Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Administration and Higher Education

First Committee Member

Anthony Saville

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to assess moral development of student athletes and nonathletes, employing James Rest's (1979, 1988) Defining Issues Test (DIT). Rest adapted Kohlberg's cognitive moral development theory to an objective measurement tool, the Defining Issues Test, which investigates moral judgment by examining the choices an individual makes in solving a series of moral dilemmas. Each subject obtained a Principled Morality Score which was interpreted as the relative importance attributed to principled moral considerations in making moral decisions. Participants for the study from intercollegiate athletics were from women's basketball and softball teams, and men's intercollegiate soccer and baseball teams. A control group of student nonathletes from a general education class was also established. Participants completed a biographical questionnaire to determine the independent variables of sports participation and gender. By administering the Defining Issues Test to a sampling of undergraduate student nonathletes and a comparable undergraduate sampling of student athletes, the level of moral reasoning between these two populations and the possible effects of intercollegiate athletic involvement on moral judgment was assessed and analyzed at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Athletes; Athletic; Effects; Gender; Judgments; Moral; Nonathletes; Participation; Students; Student-athletes; Student-athletes

Controlled Subject

Education, Higher; Physical education and training; Educational sociology

File Format


File Size

5826.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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