This essay will describe and evaluate the social learning theory of crime, and Bowlby’s maternal deprecation Hypothesis. Crime is an action or excluded that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law. There are two main explanations on crime based on the theories of nature and nurture. First of all, there is Bandura’s social learning theory. The social learning theory (1997) states that behaviour is learned from the environment though the process of observational learning.
Children observe the people around them behaving in various ways. This was experimented with the ‘bobo dolls’. Individuals that are observed are called models. In society children are surrounded by many influential models such as parents within the family, characters on television programs, friends within their peer group and teachers at school. These models provide examples of masculine behaviour to observe and feminine behaviour you observe and imitate. They pay attention to some of these models and encode their behaviour at a later time they have observed.
They may do this regardless whether the behaviour is ‘gender appropriate’ or not but there are a number of processes that make it more likely that a child will reproduce the behaviour that its society deems to the appropriate for its sex. John Bowlby (1907-1990) was a Psychologist form England who believed that mental health and behavioural problems could originate from early childhood. Bowlby’s ‘Theory of attachment’ suggests that earliest bonds formed by children with their parents/ whoever is looking after them, have a high impact that determinds trhem throughout life.
Bowlby believed that attachment behaviours are instinctive and will be activated by any conditions that seem to threaten the achievement of proximity, such as separation, insecurity and fear. He also postulated that the fear of strangers represents an important survival mechanism, built in by nature. Babies are born with the tendency to display certain innate behaviours called social releasers which help ensure proximity and contact with the caregiver e. g.
Mother or mother figure. These attachment behaviours initially function like fixed action patterns and all share the same function. The infant produces innate ‘social releaser’ behaviours such crying and smiling that stimulate care giving from adults. The determinant of attachment is not food but care and responsiveness. Bowlby suggested that a child would initially form only one attachment and that the attachment figure acted as a secure base for exploring the world.
The attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relationships so disrupting it can have serve consequences. Bowlby believed that there should be a primary bond which was much more important than any other, which usually was the mother. Bowlby argues that the relationship with the mother is somehow different altogether from other relationships. He suggested that the nature of monotropy meant that a failure to initiate or a breakdown of the maternal attachment would lead to serious negative consequences, possibly including affectionless psychopathy.
Bowlby’s theory of monotropy led to the formulation of his maternal deprivation hypothesis. Bowlby claimed that mothering is almost useless if delayed until after two and a half to three years old and, for most children, if delayed till after 12 month, i. e. there is a critical period. If the attachment figure is broken or disrupted during the critical two year period the child will suffer irreversible long-term consequences of this maternal deprivation. This risk continues until the age of 5.
Bowlby used the term maternal deprivation to refer to the separation or loss of the mother as well as failure to develop an attachment. The long term consequences of maternal deprivation might include delinquency, reduced intelligence, increased aggression, depression and affectionless psychopath. Affectionless psychopath is an inability show affection or concern for others. Such of individuals act on impulse with little regards for the consequences of their actions. For example, showing no or remorse for antisocial behavior.