Shame and Wrong: Is There a Common Morality Among Young People in France, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, and the USA?

  • Ineke Haen MarshallEmail author
  • Chris E. Marshall


The chapter analyzes morality as a dependent variable measured by survey responses of some 10,000 children in 7th, 8th, and 9th grade participating in the ISRD3 project in the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the USA. The chapter empirically describes differences and commonalities in the values and norms of native-born pupils and their migrant counterparts, and it tests the hypothesis that the effect of migration status, parents, school, religion, and friends on morality will be similar in France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and the USA. Psychometric analysis of the measures of morality (Pro-Social Values Index and Shame Index) supports cross-national measurement equivalence of the measures. We find broadly similar patterns of morality across these five countries, with some country-level variations in degree of moral consensus across children. Multivariate analysis shows higher levels of morality among girls, lower grades, and those who care about opinion of parents, and teachers, among all five youth samples. Religious affiliation is only of minor importance: Muslim pupils in the Netherlands and the UK score slightly lower on morality scales, but in the US, French, and German samples, this is not the case. The effects of being native-born and first- or second-generation immigrant on morality are weak and inconsistent, suggesting the need for country-specific analysis.


Morality Shame Measurement equivalence Religiosity Religion Migrants 



The research used in this publication is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF)—Grant #1419588.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminology and Criminal JusticeUniversity of Nebraska-OmahaOmahaUSA

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