Support, Identity and Ethical Development

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Jim Thomas
Helen Marie Harmon


This paper examines the relationship of social support and related concepts, student development, and ethical development. Ethical development has typically been examined in terms of the influence of institution type, size, college major, religious orientation, experiential learning, demographics, and life experiences. Research has produced inconsistent results based on these factors. This paper examines the role of support in promoting student development and subsequently promoting student ethical judgment as a path for a distinct student population. Social support is examined along with social capital, mattering, and marginality. Ethical development is examined through Checkering’s identity development theory. The paper highlights one path to increasing student ethical development, by using support to promote student development.


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Thomas, J., & Harmon, H. (2015). Support, Identity and Ethical Development. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 3(10). Retrieved from


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