Oct 03, 2017 term paper 2

Social Learning Theory And The Explanation Of Crime

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Describe about the Social Learning Theory And The Explanation Of Crime ?


System Theory


Systems theory is a branch of psychology that studies the behavior of human and the experience of the human being in the complex systems. It is an integrated approaches that using the techniques of renowned psychologists. The theory explores the patterns of the human experiences. The focus of the theory is to identify the motivational, cognitive and the group behavioral patterns of clients (Cao, 2011).

The systems theory is applicable in case of families, communities and couples. The technique follows the identification of the patterns of behavior and the ways in which the members respond to the anxiety that exist in the environment. The individual develops an understanding of the various techniques and the transform their patterns of behavior. This make the individual more adaptive and productive (Cao, 2011).

Ecological perspective

Human ecology theory is context related to the Ecological system theory that identifies the environmental system. An individual interact with this environmental system. The ecological model rests on an evolutionary, adaptive outlook of human in constant communication with their environment (Falque, 2006).  In biology, adjustment occurs when a human being keenly communicated with their environment to make certain a goodness-of-fit.

Strengths and weaknesses of systems theory


Systems theory involves an effective problem solving technique.

The individuals can become more adaptive via treatment using the systems concept.

The individual tend to become effective leaders.

The individuals become more effective planners.

The Founder’s Syndrome can be avoided by application of the system’s theory (Kurtines, Gewirtz & Lamb, 2014).


Systems Theory cannot apply the specific tools and techniques that are required by the individuals for resolving their issues.

The system’s theory is often criticised to be too vague and abstract. It is not able to solve the practical issues.

Systems theory with social work values

The system theory develops the thinking of the human beings where they are able to recognize the right and wrong between the two choices. According to this theory the human state of mind is studied. This theory deals with the human behavior towards the other and with the environment (Hertlein, 2010). Human are completely responsible for their behavior to the others and environment. In this theory the how and why the human behavior varies, is defined.

Example of systems theory’s application

Systems Theory assists the people in their process of solving problems. The social workers often evaluate the way in which the parent takes care of their children. The social workers expect that parent must abide by certain norms which includes providing the young with shelter, food, proper education and medical care (Cao, 2011).


Psychodynamic theory

Psychodynamic theory is the term which deals with the consciousness and unconsciousness forces. It is an approach where human deals with the conscious and unconscious state of minds (Flores, 2007)

Sigmund Freud, in the early 20th century anticipated a psychodynamic theory according to the theory proposed by Freud personality consists of instincts and pleasure, ego and superego. In the theory of Psychodynamic theory it is stated that the personality is shaped and developed by the experiences of childhood. The past experience help individual to handle the situation which they have experience in their childhood.

In other words it can also be defined as behavior is motivated by the internal psychological forces (Levy, Ehrenthal, Yeomans & Caligor, 2014)

And imbalance in this can also result in abnormality.According to Freud unresolved conscious conflicts can also result in mental illness. Many of the psychologists and critics not accepted this theory due to the lack scientific evidences. Other theories of personality include behavioral and humanist theories.

Strengths and weaknesses

Strengths are discussed below:

These childhood experiences help in developing personality of individual

Include both nature and nurture into account. 

This helps in emphasizing on the both experiences of childhood as well as nature.

It recognizes that there is a subconscious and it has a large impact on the behavior.

Recognize the Psychodynamic theory’s importance and its treatment

Weaknesses are discussed below:

Assumptions cannot be measured or proved wrong

Psychodynamic approach is deterministic in nature.

Person’s don’t have free will as it is pre- determined

Ignores the biological components of psychology.

Inaccessible to humans

Difficult to research because of unsupported ideas

Consistency with social work values

This theory is applied socially everywhere to maintain the consistency of social work values. The childhood experience of an individual reflects in their future. This theory explains the development of the person’s mental condition (Wilbur & Scott, 2013)

The view or opinion of a person depends on the past experiences that affect the nature and nurture of the human.

Their consciousness and unconsciousness of mind is deeply affected in the childhood and these affect the personality of person.

Application to social work practice

It is an attempt to activate the strength of human personality. It also affects the resources of the environment to enhance the opportunities to individual to develop more personality of there.

Social Learning Theory

As propounded by Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory is a combination of cognitive learning theory and behavioral learning theory. The two theories were have four requirements of learning: attention (environmental), motor reproduction (cognitive), motivation (both) and retention (cognitive). He stresses that humans are cognitive beings. The behavior is not shaped by immediate consequences. The observational theory results from behavior of other people. Children acquire responses and interests without even teaching them. A famous experiment was conducted by Bandura in which children were observed as adults for a violent r passive behavior towards a doll. Children observing violent behavior in their observations behaved violently towards the doll (Akers & Jensen, 2007).

Strengths and weaknesses

The social learning theory has much strength in evaluation.

Bandura confirmed that children do not copy aggression. Human have the ability to store what they observe around them. This theory helps in handling inconsistencies in a child’s behavior.

Acts of aggression such as shooting, homicide, murder, suicide was linked with violent games and TV shows.

The theory is less reductionist and deterministic than an approach to behavior .

The weaknesses are explained below:

It does not explain the reason why children do not copy the games or TV shows they watch.

It does not explain abstract idea learning such as fairness, ethics and moral justice.

Some people have an aggressive nature and do not acquire by other’s behaviors.

It does not concentrate on explaining the internal process how the behavior is reproduced.

Consistency with social work values

Social learning theory holds a value in changing lives for people related to criminology, management of children and parents, violence in the society. A large number of cases are passed over from one generation to another. The social context is influenced by explaining spcialization and development of self (Darity, 2008).

Application to social work practice

Work with groups- The social learning theory has been applied to serving people with alcohol or drug abuse, prisoners, youth with behavioral problems etc. A combination of tasks is conducted by helping groups that has increased competency by helping each other. Practical tasks are tried by social work practice in groups of class or children to change their bullying behavior.

Work with families- Treatment programs may be directed for social work practice by educating how to learn and use methods. The PMT or Parent management Training is used by social workers. There may be an interaction conducted for focusing on problems between children and their parents (Inderbitzin, Bates & Gainey, 2013).

Moral Development Theory

As propounded by a Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget, there are different stages of moral development. Later in the year 1958, Lawrence Kohlberg agreed with the principle of moral development but added his ideas further. It holds moral reasoning, ethical behavior, identifiable developmental stages and moral dilemmas. It has three levels and six stages: Pre-conventional (Obedience and Punishment; Self-interest orientation), conventional (Interpersonal accord and conformity; Authority and social order maintenance) and Post-conventional (Social contract and universal ethical principles) (Killen & Smetana, 2006).

Strengths and Weaknesses

The strengths of moral development theory are-

Reasoning behind judgment is focused that gives a greater insight for moral development.

Educational benefit is provided.

The theory raised evidence for moral reasoning

The weaknesses of the theory are as follows:

The theory lacks validity.

The theory is mainly focused on men.

There is emphasis on justice while other values are excluded

The theory is not culturally neutral and dilemmas are artificial in nature.

Consistency with social work values

The approach stresses the importance of educator by presenting moral dilemmas for discussion. There is exposure in social environment and moral reasoning. The moral thought of one stage is presented. The level of moral reasoning in the society is justified. The situations of moral conflict that are not resolved properly, has a chance to develop more complex ways if it is not resolute. The personal values and opinions in a society are related. The ethical universal principles are consistent and comprehensive in nature. The dilemma was used in Heinz when it stole drug in Europe (Winch, 2002).

Application to social work practice

A great influence is raised upon children, philosophers, parents and religious leaders. The orientation is punishment or obedience based. The children see rules as fixed. Children obey rules as they want to avoid punishment. The teens conform to others. There is an attitude for social contract, principle, good boy attitude among children. The people consider society as a whole for making judgment. There is emphasis laid on dignity of all human beings. There is orientation by people towards maintaining authority and social order. There is loyalty, gratitude and justice in the society. The children tend to say if the action is morally right or not. A policeman refuses bribe as he believes it is his duty to maintain order. The judgment of people may violate laws and rules when a person is attached to his principles of justice (Kurtines, Gewirtz & Lamb, 2014).

Concepts of the family


Family system organizes them to follow their daily tasks and challenges in their life. Whole family is responsible for the entire requirement in the family on daily basis. The complete is accountable to handle the situation in the family. Or it can be also said that the individual in the family is support for each other in the family (Sakai et al., 2006). These values and ethics are accepted by whole family to understand the law of environment and of family.


Interdependence is the term where the individual member of the family is independent to carry out their tasks and live an independent life without any interference in their life by anyone even of their own family. Here individual are responsible for the accepting the values laws of nature.


The structure of the family is that how the family organize themselves into different small subsystem by comprising these small subsystems a larger family system can be formed. These small subsystems can be formed either by gender or generation. All the subsystem is indirectly involved in the individual subsystem.

Adaptability of family is defined as the flexibility of family accepting the values of the environment and the family. How adaptable they are it only proved by the flexibility of the family in adopting the rules and the values of own as well as system.


Akers, R., & Jensen, G. (2007). Social Learning Theory And The Explanation Of Crime. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.

Cao, Y. (2011). Investigating situational willingness to communicate within second language classrooms from an ecological perspective. System, 39(4), 468-479. doi:10.1016/j.system.2011.10.016

Darity, W. (2008). International encyclopedia of the social sciences. Detroit, Mich.: Macmillan Reference USA.

Falque, J. (2006). Capturing Total System of Systems Costs Using SEER-H with Total System Vision (TSV) and SEER-SEM: An Example Application. INCOSE International Symposium, 16(1), 1749-1764. doi:10.1002/j.2334-5837.2006.tb02848.x

Flores, P. (2007). Group psychotherapy with addicted populations. New York: Haworth Press.

Inderbitzin, M., Bates, K., & Gainey, R. (2013). Deviance and social control. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Killen, M., & Smetana, J. (2006). Handbook of moral development. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Kurtines, W., Gewirtz, J., & Lamb, J. (2014). Handbook of Moral Behavior and Development. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

Levy, K., Ehrenthal, J., Yeomans, F., & Caligor, E. (2014). The Efficacy of Psychotherapy: Focus on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy as an Example. Psychodynamic Psychiatry,42(3), 377-421. doi:10.1521/pdps.2014.42.3.377

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Wilbur, G., & Scott, R. (2013). Inside Out, Outside In: Power and Culture in a Learning Community. Multicultural Perspectives, 15(3), 158-164. doi:10.1080/15210960.2013.809306

Winch, C. (2002). The philosophy of human learning. London: Routledge.

Hertlein, K. (2010). Family Therapy: Concepts, Process, and Practice. Journal Of Family Theory &         Review, 2(4), 426-428. doi:10.1111/j.1756-2589.2010.00072.x

Sakai, Y., Moriyama, K., Okuno, T., Miyakoshi, H., Kitajima, S., & Yamamoto, K. et al. (2006). Th-P15:121 Development and application of a new assay system for apolipoprotein B-48 (Apo B-48): Apo B-48 level may be a useful marker of coronary heart disease. Atherosclerosis Supplements,7(3), 519. doi:10.1016/s1567-5688(06)82081-7

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