Adolescents talking about personal responsibility

Mergler, Amanda G. & Patton, Wendy A. (2007) Adolescents talking about personal responsibility. Journal of Student Wellbeing, 1(1), pp. 57-70.


The role of personal responsibility in the lives of adolescents remains a largely overlooked area in the psychological and educational fields. The present study utilised focus groups with 20 white, middle-class adolescents to examine how they understand and integrate the notion of personal responsibility into their lives. Key themes including awareness of thoughts and feelings, behavioural choices and control, and consideration of consequences were identified as important components of the personal responsibility variable. Interesting gender differences were found with females and males identifying different emotions as those within and outside their control and females only identifying concern for the feelings of others as a major factor in decision making. The key themes served to generate parameters around which to enclose the personal responsibility variable.

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ID Code: 10742
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal’s web page (see hypertext link).
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Personal Responsibility, adolescence, moral development, cognitive development, choices, behaviour, consequences
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > SPECIALIST STUDIES IN EDUCATION (130300) > Learning Sciences (130309)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 University of South Australia
Deposited On: 14 Nov 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:33

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