This study explores some of the demographic, personal, and experiential factors of emerging adults that correlate to a spectrum of moral outlooks ranging from moral universalism to moral relativism. Data was gathered from 466 volunteer undergraduate students. Respondents’ demographic, experiential, and personal factors served as independent variables. The relativism index score form Forsyth’s Ethics Position Questionnaire (1980) served as the dependent variable. Results suggest several conclusions: First, adults in the life of youth are a significant factor in moral outlook, exerting influence in both universalistic and relativistic directions. Second, religious practice and involvement contribute to a universal moral outlook. Third, the personal characteristics of grit and spiritual transcendence contribute to a universal moral outlook. Fourth, engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage contributes to a relative moral outlook. Fifth, a Catholic school education at both the grade and high school levels contributes to a universal moral outlook.
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Hayward, S. C. (2023). Moral Formation in a Culture of Relativism: Correlates of Universalism and Relativism in the Moral Outlooks of Emerging Adults. Journal of Catholic Education. https://doi.org/10.15365/joce.2602062023