Here the paper shall elaborate on the case of Matthew (18 years old), he is on the 11th grade of a certain school district in Utah. Observing him from afar, it can be sensed that he is indeed anti-social in nature. During class period, he can be seen at the far back end of the row minding his own business. On the other hand, during breaks, he is observed to be at one corner of the school eating his own lunch snacks. As a total anti-social, he is seen with very few friends. Oftentimes, the conversation involved in the process usually lasts less than a few minutes.
Seeing his state, there would be a need to investigate further to determine what prompted such actions to be manifested. Digging into Matthew’s records a little further, that there had been several cases that can be seen in his anti-social actions. Apparently, during 5th grade, he was not usually the anti-social type he came to be. On the other hand, he had friends. This was indicated in the report the school provided. His anti-social behaviors started when he was bullied by his fellow classmates during the 5th grade. This period paved the way for him to be engaged in several fights that led to him being expelled in the previous school.
Such incident paved the way for him to lose his friends. But what can be attributed in this shift is the loss of her mother due to a car accident when he was in 6th grade. It was then that he started secluding himself to the new community he lives in. In addition, there are several instances that he again was bullied in school which again caused him to be reprimanded and punished. Not only did it affect his social relationship with others, Matthew also came to lag behind in school. Contrary to his previous records of above average grades, he is now lagging behind in class almost in the brink of failure.
It will be in a year’s time before he graduates and still he continues to show anti-social tendencies in both school and the community. Personal Opinions Seeing the case of Matthew, it can be seen that his problem mainly revolves around his distrust in the community he lives in. In addition, the loss of her mother further proved to be a setback for him as it made issues regarding trust and friends difficult for him. Inept parenting can be one attribute on as to why he exhibits such actions contrary to his original state. Another probable cause of his state is the lack of coping skills and guidance during the lowest point of his life.
Here we see that during the stages of his developing maturity, he is bombarded with different problems with no one to help or guide him on what to do. Coping with problems may be facilitated easily if Matthew had someone with him and guide him accordingly. Lastly, there is evidence that Matthew’s case resulted from the environment he lives in. He had been reprimanded wrongly by the school for false accusations that he has been causing tensions within the campus contrary to the original notion that he is bullied by his fellow classmates.
Such thinking and mindset may have paved the way for him to exclude himself in society & school and trust nobody besides himself. Interventions Seeing his report profile, it can be seen that several methods have been tried to help Matthew by the school and community. During the 5th grade, he has been forced to undergo anger management seminars. This is contrary to the original notion that he is bullied. With the death of his mother, Matthew was arranged to have meetings with a counselor to help him with depression and coping for the loss. However, only a few sessions were attended by Matthew.
In his new school, Matthew was assessed by the local guidance counselor to be purely ‘silent’. This may not be the case since he has been continuously exhibiting anti-social behavior. Comparison and linking it to Theory Seeing the case of Matthew, it is clearly a manifestation of an anti-social behavior. This can be attributed and validated after researching on his background. Matthew’s case has been catalyzed by many experiences in the past that led him to distrust people around him. These incidents and factors are also similar in the examples used by several authors in the text.
Applying this case to the social learning theory, Bandura’s model both offers an explanation and an approach of how to address the issue. “Social learning theory explains human behavior in terms of continuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and environmental influences. ” (Learning Theories, 2008) Seeing this, it can be attested that the environment and other factors served as catalysts for Matthew’s actions. Seeing this scenario, one approach that can be used in attending Matthew’s case is by creating a model for him that the school and the environment that he lives in accepts him as he is.
“Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action. ” (Learning Theories, 2008) This can be done by applying several concepts promoted by Bandura (cognition, modeling and reinforcement). “Awareness and expectations of future reinforcements or punishments can have a major effect on the behaviors that people exhibit. ” (Ormond, 1999) By besetting on these concepts, several mechanisms and actions can be created to better suit the need in addressing the case of Matthew.
Comments Seeing the case of Matthew and comparing it to the case of the book, there are striking similarities and differences. The similarity revolves around the factors elaborated by the text which are also manifested by Matthew. There are stimulus factors and responses exhibited by Matthew that made him anti-social in nature and definition. On the other hand, there is a striking difference in the way factors affected his actions. The predicaments that he had to face also proved to be a different. With this, I had learned that anti-social behaviors vary.
There may be several standards that determine such behavior; however the actual manifestation remains to be diverse in nature. Without giving them the proper attention, person like Matthew may become outcasts of society and can proved to be problematic within the community. In the end, by creating opportunities for people like Matthew to be addressed, people can be enlightened in the way anti-social behaviors are molded and at the same time prove to be a stepping stone for further developments in research.
Both the self control and social control theories offer approaches in the way people engage in delinquent behaviors. However, each theory varies and differs in the scope of its explanation. By carefully analyzing their similarities and differences, people can use such theories in interpreting several behaviors that may deem to be deviant in societies. In the end, with this awareness, people become acquainted to its relative strengths and weaknesses. By realizing the importance of theories of crime, one can distinguish and separate one from each other.
“Social control theories of crime and delinquency attribute law-breaking to the weakness, breakdown, or absence of those social bonds or socialization processes that are presumed to encourage law-abiding conduct” (Jensen, 2003, p. 1). The first part of the paper shall revolve around the social theory. This theory is promoted and associated with the theorist Travis Hirsch. “The theorist most closely identified with control theory is Hirschi (1969) and his book Causes of Delinquency which launched a whole research revolution in addition to dominating ideas about social control for many years.
” (Control Theories of Crime, p. 1) There are several factors that can be attributed to Hirschi’s development of the theory. In turn, this created the standard for several important functions of several arms of the government including the justice system. “His model of the family, the school, and peers as the most important factors became (and still is) the Justice department’s model for considering grant applications” (Control Theories of Crime, p. 1) It is through this that Hirschi’s focuses on an individual’s social bond as the primary motivator for criminal acts.
Here we see Hirschi associates several factors that contribute to such commitment of criminal acts. They include: (1) attachment, (2) commitment, (3) involvement, and (4) belief. The first one looks into an individual’s personal feelings and affection towards other people. “Attachment, for example, has come to be associated with research into family factors. ” (Control Theories of Crime, p. 1) The commitment process revolves around the way an individual acts just to satisfy several standards set by his/her environment within the community.
“Commitment has come to be associated with peer relationships, in the sense that stakes in conformity are passed through intimate channels of communication, usually in a school context. ” (Control Theories of Crime, p. 1) The third part of the process circumvents on the issue of involvement. It is about the different factors affecting the life of an individual. It can range from actions to affiliations in certain organizations within a specific group or community. “Involvement has also come to be associated with school factors, study habits, working, dating, and time spent watching TV.
” (Control Theories of Crime, p. 1) The last part revolves around the issue of belief. The belief component highlights the capacity of an individual in which he/she decides to obey the law or not. “Hirschi found a strong association between self-reported delinquency and agreement with the statement “It’s OK to get around the law if you can get away with it”, and this and related statements became measures of the belief component. ” (Control Theories of Crime, p. 1) Self-control theory On the other hand, we see the evolution of the self control theory which emanated as a strand of Hirschi’s social control theory.
Here we see a striking difference in the focus of the particular theory. There are two ways in which the theory can be approached and explained by its proponents. “In one line of research, self-control is inferred to be the stable underlying factor that explains the continuity of deviant behavior or the conformity over the life course. ” (Jensen, 2003, p. 14) This in turn creates the notion that the presence of conflict of individuals within societies are caused by peoples individual fault to restrain themselves. Thus, one approach saw these personal actions in the past as catalyst for actions in the future.
“The correlations between childhood transgressions and more serious offenses later in life are taken as evidence of an underlying lack of self control. ” (Jensen, 2003, p. 14) The other strand of research looks into the actually creating measurements and quantifying the degree of how the lack of self-control caused one to commit such actions. “The second line of research attempts to more directly test the theory by operationalzing “low self-control’ and relating it to law-breaking with other criminogenic variables controlled.
” (Jensen, 2003, p. 14) This in turn created the criteria for how low self control emanates is one difference between the social control and self control theory. “The attempt to specify the indicators of “low” self control differentiates Gottfredson and Hirschi’s self control theory from social bond theory in that it introduces quasi-motivational sources of variation. ” (Jensen, 2003, p. 14) Another difference in the two theories is the relationship it has to the law.
“The most recent review of such research concludes that measures of self-control are significantly related to law-breaking, but it can be challenged as a general theory of crime. (p. 14) This seems to point out that variables in such aspects differ however the social bond theory affects each one of these. “Variables central to differential association and social learning theory affect law-breaking, regardless of variations in self control” (Jensen, 2003, pp. 14-15) Moreover, there seems to be huge differences in the way the two theories explain the occurrence of behavior among people.
It can be argued that the social control has deep and varied explanations over certain issues and actions of individuals. This may not be the case for the self-control theory for it seems to lack the sufficient explanation to support several facets related to committing a crime. “At present, self-control theory has not been shown to have superior explanatory power over Hirschi’s earlier social bond theory. ” (Jensen, 2003, p. 15) My Choice Seeing this, I may prefer using the analysis of Hirschi and social control theory in the analysis of why people commit crime.
Though both theories may prove and showcase the necessary elements to explain the occurrence of a particular event, Hirschi’s explanation offers a depth analysis of how several factors can affect individual’s actions. To add, compared to the self-control theory, the social control theory seeks to showcase a deeper sense of explanation and understanding of things. “Self-control is likely to be found to have minimal explanatory power when variables central to social bond and social learning theories are taken into account.
” (Jensen, 2003,p. 16) References (n. d. ) Control Theories of Crime. Retrieved April 8, 2008 from http://www. apsu. edu/oconnort/crim/crimtheory13. htm Jensen, G. F. (2003) Social Control Theories. Retrieved April 8, 2008 from http://sitemason. vanderbilt. edu/files/l/l3Bguk/soccon. pdf Learning-Theories. com (2008) Social Learning Theory. Retrieved April 8, 2008 from http://www. learning-theories. com/social-learning-theory-bandura. html Omrod, J. E. (1999) Human Learning, 3rd ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 16 November 2016
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