Human Development and Violent Behavior

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Human Development and Violent Behavior
Rob Triplett
Neumann University

Behaviorists believe that everyone is born with a “blank slate”, which means that they believe that all types of behavior are learned. In addition, they believe that the environment plays a key role in determining a person’s behavior. Association with others plays a key role in our own personal development. The most important people we encounter in our lives are our parents and our peers. We are influenced by peers later in life but it is our parents in which we look to for knowledge first. The way in which we handle our social relationships can all be determined by how we are parented. Longitudinal research has shown that positive parental discipline and a supportive parent-child relationship characterized by reciprocal cooperation and shared positive affect promotes the internalization of prosocial norms from infancy to the early school age years (Pardini, Loeber,& Stouthamer-Loeber, 2005). The type of parenting that is the most positive is the authoritative style. This style or parenting is very democratic. For instance, if a child fails to meet expectations the parents are much more nurturing and forgiving rather than punishing. In addition, they are more responsive and willing to answer questions. Since the parents are the ones who help prepare their children for future social relationships, a problem could arise if dysfunctional or negative parenting occurs(Morawska, Winter,& Sanders, 2009). A caregiver-child relationship that is dominated by negative exchanges and harsh discipline can discourage the internalization of prosocial values by eliciting high levels of arousal that can make it difficult to process parental messages. In addition, high levels of conflict and low emotional attachment between parents and children can be associated with an increased disregard for the emotional well being of others (Pardini,...
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