Background. Responsibility as a measure of individual freedom comes only under the condition of freedom of choice and the ability to anticipate and take into account the consequences of acts. Therefore, personal factors play a key role in taking moral responsibility. Scholars have studied the personal bases of responsibility that comprises autonomy, independence, confidence, the locus of control, the motivation to achieve a goal, the level of aspiration. However, the role of the moral self and moral identity in the determination of responsibility is not sufficiently studied.
Objective. The objective of the research is to study the relationship between the moral identity of the individual and the willingness to accept moral responsibility in adolescence. Proceeding from the general hypothesis about the essential role of moral identity in adopting and actualising themoral responsibility, two specific hypotheses are articulated, specifying the role of values and moral self-esteem in taking moral responsibility.
Design. An empirical study of adolescents aged 13–17 years was conducted. Subjects are students of educational institutions of general education in Moscow (a total of 314 subjects). The study poses the challenges of studying the readiness to accept moral responsibility by adolescents in the situation of a moral dilemma, the connection of the moral and value orientation of adolescents and the willingness to accept moral responsibility, the connection of self-esteem of moral qualities and the readiness of adolescents to accept moral responsibility. The methodology for assessing moral responsibility in the situation of solving the moral dilemma «Moral Situations from Real Life» (MORS), a modified version of M. Rokich’s method for evaluating value orientations, the method of structured moral self-esteem (A.I. Podolsky, P. Heymans, O.A. Karabanova) are used.
Conclusion. The results revealed the influence of the participants’ moral dilemma and the nature of the consequences (damage or profit to the participant of the dilemma) on the adolescents’ willingness to accept moral responsibility, as well as the role of moral value orientation in the principle of care and moral self-esteem. It was revealed that the self-esteem of such moral qualities as responsibility, honesty, responsiveness, caring is higher in adolescents, showing a high willingness to accept moral responsibility in a moral dilemma. Moral identity is proved to be a desire to maintain a high positive self-esteem of moral qualities according to the accepted system of values develops the basis of the normative moral self-regulation of the individual.
The paper describes the research results of relationship between personal autonomy and responsibility level in adolescence. The theoretical idea of unity of freedom and responsibility can be regarded as link between personal autonomy and level of responsibility in adolescence. The hypothesis of correlation between level of responsibility and autonomy in adolescence is realized. The sample includes 368 school students aged from 13 to 17, Moscow, Russia. The questionnaire to diagnose autonomy defines emotional, cognitive, intellectual and behavioural components of autonomy. The second questionnaire describes the responsibility level using the example of different moral dilemmas. The results of the empirical research describe the hypothesis on the relationship between personal autonomy and level of responsibility. Personal autonomy includes value, emotional, cognitive and behavioural components. Cluster groups with different levels of autonomy are defined: high autonomy, intellectual autonomy, low autonomy and disharmonic type of autonomy. Higher level of a number of autonomy components correlates with higher level of responsibility. Analysis of moral norm deviation shows that type and content of moral dilemma play an important role in responsibility acceptance. Gender differences in level of responsibility is defined in the following way: females show higher level of responsibility than males.