CJ 333 Unit 3 Assignment

Unit 3 Assignment


There are so many theories regarding domestic violence that tries to explain the reasoning as to why this is happening from generation to generation. The theories that I would be discussing will be the social learning, behavior modeling theory, intergeneration transmission theory, and social control theory. The individuals’ upbringing and his or her surroundings can have a major factor when the person is demonstrating violence towards others. Similarities between these theories are influences from society and their own family.

The social learning theory analyses that violence are learned from the individuals’ environment and their experiences throughout their life. (Kindschi, 2017) As the text stated, “Adult behaviors are associated with behaviors acquired in early childhood through observational learning, or imitation.” (McRae, Daire, Abel, & Lambie 2017). The individual is able to notice these violent traits from just observing others being violent. Domestic violence traits can be picked up and learned from their family members, close friends, and any religion. In addition, this theory expresses that if children are a witness to his or her parents using violence to resolve issues within their family’s disagreements, they are at a higher percentage to also follow their example and imitate their parents’ violence. (McRae, Daire, Abel, & Lambie 2017)

The next theory is the behavior modeling theory, under this theory it is seen that children that show aggression towards others, may have parents who use similar tactics towards them. (Kindschi, 2017) Under this theory, the main influencers are their family members as well as their environmental experiences. Children who are exposed to areas that have higher crime rates are more likely to act violent. As well as those children who are involved in playing violent games or watch violent shows and or movies can also be viewed as a model for children to pick up on these behaviors. (Kindschi, 2017) With these examples, since crime and violence is deemed acceptable, the child and or individual begins to view this as normal.

Under the intergenerational transmission theory, it is believed that violence is passed down from generation to generation. Just like the behavioral model theory, intergenerational transmission theory also believes that if a child observes violence in the home, they are also most likely to use violence in their own relationships. (Kindschi, 2017) According to the text, “Children with violent parents may not have the opportunity to socially learn the positive consequences of methods such as negotiation; verbal reasoning, self-calming tactics, and active listening that are conducive to effective communication and conflict resolution.” (Black, Sussman, & Unger, 2013) Growing up with violence, this may be the only way a child will be able to use as a mechanism of communication or solution. Children may learn that violence is acceptable and may be the only way to resolve conflicts with any close relationship that he or she may have.

Finally, social control theory, family, school and society have a major role in in the individuals’ violent actions. As the text states, “It has been found that the greater the attachment to parents, the lower the likelihood of involvement in delinquent behavior.” (Ministry, n.d) Like the other theories before, if violence is witnessed or learned a child is able to pick up these traits and view these as acceptable. In addition, those children that have witnessed and or observed any form of violence between their parents did not hold a high level of attachment towards them and were most likely be violent to their parent. (Ministry, n.d)

Domestic violence can be stemmed from childhood, upbringing, society, and experience can have influences on a child on how they will use their upbringing negatively. The theories discussed had some similarities with why domestic violence happens and how it is occurred. Domestic violence does not discriminate on age, sex, or culture.


Black, D., Sussman, S., & Unger, J. (2013, July 9). A Further Look at the Intergenerational Transmission of Violence: Witnessing Interparental Violence in Emerging Adulthood. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705927/

Kindschi, D (2013). Heavy Hands: An Introduction to the Crimes of Intimate and Family Violence, 5th Edition. [Purdue University Global Bookshelf]. Retrieved from https://purdueuniversityglobal.vitalsource.com/#/books/undefined/

McRae, L., Daire, A. P., Abel, E. M., & Lambie, G. W. (2017). A Social Learning Perspective on Childhood Trauma and Same-Sex Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Counseling & Development, 95(3), 332–338. https://doi.org/10.1002/jcad.12147

Ministry of Children and Youth Services. (n.d.). Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Retrieved March 19, 2019, from http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/professionals/oyap/roots/volume5/chapter12_social_control.aspx