Theories of crime - nice to help with exam prep for CMY3701
Just something that I found helpful to fully grasp all of the theories and where they fit in. Very nice to help prep for the exam
Overview of crime - nice to help with exam prep
This is just something to help with the exam prep for CMY3701, it gives a nice overview of the theories, that will help you to understand some things a bit more as well
Although both participants are close in age, they differ in terms of their parenting styles.
Research participant 1’s parenting style is more authoritarian (controlling, demanding and strict). According to Berk (2013), this style is low in acceptance and involvement, is high in coercive behavioural control and low in autonomy granting. In order to exert control over the child, the parent will yell, command, criticise the child. The parent makes decisions for the child and expects the child to accept their word unquestioningly. If the child does not, the parent will resort to force and punishment.
From the questionnaire, the child of Research participant 1 scored 73 where he is more cooperative and has awareness of wrongdoing. However, he lacks the capacity to accommodate others.
On the other hand, Research participant 2’s parenting style is more Authoritative (commanding), but the parent can be permissive at time. This means that, as Berk (2013) states, the parent has high acceptance of the child and is involved in the child’s daily life. She applies adaptive control techniques and appropriates autonomy (independence) granting for the child. Although the parent is warm, attentive, and sensitive to the child’s needs, she also exercises firm and reasonable behavioural control. However, she is able to step back and let the child do what she wants to do at times. The punishment is used as a “teaching lesson”, aimed at teaching the child what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour. The parent also encourages communication by encouraging the child to express her thoughts, feelings and desires, and engages in joint decision-making where possible.
From the questionnaire, the child of Research participant 2 scored 124 where she is more empathic towards other people. However, she still lacks the ability to help others (although I believe that the scores where influenced by the fact that she’s the only child).
According to Robinson, Zahn-Waxler &Emde (1994), development is conceived as “continuous function for all children with increased levels of behaviours/ abilities observed over time”.
Prosocial behaviours and their development in children have been issues that have continued to draw interest in recent years (de Guzman, Edwards & Carlo, 2005).
According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), prosocial behaviour refers to “voluntary behaviour intended to benefit another”. This means that it consists of actions which benefit other people or society as a whole, such as helping, sharing, co-operating, donating and volunteering. Prosocial behaviour is often accompanied with psychological and social rewards for its performer. In the long run, individuals can benefit from living in a society where prosociality is common (which, in evolutionary terms, increases reproductive potential).
The study of empathy and its development also gives insight into the development of prosocial motivation. According to Trommsdorff (1991), empathy is regarded as an “other-oriented emotional reaction involving concern for the other’s well-being”. It can induce prosocial behaviour, and can be theoretically linked to altruistic motivation.
Researchers have, in the past, focused on early-emerging prosocial behaviour focused largely on empathic responsiveness to other’s distress, and that infant’s experiences with parents are linked to the development of empathy-related prosocial responses in the first 2 years of life (Brownell, 2013).
Although psychological studies have clearly documented social-personality differences that predict individual differences in prosocial behaviours and development, fewer studies have concentrated on the influence of situational or social context variables (Rosario de Guzman, Edwards & Carlo, 2005).
In this assignment, these factors, which amount to prosocial behaviour in children, will be discussed and some will be motivated by making reference to research findings on the topic, namely cultural factors, socialization within the context of the family and individual personality characteristics (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998).
According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), research on cultural factors regarding prosocial behaviour provides understanding into the role of the environment – rather than research concentrated on only biological factors. However, although there is a current curiosity about cultural influence on prosocial behaviour, there has been little research conducted in this area. Yet, according to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), research in which prosocial behaviours and values have been compared across cultures is reliable with single culture studies in emphasizing the importance of culture in prosocial development.
2.1. Laboratory studies.
In laboratory studies, according to Eisenberg & Mussen (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998), researchers have constantly found that children from rural, semi-agricultural communities, and relatively traditional subcultures are more co-operative than those from urban or Western cultures.
2.2. Observational studies.
In other studies in which children were asked to make a series of choices regarding giving chips (or other objects) to self and a peer and when giving a peer more chips did not change the child’s own share, showed results in the tendency to choose to give a peer more than self is stronger in second- than third-generation Mexican American children (relatively traditional subculture) than in Anglo American children (Western culture). Furthermore, the difference increases from age 5 and 6 years to age 8 and 9 years.
In other variation of the task, whereby children were asked to make the same choices except giving a peer more chips will change the child’s own share, according to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), Mexican American children still scored higher Anglo American children did. Mexican American children with stronger ethnic identity have shown to display more concern with others’ outcome in this type of task, although few of these children maximised others’ outcome at a cost of self.
Eisenberg & Fabes (1998) further states that in prosocial communities, people tend to live together in extended families where the female role is important, work is less specialized and the government is less central. Furthermore, children’s prosocial behaviour is associated with early assignment in chores. In an observation study of Polynesian children conducted by Graves & Graves (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes , 1998), it was found that children (particularly girls) from urban communities performed fewer chores and were less prosocial than children raised in traditional extended families.
3. SOCIALIZATION OF PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOUR WITHIN FAMILY.
The fundamental view of socialization is that the parent-child relationship goes both ways in terms of influence and involvement, and this relationship – including its outcomes - is embedded in the larger family, neighbourhood and culture (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998).
3.1. Socioeconomic status of the family.
Instinctly, one might expect children’s prosocial behaviour to be influenced by socioeconomic status of their family. For example, poorer children might be expected to horde scarce resources or, due to increased demand for participation in caregiving chores, to be more helpful and more likely to be comforting to others in times of distress. Truthfully, there has been an inconsistent finding regarding the relationship between socioeconomic status and prosocial behaviour in children. In fact, Call, Mortimer and Shanahan (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998) suggests that one possibility for this consistency is because higher socioeconomic status is associated with some kind of prosocial behaviour outside of the home whereas lower socioeconomic status is associated with helpfulness in home settings.
3.2. Structure of the family.
According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), family structure might play a role in social status difference in prosocial behaviour. In a study by Rehberg & Richman (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes , 1998), preschool boys from father-absent homes comforted (but not helped) a peer more than girls and boys from two-parent homes did.
Parental presence versus absence also influences prosocial behaviour in children. In a study conducted by Musun-Miller (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes , 1998), siblings were more helpful when their mother was present than when she was absent. Therefore, children in a single-parent household (where the parent is more often not home) have lower opportunities for socialization of certain types of sibling- or peer-related prosocial behaviours or for involvement in volunteer activities outside of the home.
3.3. Size of the family.
Regarding family size, some research findings have concluded that family size and prosocial behaviour or sympathy is unrelated. Others have found that children in a large family are more generous but less likely to help in emergency situations, or comfort a peer. This is supported by Weissbrod (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998), who found that large family size was related to slower helping in emergencies but higher levels of generosity. On the other hand, Staub (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998), hypothesized that children from small families are more self-assured and, therefore, more likely to take initiative and intervene spontaneously to help others.
This contrast could be because children in large families need to engage in chores and are more likely to learn everyday helping and sharing behaviours (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998).
3.4. Ordinal position of the child.
Regarding children’s ordinal positions in the family, the research findings are very limited. First-born children (especially girls) have been found to give commodities to their peers more readily and to intervene in emergency situations. Furthermore, older siblings more often behave prosocially in sibling interactions than younger siblings. On the other hand, some researchers have found no correlation between birth order and various measures of prosocial responding, or sympathy, or have found younger siblings to be more prosocial than older siblings (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998).
3.5. Parental disciplinary methods.
According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), many researchers have investigated the relationship between parental disciplinary methods and prosocial behaviour in children. The first method is “parental inductions” – whereby the adult gives an explanation or reasons for the child to change his or her behaviour. According to Hoffman (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998), inductions are most likely to encourage moral development as they stimulate optimal levels of arousal in learning. They promote children to pay attention to consequences for their behaviour, thereby exploiting children’s ability to experience guilt. Therefore, in time, children are likely to remember the causal link between their actions and consequences for others.
The second method is “power-assertive, punitive methods” whereby adults use power-assertive techniques, such as physical punishment or deprivation of privileges for children to change their behaviour. However, frequent use of this technique by socializers who are hostile and distant may be cold towards to moral (including prosocial) development and may hinder the effectiveness of other socializing techniques that aim to promote prosocial development (Eisenberg & Fabes , 1998). On the other hand, when these techniques are used in a measured and rational manner by generally positive parents, there may be no negative effects on children’s social behaviour (Eisenberg & Fabes , 1998)..
The last method is “appropriate versus inappropriate parental control” – which refers to the degree of control the adult has over children (whether it is excessive or reasonable). Greenberger & Goldberg (cited in Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998) have discovered that parental demands for prosocial behaviour in their 3 or 4 year-olds were correlating with their demands for self-control and independence. In middle class families, parental demands for prosocial behaviour may be used as part of child-rearing pattern in which mature behaviour is expected.
4. CHILD’S INDIVIDUAL CHARACTERISTICS.
There are a number of individual characteristics that might be expected to relate to children’s prosocial responding. One of these characteristics is children’s personality. According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), difference in personalities may reflect environmental factors, but some personality characteristics also may have genetic basis.
4.1. Child’s temperament.
Temperament, according to Stanhope, Bell & Parker-Cohen (1987), refers to “inherited personality traits that appear early in life”, and it can also be defined as “early appearing, stable individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation”. More so, reactivity can be defined as “quickness and intensity of emotional arousal, attention, and motor action” and self-regulation refers to “strategies that modify reactivity” (Berk, 2013). According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), aspects of temperament are associated with individual differences in both the inclination to help others and in the tendency to enact prosocial behaviours when motivated to do so. Sociability and shyness appear to influence if and when children assist. Shyness, as Buss and Plumin (cited in Stanhope, Bell & Parker-Cohen, 1987) states, is “inhibited and awkward behaviour with casual acquaintances and strangers”. Sociability, on the other hand, refers to “tendency to prefer the presence of others to being alone”. In a sense, shyness can be expected to be derivative of sociability, rather than the opposite. For, some unsociable children would not be considered shy and vice versa.
According to Stanhope, Bell & Parker-Cohen (1987), there is evidence that a child’s general sociability may be a predictor in the child’s tendency to behave prosocially in a given situation. Furthermore, Hampson (cited in Stanhope, Bell & Parker-Cohen, 1987) states that characteristics of helping situation are likely to interact with temperament in promoting or inhibiting helping behaviour. According to Eisenberg & Fabes (1998), sociability is likely associated with performance of prosocial behaviours that are spontaneously emitted (rather than in response to a request for assistance), and directed toward an unfamiliar person in an unfamiliar setting (rather than familiar person at home). Furthermore, extraversion was related to elementary school children helping in emergency situations when another peer was presence (but not when alone) and by approaching the other person. On the other hand, introverts tend to help in ways that does not require approaching the injured person. Therefore, sociable children seem to be more prosocial than their peers when assisting another involves social initiations or results in social interactions. Likewise, shyness may be more likely to inhibit prosocial behaviour that involves contact with another person if the child is relatively young.
There is a difference in the degree in which children display prosocial behaviour across cultures and in everyday life. In some cultures, helpfulness and social responsibilities are more important than individual rights, gains and achievements.
It would appear that there’s a relationship between prosocial responding in children and the home environment in which they live. This is because development of prosocial behaviour is enhanced by the connectedness children feel towards people in their lives, through attachment, parental warmth, adult guidance and children’s participation in prosocial activities.
Socialization in the family, especially maternal behaviour, has been considered to be the most significant basis for empathic development. Maternal empathy, maternal perspective-taking ability and reasoning are positively related to children’s emotional responsiveness ( Trommsdorff, 1991),