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ERIC Number: EJ861354
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1555-7855
Learning and Thinking: A Behavioral Treatise on Abuse and Antisocial Behavior in Young Criminal Offenders
Prather, Walter; Golden, Jeannie A.
International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy, v5 n1 p75-105 2009
Social learning theory provides a useful conceptual framework for understanding abuse and the teaching and learning of antisocial or criminal behavior in young offenders. This article examines social learning theory and the quality of parent-child relationships from the perspective of behavioral analysis, and provides a rationale for a comprehensive behavioral treatment approach for young offenders and their parents. A theoretical model has been developed to provide the social context to examine how abuse and neglect, inconsistent or erratic parenting practices, family structure, and abusive disciplinary methods, can be integrated to predict juvenile delinquency. The purpose of this model is to examine the major environmental determinants that impact the quality of parent-child relationships and associated antisocial behavior in children, and the relevant but implicit behavioral principles operating in the home. Questions are raised which suggest that typical or mainstream juvenile detention programs compete with the acquisition of new functional skills, and provide an environment for learned dysfunctional habits that are then reinforced and maintained in treatment programs that continue to model or promote criminal behavior. Conclusions are reached that learning and reinforcement history have a greater impact on the quality of parent-child relationships than family structure, and provide a theoretical rationale for analyzing and developing effective interventions for a problem of social importance. (Contains 2 figures.)
Joseph Cautilli, Ph.D. & The Behavior Analyst Online Organization. 535 Queen Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-3220. Tel: 215-462-6737; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A