Midterm Essay






Midterm Essay

















Review of Policy

Social learning is the acquiring or adapting of a certain behavior through reinforcement or punishment or via observation. Through observation, people are able to imitate what they see to be good and with desirable outcomes while through punishment, they adapt to the desired traits (Jensen, 2007). It is by either their wish or the wish of others that social learning is able to occur in our society today. Countries in different parts of the world have come up with constitutions or policies that advocate for what is of common good and discourage what is detrimental to the society. These policies are set to discourage people with illegal intentions from influencing the rest of the population.

What is harmful to human survival is discouraged and people who are involved in such actions receive punishment. This measure is to inhibit moral decay in the society spread through social learning (Jensen, 2007). An example of a recent policy passed by the job and family services regarding the current issue of child endangerment proposes that children get away from their families to foster care centers if their parents are involved in domestic violence or immoral practice. The seclusion of the children should not take less than six months. This policy concurs with the social learning theory, hence a fundamental policy in preventing moral decadence in the society (Prentice-Hall, 1979). This is because the policy is likely to inhibit a great moral decay in the community through the punishment of people and observation. Parents who are involved in domestic violence endanger the life of their children both directly and indirectly. Directly, the children are likely to suffer physically and indirectly mentally. This is because they experience violence at home or around their environment (Jensen, 2007). Violence affects the children because they end up imitating what their parents do. This is according to the social theory that one can acquire the traits of others through observation or punishment.

Personal Opinion

The change or acquiring of the behavior happens in three stages in the life of the children. These stages include observation, imitation and reinforcement. The children observe the actual practice of the violence by their parents a factor that leads to their understanding and knowledge about the crime (Jenks, 1996). Observation has a big impact in studying because it is practical and one can easily learn. After observing the actual violence committed by their parents, they move a step forward to practicing what they see through imitation.

They learn more by practically associating themselves in the activity. This happens along their growth and its effects may be long or short term (Prentice-Hall, 1979). After the imitation, they go ahead to repeat the violence activities hence perfecting their skills in violence through reinforcement. It is at this stage that the children are morally affected leading to their moral decay caused by their parents (Jensen, 2007). Transfer of moral decay is also likely to affect other parties hence leading to moral decay in the society. This therefore leads to the call of police action or significant policies to govern the society.

The seclusion of these children from their parents is likely to have a redemption effect towards moral decay of the society. This is because parents influence their children and the fact the children go to a morally upright environment makes them adapt a good moral behavior (Jenks, 1996). The parents are also likely to change their behavior upon the seclusion of the children through punishment or reinforcement. The fact that the state takes them away from home makes them reform in order to get their children back. When they observe the absence of their children at home, they are likely to get fascinated hence changing their behavior. After a period of six months of the punishment, the parents are likely to adapt to the required environment by the stated policy. This policy ensures the eradication of moral decay from the society. It applies to both the children and the parents and conforms to the social learning theory. The parents learn through punishment hence transform while the children do not learn anymore of violence through observation.

Potential Ethical / Moral Issues

It is beyond doubt that the implementation of the policy is likely to reduce the rate of domestic violence in the society (Jenks, 1996). This is because parents will be careful not to have their sons or daughters taken away from them. It is also likely to eradicate child abuse and alcohol related offenses committed by father, mother or guardian. Children mistreatment by the parents and drug abuse in the society will decrease. This is because of the punishment imposed to the parents and the seclusion of the children from their parents (Hilgard, 1981)

There will also be reduced cases in future about domestic violence, r drug abuse and child assault. This is because the children do not grow in the environment of their violent parents, hence do not acquire immoral character traits from them (Bandura, 1977). The society will experience a change in the moral growth of the people living in the society. More people will improve on their moral behavior through social learning hence leading to an increase of moral growth rate of the society (Jenks, 1996). Children will grow to make good families in the future where drug abuse and child abuse eradication takes place.

Opinion on Ethical Nature of Policy based on Potential Ramifications

The implementation of the policy is ethical despite its potential ramifications. Parents may feel deprived the right to bring up their children in the way they like while the children may feel deprived their up bringing right by their parents (Bandura, 1998). This will be unfair to the innocent children but a reprimand to the guilty parents. The children will experience seclusion from their children but six months is not a long period to for them to lack parental love. The policy is also likely to cause the threatening of the children by their parents (Prentice-Hall, 1979)

.           This is likely to occur if the children intend to sue their parents for child abuse. It is also likely to encourage domestic violence to a very few number of families with the intention to have their children supported by the foster care services (Bandura, 1998). The potential ramifications of the policy are likely to cause emotional depression to both the parents and the children but the benefits to the family and the society are more than the ramifications. The impact of the policy is therefore fruitful to the society because it solves a big problem in families and leads to general growth in the society.

Impact based on the Situation

There are both positive and negative impacts on the society that are likely to accrue from the implementation of the policy. Societal moral growth is one of the positive impacts that the society is likely to experience (Jensen, 2007). Reduction of domestic crimes is also another factor that will raise from the policy implementation hence a non-violent climate will prevail in the society. People will grow discouraging drug abuse and child abuse (Bandura, 1977). The negative impacts to the society are that domestic violence may end being made secret by the parents. If a man batters his wife, the wife may not report the matter because she does not want to be secluded from their children (Hilgard, 1981). This is likely to increase suffering to married partners who do not prefer the seclusion of their children. Children are also likely to make their abuse by their parents a secret because they would like to live with their parents.

Application of Social Learning Theory

The Department of Job and Family Services did not misinterpret or misapply social learning in the implementation of the policy because social learning was applicable in the policy. This is evident because the law pushes the parents through punishment hence reinforcement for changes (Jensen, 2007). On the other side, observation, imitation and reinforcement was evident in causing moral decadence in the society.



Bandura, A. (1998). Self-efficacy: The Exercise of Control: New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company

Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Kent, Portage: Prentice Hall

Hilgard, R. (1981). Social Learning Theory: From Theories of Learning: Kent, Portage: Prentice Hall

Jenks, A. (1996). Social Learning Theory: A Moral Development Approach. Charlotte, NC. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Jensen, G & Akers, R (2007). Social Learning Theory and the Explanation of Crime. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers

Prentice-Hall, Inc. (1979). Prentice-Hall Federal tax course: Kent, Portage. Prentice-Hall

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