Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Jean Rhodes

Second Advisor

Richard Lerner

Third Advisor

David Pantalone


There is insufficient research on what responsibility is and how it develops. The present work reviewed research on responsibility development and proposed a construct structure that involves reliably meeting demands, accepting consequences for one’s actions, and exhibiting a concern for others. This study used survey data from the Assessment of Character in the Trades Study (Johnson et. al. 2014), a longitudinal, mixed-methods investigation of character development in men (n = 213; mean age 18.76 years) in four postsecondary institutions to answer: (1) Is a three-factor model of responsibility empirically supported and replicable across time? (2) Do individuals differ in their development of responsibility and if so how? (3) Does educational setting impact trajectory membership? Though each of the three components of responsibility exhibited good internal consistency, exploratory factor analyses did not support a three-factor model. Latent class growth analyses revealed four statistically distinct trajectories of responsibility development. Multinomial regression analyses revealed that educational setting significantly predicted membership into trajectory classes. Implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.


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