Little research has been done to answer this question. Indications are that children and adolescents develop all the character strengths throughout their formative years. As with all developmental variables, they develop them at varying ages, rates, and capacities.
For the same reasons that academic and physical education are critically important for all ages, full-orbed social-emotional character education is likewise essential. The earlier we train students in character understanding and practice, the greater their grasp and practice of character will be.
Learning theory and developmental psychology differentiates between these two stages of life are consistent with character development. Social-emotional character education is essential to healthy psychosocial development from childhood through adolescence. Viewing Eric Erikson’s developmental stages illustrates this:
From Mistrust To Trust
From Shame and Doubt to Autonomy
From Guilt to Initiative
From Inferiority to Industry
From Confusion to Identity
Character education is as critical to healthy development as academic education.