Social Learning Theory and Intergenerational Family Violence

The continual study of family violence shows that abusive behavior towards intimate partners and family members is transmitted intergenerationally. Social learning theory supports that thesis, claiming that people shape their attitudes through role models provided by the family. As the child progresses through their early years into adolescence, they learn to recognize the behavioral patterns inside the family and test the boundaries of appropriate behavior, as well as establish their own. The theory also claims that abusive and violent adults might have been victims of aggression themselves as children, who internalized those destructive beliefs and now project them onto others.

Results from different research provide reliable evidence of the existence of “the cycle of violence” in a variety of cultures and populations, although they also state that longitudinal studies are strongly recommended for the case. White and Widom’s prospective study of long-term outcomes for men and women with official records of child abuse discovered that twenty years later, they were slightly more prone to violence towards their partners. Other studies following that research showed similar results.

Critics of the social learning theory often inquire that those researchers do not differentiate between seeing violent behavior and experiencing it. In that perspective, it was more likely for a person to demonstrate abusive behavior in adulthood after simply witnessing the violence from their parents rather than after being a target of that violence themselves. Kalmuss, who also researched that phenomenon using data from 2,143 adults in the National Family Violence Survey, supported this statement with evidence.

Removal Request
This essay on Social Learning Theory and Intergenerational Family Violence was written by a student just like you. You can use it for research or as a reference for your own work. Keep in mind, though, that a proper citation is necessary.
Request for Removal

You can submit a removal request if you own the copyright to this content and don't want it to be available on our website anymore.

Send a Removal Request