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Developing leaders of character at the United States Military Academy: A relational developmental systems analysis

Publication Authors: 
Kristina Schmid Callina, Diane Ryan, Elise D. Murray, Anne Colby, William Damon, Michael Matthews & Richard M. Lerner
Publication Year: 
Publication Journal: 
Journal of College and Character 18(1), 9-27. DOI:

A paucity of literature exists on the processes of character development within diverse contexts. In this article, the authors use the United States Military Academy at West Point (USMA) as a sample case for understanding character development processes within an institution of higher education. The authors present a discussion of relational developmental systems theories and relevant research areas that might be leveraged to promote the positive character development goals of USMA. They conclude with the implications of this work for informing character development research and education in other settings, including non-military institutions of higher education.