Crime and Deviance
The Social Learning Theory (derived from the work of Albert Bandura) deals with the behavior of people being learned through observing others and mimicking their actions. Young children will usually develop role models (often of the same gender) they observe like parents, teachers, or a person they watch on TV. Usually by children viewing the behaviors of their role models, they learn appropriate behavior expected from society. Wanting to feel accepted by others will often cause children to conform to suitable behavior in order to gain the feeling of approval by others. Often times, social behavior is rewarded and/or reprimanded according to ones actions. Typically children will learn with the use of positive and/or negative reinforcement. Children act a certain way because they are attempting to gain acceptance from their behavior. If the behavior is rewarded then you may see this behavior occurring on a consistent basis, but if the behavior is met with disapproval, a change is likely to occur because the child wants acceptance. As children grow older, parents notice a larger influence of a child’s primary group from close friends they have within the school setting. Parents observe how other children have great influence over their own child’s behavior as well as the parental influence that remains. It’s extremely hard for a child to not continually become more influenced by their primary group of friends. Although children may have observed and modeled positive and appropriate behaviors, often times the negative influences of peers can have a larger impact due to the need of wanting to feel accepted within a group. This need to feel accepted can lead to negative, criminal behavior. Usually the attempt to label children at a young age is frowned upon because sometimes the label can cause a child to actually live up to a negative reputation. There are far fewer children that attempt to change the labels once they are placed...
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