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Contemporary Crimes: Attachment Theory And Reciprocity Of Individuals (Essay Sample)


James T. Johnson is a 24-year-old construction worker who lives at home with his mother. During the week, he goes to work on time, does his work, and comes home. Occasionally, he will go out with a group of coworkers on a Friday evening. He has one other secret. He burglarizes homes and garages in the neighboring communities, selling what he steals via the internet or at pawn shops two counties over. This past weekend, he was arrested during a burglary when he entered a home where the home owner was present. His mother had to mortgage her home to bail him out of jail. While driving him home, she started to berate him, stating that he has ended up ″just like his father, a criminal″ and that she will probably end up dying early due to the stress of having a criminal son. James was angry and blurted out that it was her fault, that this was the only life he knew because his father never taught him anything worthwhile. He said that his mother and father fought all the time, and the main subject of their fights was his constant drinking. What James did not know was that his father came from a physically and emotionally abusive family. Though he constantly drank and fought with James' mother, he tried not to direct this abuse at James. The result of his attempts to shield James was to ignore James almost entirely. His attempt not to abuse James led to his neglect of James. While James was a pre-teen and teen, his parents rarely knew what James was doing or who he was with. As such, James learned how to “fly below the radar” and avoid getting in trouble, while getting away with many antics that could have had him labeled as a juvenile delinquent.

Now that James has more insight into his father's behavior, apply 1 psychological theory and 1 sociological theory to this scenario.

Explain the concepts in your 1 psychological theory, and explain the concepts in your 1 sociological theory.

Relate both theories to James's father and why he reacted in this manner to James.

Explain how the theories that you chose can have an effect on future generations. Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.

Contemporary Crimes Student’s Name Institution Affiliation Introduction Life in our societies requires high degree of behavioral order for the existence of peace. The human behavior is all complicated, but through the performance of the individual roles, the society will ensure that there is a peaceful co-existence in the families and individuals. Through these roles, the social and family systems will hence work together and no violence will be experienced. However, the domestic violence that is normally experienced can be attributed to several factors, which can be explained theoretically. Therefore, the relationship that exists between James Johnson and his father is that of oppression, and what James is doing now to an extend of getting to criminal activities can be associated with his father's upbringing. Social learning theory and attachment theory psychodynamic theory have been used to explain the reasons the domestic violence that was experienced in James' family and the effects that are now hitting him hard. Attachment Theory Attachment theory is a form of the larger psychodynamic theory that is based mostly on the emphasis of the reciprocity of individuals. Attachment is seen as a reciprocal, where there is an enduring emotional tie between an infant and a caregiver and both parties are active contributors to the relationship. According to the early proponents of the attachment theory, Ainsworth and Bowlby, they asserted that an infant eventually develops a ‘working model’ that entails what can be expected from their caregivers (Lieberman, Zeanah, & McIntosh, 2011). The infant will hold up only if the caregiver responds in an expected way, while the infant will be forced to revise their models once the caregivers’ responses become unpredictable. The primary concern of the attachment theory is that the adults have the capabilities of protecting and offering security to their children. At some time when the child feels to be threatened, ill or exhausted, they will always turn to their caregivers for the provision of security and protection. Children often build perceptions made from their own worthiness and how they feel about their caregivers. With time, the child will thus use a symbolic representation from important figures to feel secure. Therefore, this explains James’ idea of resorting to burglary, something that he thought was the only way out to survive since his father did not teach him anything better to do. Attachment theory explains the different child abuses as coming from the insecure and anxious attachment which are disorganized, ambivalent and avoidant. Consequently, the anxious attachment is always perceived to be a maker for later emotional and other social problems that can occur in maltreatment situations. However, the distorted patterns that entail relating to others around you lay a clear foundation for the child's model of the world and its influence on how a child will respond. Also, the theory puts it that early adverse family experiences are the ingredients for the antisocial behavior experienced with children who grow under the family disputes. For the case of James, the father-mother relationship experienced in his family is something that paved way for his current way of living, especially the father’s alcoholic behavior. Moreover, insecure attachments mostly occur in populations of children who have experienced either neglect or physical abuse. Therefore, the attachment theory explains the perception that may be created by children in their maltreatment from one generation to the other (Metz, Calmet, & Thevenot, 2018). James is thus most likely to be suffering from post-traumatic stress that is now being revealed through all his actions. The victims of trauma usually have a tendency of repeating their abusive experiences as a result of being unable to integrate the abuse memories into their larger memory structure. The reason why James is not satisfied with what he earns from his daily job hence resorting to burglary is just out of what used to happen to his father just the way his mother was narrating. Social Learning Theory The social learning theory is one of the major sociological theories that entail individuals learning by observation and imitating other people. The primary learning method children use is the imitation of their models, where it can be seen from their aggression, moral decision-making, and language. The theory posits that the children will become aggressive especially towards their family members due to the behaviors learned through observing their role models. Corporal punishment is one way of discipline method that may be used to bring about the compliance of children with parental demands. However, these corporal punishments may trigger both short and long-term effects on the side of the children. These effects may include the physical violence exhibited in James parents, the poor parent-child relationship at the childhood stage and the anti-social behaviors. Furthermore, the social learning theory is a theory that tries to bring out the presence of intergenerational violence transmission. During the upbringing of children, they mostly tend to receive feedback from other people concerning their behaviors ...
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