Social Learning Theory: Learning Values And Theories Of Delinquency

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Summary of Interview The subject that was interviewed for this research study is a Mexican American 25 year-old-man whose occupation is laying concrete. He is the father of two children who were born when he was in high school and his first semester of college. When he was 12 he attended a Baptist church, but then lost interest as he became more intrigued by money. When he was a teenager, he went to a total of three different high schools. The delinquent behavior such as selling drugs and stealing began around the age of 14 or 15, where he spent most of the time running away from police officers. He also states how his pride, careless attitude, and social sphere were the main influence of his behavior. Even though his role model was his dad,…show more content…
They can be easily learned from parents, relatives, friends, or other peers. In other words, delinquency can be learned through interactions and associations with other people. This is because “people learn behaviors and definitions of behaviors [through] interactions with [others]” (Brauer & Coster, 2012, p. 378). In the interview, the man mentions how he didn’t know why exactly he behaved the way he did, but he does come to the conclusion that paying close attention to those who you decide to surround yourself with is quite significant. The social learning theory is founded on research that has indicated that the strongest factors that correlate with delinquency are the affiliation with delinquent peers. From the very beginning he knew that his social sphere was toxic as they participated in delinquent behavior together. Peers are powerful influences and incredible learning tools, thus when an adolescent is exposed to negative influences, the learning process and imitation of criminal behavior facilitates. Although, in some instances, learning delinquent behaviors is more of a genetic makeup problem rather than a social issue. According to research “some people may be more receptive to the [type of] learning they receive from their delinquent peers” causing a “more readily [reinforcement of] their own delinquent behavior by…show more content…
This theory assumes that “individuals generally decide on their behavior on the basis of opportunities, costs, and benefits” (Seddig, 2015, p. 3). After analyzing the interview, the 25-year-old man depicts weak bonds with school and with his father, which essentially are the main pillars for this theory. When an adolescent is not doing well academically, their chances of being involved in delinquent behavior increase. Travis Hirshi argued that people were kept in check by their social bonds or attachments to society. For example, if an adolescent does not have interest in going to school or learning, the most probable outcome is for the dropout rates to increase. These individuals lack commitment in pursuing an education, a promising job and refuse to be involved in sports or religious activities. Being committed and involved “constitutes a temporal boundary for delinquent involvement, because it simply limits the opportunities to commit delinquent acts” (Seddig, 2015, p. 3). With time, as social bonds weaken, interest in conventional values decrease. It can be assumed that because of this, he chose to get a fake I.D. at the age of 14 to start working in order to support his delinquent activities. He had a greater interest in money rather than on an education. Clearly, he was detached from an educational experience, which could be a

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