Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Marianna Footo Linz

Second Advisor

Penny Koontz

Third Advisor

Keelon Hinton


The use of folktales and fables in explaining the physical and spiritual worlds to children is cross-cultural, and precedes recorded history. Prior studies indicate a developmental process in children’s understanding of fables and folktales (Jose, D’Anna, & Krieg, 2005; Narvaez, Gleason, Mitchell, & Bentley, 1999). However, no known study has examined whether this developmental process is cross-cultural or culture specific. No known study also, has examined whether children as young as 6 years of age are aware that fables and folktales are non-historical. The present study fills these observed gaps by examining moral didacticism in children aged 6-11 years. The children were drawn from two distinct nations and cultures (United States and Nigeria). The study tested the children’s ability to: (a) recognize that fables/folktales are not historical, and (b) deduce the moral lessons in fables/folktales. They were asked to identify the correct answers from a list of answer options. The older participants performed better than the younger participants. Limitations and directions for future studies are identified.


Title on title page of thesis: Development of Moral Didacticism ichildren: A Cross-Cultural Study


Developmental psychology

Child psychology

Conduct of life