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Emily Ortega
Course 0405
Child Development 1
Applying Theory

* A young man has been arrested and is serving jail time for drug possession, assault, and armed robbery. Throughout his childhood and adolescence he has been in and out of trouble at school and with the juvenile justice system.

Three theories that would explain this young man’s behavior would be Psychosocial Theory, Behaviorism/Learning Theory and Cognitive Theory. 1. Erik Erikson Psychosocial Theory helps me examine this boy’s relationship with his environment. Also how difficult it is for him to except change. Instead of adjusting, he continues to do what he knows best; which is to disobey and remain defiant to the law and any rules. This theory also can also explore deeper with examining the pressure he is receiving from his parents. For example one of Erickson’s Identity vs. Role Confusion stage explains more. This stage exemplifies on parenting and the pressure to conform to their views. By doing so it only confuses the child/teen more.

2. Behaviorism/Learning Theory can say this young adult learned this behavior from his environment. And he continues with this specific behavior to gain a bit of acceptance and some recognition. Unfortunately it’s not positive behavior to mimic but if he continues to with the behavior it gives him a sense of self efficiency. So by this theory I can say he is admiring and shadowing someone else’s behavior, thinking its ok. For example the repetition of the juvenile system shows a bit of comfort ability.

3. Cognitive Theory says our thoughts and attitude effects actions and behavior. With that said this theory can show me that this young man’s actions are influenced by how he thinks and feels. He may have negative thoughts which would explain the continuous negative behavior. His behavior would show more of a deeper psychological meaning. His behavior would be viewed with an emotional aspect. Also some things on his mind may be troubling...
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