Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The relation between moral development and religious orientation was examined. The three levels of Kohlberg's theory of moral development (Preconventional, Conventional, and Post-conventional) were examined in relation to the three dimensions of religious orientation (Extrinsic, Intrinsic, and Quest) proposed by Balson, Schoenrade, and Ventis (1993). It was first hypothesized that the Extrinsic Orientation would be correlated negatively with both the Quest and Intrinsic orientations to support the theoretical assumptions made by Batson, Schoenrade, and Ventis (1993). The other hypotheses examined specific relationships between moral development, as measured by the Defining Issues Test and religious orientation, as measured by the Religious Life Inventory. Results only partially supported the hypotheses because an unexpected positive relation between the Extrinsic and Quest orientations was found. The three religious dimensions were not found to correlate according to theory. Results suggested much overlap in both definition and measurement of the three orientations indicating that the three dimensions were not separate constructs. Theoretical implications showed that the definitions of the Extrinsic, Intrinsic, and Quest orientations were not accurate for this specific sample. Suggestions for future research included reexamining the definitions of Intrinsic, Extrinsic, and Quest orientations as well as restructuring of the measurement of religious orientation.


Carol L. Patrick

Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 2000 Janett M. Naylor


For questions contact

Off Campus FHSU Users Click Here