Crimes and Social Events

Explain the concepts and principles of the Social Learning Theory. Albert Bandura`s social learning theory places learning in a social context. Bandura and his colleagues take the position that personality is acquired, or learned behavior. In particular, Bandura`s insistence that behavior can be learned from mere observation is a significant departure from Skinner’s behaviorist position. An empirical demonstration of observational learning was presented in a study by Bandura, Ross, and Ross (1993).

Nursery school children were allowed to watch an adult’s unusual aggressive actions against an inflated Bobo doll – the kind that pops back up after it has been punched or knocked down. The adult models hit the doll with a hammer and kicked it, tossed it in the air, and even sat on it and punched it. After merely observing this behavior, the children were later allowed to play with toys that included the Bobo doll and hammer. The children who observed the adult model, either live or on videotape, hit the doll more frequently than a control group who had not seen a model.

They also tended to hit the doll the way they had observed the adult model do it. Bandura interpreted this study as demonstrating that the probability of behavior can be strengthened through observation. Indeed, in Bandura`s approach to personality, much of one’s behavior is learned and strengthened through imitation, which is a kind of observational learning. 5. Define vicarious learning and explain Albert Bandura’s views as to how vicarious learning would lead to the inception and evolution of delinquency and crime.

Vicarious learning occurs when learners decide, after viewing the performances of others, what types of actions will be effective or non-effective for their own enactment of a task (McCown, Driscoll, & Roop, 1996). According to Alfred Bandura (1997), vicarious experiences can accelerate learning over what would be possible if we had to perform every behavior ourselves in order to learn. According to Bandura (1997), self-efficacy comprises personal beliefs about one’s capability to perform at specified levels and, as such, is considered to be the “key factor of human agency” (p. 3).

A wealth of empirical research (Warr, 2002) indicates that peer influence can play a critical role in promoting delinquency and a subset of this research explores the degree to which each gender influences the other’s delinquency in cross-sexed groups. Young males, for example, are much more likely than females to suffer from neurological deficits which, in turn, have been linked to the early onset of antisocial behavior and crime (Moffitt, 1997). Males may therefore be more likely to serve as behavioral models for adolescents of both sexes seeking independence from adult authority (Moffitt, 1977).

Preliminary evidence also suggests that male delinquency often takes place in all-male groups but female delinquency only rarely occurs in all-female groups (Warr, 2002). Finally, Warr (2002) finds that delinquency in mixed-sex groups tends to be instigated by males rather than females. Given that mixed-sex groups become more common as adolescents approach the peak of the age-crime curve in the late teenaged years (Dunphy, 1990), he suggest that male delinquency may exert a stronger influence over female delinquency than the reverse.

6. Explain authoritarian parenting and permissive parenting style. Which style of parenting tends to be the most effective way to follow in child rearing? Explain. In authoritarian parenting, parents valued obedience and believed in restricting the child’s freedom. Hence, authoritarian parents direct their children firmly and rationally. They focused on issues and set standards, but they also listened to their children’s views and encouraged children to express their opinions.

The children were allowed a certain amount of independence and could make many of their own decisions. Hence, this style of parenting tends to be the most effective way to follow in child rearing because authoritative parents are both highly demanding and responsive. They establish and impose moral rules for children to follow but support parental authority with justification and explanation for why rules are imposed. In contrast, permissive parenting is characterized by low levels of demandingness and high levels of responsiveness.

Tolerance, warmth, and acceptance are characteristics of these parents although they do not exert authority or great control over their children in terms of enforcing rules (Glasgow, Dornbusch, Troyer, Steinberg, & Ritter, 1997). The permissive parenting style therefore, gave the children little restraint and had little parenting philosophy other than giving children all the freedom they could handle, believing that they would naturally fulfill their potentials. Here, the child is left alone to decide on its own, there is less guidance and parent involvement. 7.

Discuss the factors, as related through studies and theories, which would lead to a “life-course” trajectory of adult crime and deviance. The “life course” trajectory has been defined as “pathways through the age differentiated life span,” where age differentiation “is manifested in expectations and options that impinge on decision processes and the course of events that give shape to life changes, transitions, and turning points” (Elder, 1985). A trajectory is a pathway or line of development over the life span such as worklife, marriage, parenthood, self-esteem, and criminal behavior.

Trajectories refer to long-term patterns of behavior and are marked by a sequence of life events and transitions (Elder, 1985). According to studies and theories, while continuity in deviant behavior exists, social ties in adulthood – work, family, and community – are the factors that explain changes in criminality over the life span. A follow-up of 200 Borstal boys found that marriage led to “increasing social stability. Osborn (1997) discovered that while marriage did not reduce criminality, it reduced some antisocial behavior (e. g. , drinking, drug use, etc).

On community, Osborm (1997) examined the effect of leaving London on delinquency and found that subjects who moved had a lower risk of reoffending when compared with a similar group who stayed in London. And there is some evidence that episodes of unemployment lead to higher crime rates (Wilson and Herstein, 1985). Further, this model also acknowledge the importance of early childhood behaviors while it rejects the implications that later adult factors have little relevance (Wilson and Herstein, 1985). It contend that social interaction with institutions of informal social control has important effects on crime and deviance.

Another, that childhood antisocial behavior (e. g. , juvenile delinquency conduct disorder, violent temper tantrums) is linked to a wide variety of troublesome adult behaviors including criminality, general deviance, offenses in the military, general deviance, economic dependency, educational failure, employment instability, and marital discord. As Hagan and Palloni (1988) argue, delinquent and criminal events “are linked into life trajectories of broader significance, whether those trajectories are criminal or noncriminal in form” (p. 90).

Another, authors argue that social bonds to adult institutions of informal social control (e. g. , family, education, neighborhood, work) influences criminal behavior over the life course despite an individual’s delinquent and antisocial background. References Bandura, A. (1997).. Social learning and personality development. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Belsky, J. (1993). Etiology of child maltreatment: A developmental-ecological analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 413-434. Dunphy, G. (1990). Social cognitive theory. In R. Vasta (Ed.), Annals of child development: 1- 60.

Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Elder, G. (1985). “Perspectives on the Life Course. ” Life Course Dynamics, pp. 23-49. NY: Cornell Univ. Press. Glasgow, K. L. , Dornbusch, S. M. , Troyer, L. , Steinberg, L. , & Ritter, P. L. (1997). Parenting styles, adolescents’ attributions, and educational outcomes in nine heterogeneous high schools. Child Development, 68, 507–529. Hagan, J. and Palloni, A. (1988). “Crimes as Social Events in the Life Course: Reconceiving a Criminological Controversy” Criminology 26:87-100. Hartung, C. M. , & Widiger, T. A. (1998).

Gender differ prosocial behavior: Reences in the diagnosis of mental disorders: Conclusions and controversies of the DSM- IV. Psychological Bulletin, 123, 260–278. Heyman, R. E. , & Ezzell, C. E. (in press). The cycle of violence: Do children exposed to family violence grow up to abuse their children or their intimate partners? In A. P Giardino (Ed. ), Child maltreatment. St. Louis, MO: G. W. Medical. McCown, A. , Driscoll, S. & Roop, B. (1996). The diffusion of collective violence. American Sociological Review, 43: 23-35.