Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Michael Pratt

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This study investigated differences in parenting and late adolescents’ moral development in two cultural groups: Chinese-Canadian and European-Canadian Measures of parental authoritativeness and degree of parental influence on moral values were administered to a sample of 62 European-Canadian and 40 Chinese-Canadian university students, aged 17-26 years. The participants were then compared with respect to two outcome measures, one assessing the degree to which they internalized and represented parents’ viewpoints (“voice”) in narratives about moral socialization, and the other assessing level of moral reasoning development. Results indicated that reported parental authoritativeness was positively related to the degree of parent “voice” displayed in participants’ moral narratives. No relationship was found between parental authoritativeness and participants’ level of moral reasoning development. Analyses also revealed that Chinese-Canadian participants rated their parents as being more authoritarian and less authoritative when compared to the ratings of their European-Canadian counterparts. Differences in the types of moral values selected as most important were also found between the two cultural groups. Unexpectedly, the European-Canadian students tended to rate parental influence on moral values as higher and to represent parental viewpoints to a greater degree in their moral narratives than did the Chinese-Canadian students. These findings suggest that parents’ style of childrearing may have an important role to play in the moral development of older adolescents and young adults, and provide support for the study of parental influence on children's moral values via the collection of moral socialization narratives. The results of this investigation also demonstrate the importance of investigating parenting and morality from a cross-cultural perspective.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season