A precise comprehension of the factors that lead to domestic violence may assist the society and other stakeholders in creating successful interventions to the problem. Such a perception assists in the avoidance of conflicting reactions that might undermine endeavors to safeguard victims and bring the abusers to book (Temple, Shorey, Tortolero, Wolfe, & Stuart, 2013). Research on family violence has supported the rise of diverse perceptions with regard to the social learning theory. This theory asserts that a person, especially children, learn from other people via simulation or observation. Simulation happens the moment a person learns via imitation of another’s conduct and approaches, while observational learning is a situation where an individual learns through watching the activities of other people. When employed in a family setting, social learning theory asserts that human beings have a tendency to simulate conduct that they were exposed to in their childhood.
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The social learning theory implies that the impact of domestic violence emerges as learned conduct on a person, particularly children (Garrido & Taussig, 2013). A child learns social proficiencies from the child-rearing approaches of his or her parents. A child ends up simulating their parents’ intentional responses and conducts, in addition to the ones that are not deliberate. Such learning techniques are usually strengthened via the children’s imitation of the conduct of their parents. For example, the child-rearing techniques used by the parents have a great influence on the conduct of their children in future social settings since that is what has been inculcated in them as either suitable actions or the norm. Furthermore, the social learning theory asserts that the daily occurrences and interrelations with the parents are as vital as the rearing approaches since a child learns via such instances and contacts. Such actions and relations sway the future social affiliations of children as they shape their behaviors.
With respect to violence, children may learn to be aggressive the moment their parents keep beating them as a way of teaching them to be nice to their siblings or other people (Temple et al., 2013). Though the parent might intend to send the message that it is good to be nice to others, the unintentional influence on children from such an action is that violence is the best way of correcting others when they go wrong. On this note, when such a child matures and gets a partner, he/she could be resorting to aggression whenever his/her spouse does something wrong hence perpetrating family violence. Moreover, studies establish that a child who is exposed to domestic violence through witnessing it happen at home has a high likelihood of developing similar aggressive conduct in later life.
Research has found that fathers have the highest possibility of perpetrating family violence through sexual abuse, physical violence (such as beating or restraining), issuing threats, and monetary deprivation (Garrido & Taussig, 2013). Other cases of domestic violence could involve illegal coercion and harassment. In instances where alcoholism is associated with abuse and presents great difficulties in eradicating domestic violence, the boys in such families have a high likelihood of modeling their father’s behavior, being aggressive alcoholics. Domestic violence of parents gets transmitted to their children’s later life as they generate the mindset that aggression and confrontation are the best approaches to resolving disagreements or punishing a spouse in their future relationships. Child abuse and witnessing violence by their parents predicts the likelihood of not just the boys’ aggression but also girls’ in their future marriages.
Even if the actual levels are widely disputed, particularly in the US, there is adequate research to prove that females become victims of family violence considerably more frequently than males (Temple et al., 2013). There is wide agreement that females are often subjected to ruthless kinds of ill-treatment and are at a high risk of being battered and injured by their male spouses. While in most cases, boys have a high likelihood of being perpetrators of domestic violence in the future as men (fathers) perpetrate it more than women, the girls have a probability of becoming victims and persevering just like their mothers. This insinuates that sex and environment both at home or in the community prove the probability of a child either being a victim or perpetrator, irrespective of whether he/she has been observing parental aggression or not.
The social learning theory shows that when boys observe repeated parental violence perpetrated by their fathers, it has a great influence on their attitudes and insights regarding women. Such attitudes represent a person’s forethought concerning the responsibilities, rights, and tasks of their partners in modern settings (Garrido & Taussig, 2013). Moreover, such stances result in males having conservative approaches and females liberal mindsets with regard to similar sex congeners. Accordingly, the liberal positions in women elicit the likelihood of expressing violence in their relationships, while conservative attitudes in men make them view domestic abuse as a norm that should be upheld. In conclusion, social learning theory supports the idea that children have a high likelihood of learning and simulating domestic violence through experiences at home. A child learns social practices from the approaches undertaken by the parents and ends up modeling both the intentional and unintentional actions.
Garrido, E. F., & Taussig, H. N. (2013). Do parenting practices and pro-social peers moderate the association between intimate partner violence exposure and teen dating violence? Psychology of Violence, 3(4), 354-357.
Temple, J. R., Shorey, R. C., Tortolero, S. R., Wolfe, D. A., & Stuart, G. L. (2013). Importance of gender and attitudes about violence in the relationship between exposure to interparental violence and the perpetration of teen dating violence. Child Abuse & Neglect, 37(5), 343-352.