The Questionnaire on Moral Attitudes toward Aggression (CAMA) focuses on moral attitudes toward aggression by asking respondents to rate combinations of different aggressive actions and situations in which these actions might be shown according to their respective justifiableness. Since its first applications by Lagerspetz and Westman in 1980 , it has been used in numerous cross-cultural studies across four continents for more than thirty years. The purpose of the studies here presented was to evaluate its applicability in a new cultural context, assessing if CAMA’s data obtained in two different age cohorts from the German cultural context measured the same theoretical construct previously investigated across the other cultures (structural equivalence).
In the present studies 117 German university students (age range 19-38) and 141 German senior citizens (age range 60-94) were asked to complete a German translation of the CAMA. The structural equivalence was assessed by evaluating the fit of German data on previous factor structures via confirmatory factor analysis. A multi-group approach was being used to ascertain CAMA’s applicability across different age groups. The structural fit was accessed by referring to factor structures that were derived from previous studies in the USA, Spain, Japan, and Hong Kong. These factor structures include separate three-factor models for types of aggressive actions and different two-factor models for situations in which these actions might be shown.
The results from both age groups of German population indicate the structural equivalence for the two factor models regarding defensive vs. non-defensive situations that justify aggressive actions. The equivalence for previous three-factor models regarding types of aggressive actions could not be shown in the German samples. Hence, adaptations concerning the assessment and theoretical models of the justification of aggressive actions in the German cultural context are being discussed.