Social Learning Theory Children That Grew Up in Domestic Violence Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Domestic Violence and Social Learning Theory

Domestic Violence on Children and Social Learning Theory

Domestic Violence on Children, Juvenile Delinquency and Social Learning Theory

Domestic Violence on Children and Juvenile Delinquency in the light of Social Learning Theory

This research paper includes and talks about the global issue of family or domestic violence experienced and observed by children. The first part defines and explains the domestic violence and child abuse. The second part explains the various forms of domestic violence that are prevalent in the society. Physical, emotional, economical and psychological abuses witnessed and experienced by the children are discussed in detail. Later, explanation of perilous physical and emotional effects of domestic violence on children has been given to understand their subsequent behaviors. The paper then talks about the factors relating to the juvenile delinquency in violence-affected children. In the last part of the paper, the principles and postulates of Social Learning Theory are used to present different behavioral models of the juvenile delinquents who experience family violence in their childhood. The paper ends with the conclusion about the necessity and duties of the society to facilitate and assist victims of domestic violence.


Domestic Violence is a globally well-known predicament. It has been acknowledged as a worldwide problem on the basis that it affects the physical condition and welfare of the victims significantly. Domestic Violence can be described as the aggression, violence or brutality shown to or practiced on a 'near and dear' partner. In this case, both the abuser and the abused share the residence and live together. Women are thought to be the main sufferers of domestic violence. However, children are also exposed to domestic violence on a large scale (Jouriles, McDonald, Slep, Heyman & Garrido, 2008). A considerable number of women aged between 19 and 44 are killed after suffering continuous domestic violence. Most of these women have children who witness the most horrible violence that one can imagine (Underwood, 2006). In most of the cases, not only the woman but her child or children suffer from domestic violence from the hands of the male member of the house. It includes head-butting, beating, throwing objects, dragging along the street and even attacking with harmful weapons like knives etc. (Underwood, 2006).

Child abuse is the mistreatment or abandonment of children by disregarding them emotionally, physically or sexually. In most of the cases, parents are the abusers of their offspring. However, guardians and other sentinels accountable for the well-being and safety of children are also found maltreating them. Physical abuse includes beating, whipping and thrashing children groundlessly on petty and insignificant issues. Children are also used as a means of sexual fulfillment and gratification. They are raped, molested and used for pornographic purposes which damage their personalities everlastingly. Elders emotionally mistreat a child by abusing him/her in front of others. Other kinds of emotional abuse include scapegoating, unjustified punishments and usage of improper and abusive language on a regular basis. Negligence and carelessness regarding the children's education or health is also a form of child abuse. Exposure of unsafe and aggressive materials or smoking in front of a child can also affect a child psychologically. The mentioned are all forms of particular kinds of abuse that are seen and experienced by children who breathe and survive within the walls of domestic violence (Child Abuse, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2009).

Child abuse is regarded as a problem that is increasing at a fast pace. Young victims are unfortunate to experience serious emotional and mental damages as a result of continuous abuse. Physical injuries can be seen but the injuries on the mind and soul cannot be glimpsed. There is no instrument that can measure the psychosomatic damage a child tolerates being a victim of domestic violence. Most of the children who belong to poor families are the victims of domestic violence (Child Abuse, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2009).

Forms of Domestic Violence

The most imperative originator of child abuse and ignorance is the domestic violence (Jouriles, McDonald, Slep, Heyman & Garrido, 2008). There are a number of interrelated causes that instigate child abuse and ignorance. The factors that contribute are personality of the abuser or the child or the circumstances of the family. Researches show that usually the abuser was abused in his early phase of life. By abusing their own children, they seem to enjoy in taking revenge of what was done to them. In most of the cases, abusers were found to have a lack of knowledge, education and skillfulness that are required for bringing up a child. Thus, out of their gaucheness and tactlessness, they unnecessarily mistreat their children to teach them discipline and obedience. In this way, they ignore the fact that their children hate them and would be doing the same with the next generation of the family. Alcoholism and drug addiction are also a cause of becoming a terrifying abuser. It is also a biting reality that mentally or physically ill and disabled children become the targets of domestic violence more than the children who are physically and mentally fit and healthy. Household circumstances such as connubial friction, divorce or separation among parents, scarcity of financial means, joblessness and communal segregation are factors that catalyze the violent activities domestically (Child Abuse, The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2009).

1. Physical Abuse

Children growing up in an environment where domestic violence is common witness their mothers beaten by their fathers on a daily basis. They watch the brutal and cruel attacks of their fathers to harm their mothers physically. In many cases, when the woman was holding a child, the abuser hit her with an object without even realizing that the child could be injured too. Irrespective of the children's safety, men attacked and used violent ways to harm the woman when she was taking care of the children. Many children witnessed their fathers using weapons and objects or their fists or feet to injure their mother. The physical wounds women suffer includes broken bones, black-and-blue eyes and in severe cases, miscarriages. The physical abuses children suffer include spitting at them, making them eat raw items, dragging them down the stairs, twisting their ears etc. (McGee, 2000).

2. Emotional and Psychological Abuse

The abuser wears down the self-worth and self-assurance of children by abusing them psychologically and emotionally. He disparages and criticizes every action of the children. Instead of physical abuse, the abuser uses the systematic way of emotionally torturing the children. Such children lose their self-esteem and self-confidence completely as they are constantly humiliated, disgraced and dishonored. The most common emotional abuse of a child is to call him names. Some abusers make fun of the disabilities of a child. Showing unkindness to the child's pet, keeping the mother away from the child, threatening a child to send him away, not giving permission to play and depriving the child of sleep are other ways of abusing emotionally. Thus, it is very difficult for the children to find ways in order to cope up with the crushing behavior of the abuser. Most of the children seem to tolerate physical injuries but it is not an easy task for them to forget the injuries their hearts and souls were scarred with (McGee, 2000). The children not only suffer emotional damages themselves. They see their fathers embarrassing, mortifying and degrading their mothers. The abuser insults the mother in front of the children and blames her for everything. Constant threats of killing the woman and children are used by the abuser which keeps the victims remain in a state of fear and trepidation. Children growing in such an environment where they see their mother being constantly insulted by their fathers tend to develop emotional problems that permanently become a part of their lives.

3. Sexual Violence

Sexual violence is most commonly used by the ex-partners of the women. Most of the women who have been the sufferers of domestic violence reported that they were raped after the abuser abused them physically or emotionally (McGee, 2000). In some cases, children were unlucky enough to watch the molestation of their mother before them. One can imagine the psychological condition of a child who witnessed such a crushing-to-death incident. In houses where domestic sexual violence is experienced, the male members tend to rape their daughters, step-daughters and sisters as well.

4. Control

When asked, a number of victims who experienced domestic violence in their childhood were unable to single out a concrete reason why their fathers abused them. Control, they concluded, was the basic motivational factor that governed the personalities of their father, and in few cases, their mother or guardian. The violent individual's need to 'control' and 'be in command of' every single feature of the children's life is the most vital characteristic to domestic violence. Such a person wants to own and possess the children and love to make them totally submissive. He tends to show his controlling behavior by isolating the children from relatives, friends and…

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