Assessing civic moral disengagement: Dimensionality and construct validity

Gian Vittorio Caprara, Roberta Fida, Michele Vecchione*, Carlo Tramontano, Claudio Barbaranelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Moral disengagement has been introduced by Bandura to address psychosocial mechanisms by which individuals mitigate the moral consequences of harmful behaviors. Proper measures to assess moral disengagement mechanisms for aggression and violence (MDs) have been made available since long (Bandura, Barbaranelli, Caprara, & Pastorelli, 1996). As same mechanism may serve self-exonerative functions when violating civic duties and obligations, a specific measure has been developed to assess civic moral disengagement (CMDs). Two studies have been conducted to assess the psychometric properties of the CMDs using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data. In the first study, dimensionality and internal consistency of the new scale were investigated in a sample of 2395 subjects. In the second study, predictive and discriminant validity of CMDs with respect to MDs were investigated on a longitudinal sample of 290 adolescents. Findings attest to unidimensionality, internal consistency and discriminant validity of CMDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number5
Early online date31 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the Ministero dell’Istruzione dell’Università e della Ricerca (MIUR) to Gian Vittorio Caprara (1998, 2000, 2004).


  • Civic moral disengagement
  • Construct validity
  • Social cognitive theory
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Validation


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