A Program Based On Social Learning Theory Essay

A Program Based On Social Learning Theory Essay

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While the program draws on social learning theory’s main concepts it does lack some integral components to the theory that if adopted would aid in the success of the program. This program is aimed at 7th and 8th graders for only 12 weekly sessions that may last up to an hour. According to social learning theory the earlier, longer, and more frequently an individual is exposed to a program the greater effect it will have on behavior. The more a student’s “patterns of differential association are balanced in the greater exposure” to non-deviant behaviors the more likely they are to engage in non-deviant behaviors (Akers & Jensen, 2006, 39). The program should be implemented in lower grades so positive associations occur earlier in the student’s lives. Students in 7th and 8th grade may have already made associations with deviant peers who reinforce criminal behaviors and have an excess of definitions favorable to crime. So, to fully implement a program based on social learning theory successfully the frequency and duration of the RAIN program should be increased as well as implemented earlier to allow for students to completely learn the cognitive, affective, and behavior skills that are necessary to combat the early onset of risky youth behaviors.
Additionally another criminological theory that could meaningfully inform further development of the RAIN program is social control theory. Social control theory “assumes that delinquent acts result when an individual’s bond to society is weak or broken” (Hirschi, 1969, 16). Individuals with weak social bonds therefore are more likely to engage in delinquent acts than those with strong social bonds. The main components of Hirschi’s (1969) social control theory that effect ones bond to s...


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...otes non-risky youth behaviors.
After examining the use of theory in the RAIN program, I would recommend that it be funded for implementation across Chicago Public Schools. The program is rooted in theory and with a few modifications it could better implement social learning and social control theory. The program creates an environment for students to associate with peers who are also learning behaviors to combat risky youth behavior, which allows for appropriate imitation to occur. RAIN also promotes a commitment to appropriate goals, and this causes students to learn definitions favorable to conformity. Lastly, the reinforcing feedback is another pivotal aspect of social learning theory that the program has integrated. As a result of the RAIN program drawing greatly from social learning theory, I believe it will have promising results in Chicago Public Schools.

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