Akers - upbringing - learning from others

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  • Akers (Learning from others)
    • sutherlands theory - (differential association) the ratio of favourable to non-favourable attitudes to crime and who they associate themselves with
    • to test social learning theory of deviant behaviour on adolescent drinking and drug behaviour
    • snapshot of 2500 male and female teenagers aged 13-18 in 3 mid-western states in USA
    • questionnaire asking about their alcohol and marijuana usage
    • role models, attitudes towards usage, attitudes of significant others in their lives, friends usage, reinforcements and punishments for usage
    • sub-sample then created for a follow up interview to check reliability
    • strong support for the social learning theory, however imitation alone was the least predictive variable
    • SLT explained 55% of variance in drinking and 68% in marijuana
    • most effective predictive variable was differential peer association
    • friends play an important part in our behaviour because they provide our social norms and social reinforcements


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