This study investigated the cross-cultural generality of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development in India. A sample of 112 males and females between 11 and 50-plus years was drawn from an urban middle- and upper-middle-class population and interviewed individually on Kohlberg’s dilemmas. A two-way analysis of variance performed on the moral maturity scores indicates a significant effect of age (p < 0.001) but a nonsignificant effect of sex. A qualitative analysis of postconventional reasoning among Indian adults revealed two themes: (a) the adaptation of principles to real-life dilemmas; and (b) the integration of indigenous moral and philosophical values in principled thought. These findings support the cross-cultural generality of Kohlberg’s model of moral development; they also raise cross-cultural issues in morality which cannot be assimilated in an overly formalized theory of moral reasoning.

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