Two major reasons exist for studying moral development and during adolescence. First, congnitive changes that occur during adolescence are related to moral develpment. formal operational thinking allows the adolescent to interpret the social environment in new and different ways. Second, because adolescents are capable of devising anew and idealisftic social orders to which all are expected to conform, we may view whtn as moral philosophers.
A number of researchers have noted other changes in moral development that point to the importance of adolescence as transition stage in moral development. Unlike children, the adolescent is concerned with what is right as opposed to what is wrong. also, adolescents become more preoccupied with personal and social moral codes. As they gain the competency to understand alternative points of view, they see that the moral codes are relative, not absolute. the above changes result in some conflict between moral conduct and moral thinking during adolescence.
Early writing in the area of moral development was left to philosophers, who evolved three major doctrines of morality, each of which major doctrines of morality, each of which is represented incontemporary psychological theirizing. the "doctrine of the original sin" asumed that parental intervention was necessary to save the child's soul. Cureent-day vestiges of this viewpoint may be found in theories of personality structures and the develpment of the conscience, or superego, which argue that the child internalizes parental standards of right and wrong.