Poverty and Morality: Assessing the Influence of Poverty on Moral Judgment in Nigeria

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ProQuest, 2008 - 103 pages
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Despite all efforts of the Nigerian government, corruption and money laundering continue to rise to a level yet unseen in the history of the country. Nigeria is ranked one of the most corrupt nations in the world, after Bangladesh and Haiti. This quantitative study of the significance of poverty as a factor influencing moral development of individuals in Nigeria was based on the evaluation of Kohlberg's theory of moral development, including the application of cultural and situational influences that are country specific. Multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the correlation between poverty and the high level of corruption, using data collected through random sampling of 100 of the 806 employees of Ifedore Local Government in Nigeria. The researcher also explored how extended family structure of the Nigerian society has created economic dependency, which has contributed to poverty. Variables of the study were measured using composite scores from survey instrument developed by the researcher and the result indicated there was significant correlation between poverty and moral judgment. Poverty items scored 4.56 on Likert scale of 1 to 5 while moral development items scored 1.32, indicating that more poverty resulted in less moral development. Hence, the implications for positive social change will be the use of the outcome: (a) to strengthen poverty alleviation programs of governmental and non-governmental agencies; (b) to promote awareness on the effect of poverty on moral development; and (c) to lunch campaigns against corruption and money laundering inside and outside of government establishments.

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