I think? 75Gustavo Carlo, Meredith McGinley, Alexandra Davis, Cara Streit
The authors provide a brief review of moral psychological theory and predicting moral behaviors. They offer results that demonstrate support for both guilt–based and sympathy–based models and discuss the implications of their findings.
6. Adolescents perceptions of institutional fairness: Relations with moral reasoning, emotions, and behavior 95William F. Arsenio, Susanna Preziosi, Erica Silberstein, Benjamin Hamburger
The authors address low–income urban adolescents perceptions regarding the fairness of American society and how those perceptions relate to interpersonal moral reasoning, emotions, and behavior.
7. Mindfulness for adolescents: A promising approach to supporting emotion regulation and preventing risky behavior 111Patricia C. Broderick, Patricia A. Jennings
Adolescents require effective emotion regulation skills to navigate the psychological and environmental challenges of their developmental period. Mindfulness, as taught in universal prevention programs such as Learning to BREATHE, is a promising tool in reducing distress and promoting resilience.