The Breakdown of The Family Structure
And It’s Affect On Adolescent Learned Aggression
In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the awareness of the causes of adolescent aggression. Recently, there have been many school shootings, gang violence, drug abuse, and date rapes that are associated with the younger population. The number of violent acts committed by children increase every day. Attribution to these growing statistics can be placed upon the break down of the family structure. Awareness of the affects of domestic violence, parental discipline, communication, and parent child interaction, on adolescent behavior has risen. The family has always had the biggest affect on childhood development, and this paper will attempt to show the significant relationship between the recent breakdown of the family structure and it’s affect on adolescent learned aggression.
Social learning is behaviors or attitudes that are learned through the observation and imitation of others. In the case of adolescents, most of their social learning is either derived from their family, or their friends. To be socially competent, an individual must possess the social-cognitive ability to select and act on socially
Children that do not have "intact" family structure are at greater risk for antisocial behavior. Children being witnesses to domestic and television violence are breaks in the family structure. The first reason and most obvious one is that children witness violence through watching television. These factors and the breakdown of the structure of the family are what ultimately lead to adolescent acts of misconduct. In a study by Dadds, Barrett, Rapee, (1996) children were tested for aggressive behavior after a conversation with their parents. Stemming from less time interacting with their parents, children turn to televisions for their guidance and entertainment. Again, we see a pattern of lack of interaction between parents and children leading to socially unacceptable aggressive behavior. After discussing solutions with their parents, the clinic children displayed more pro-social, and less aggressive behavior than they had before. ) Furthermore, there seems to be a connection between the presence of aggressive stimuli, and aggressive behavior shown through increased heart rate, and personal survey. If the family is not teaching the children the proper social values, most of them turn to their peers for the much-needed acceptance and advice. Today, more children are being put in day care than ever before. Until we do this and turn society into the right direction, children will continue to be products of media violence, and family neglect. Child aggression is a possible means for coping with the negative treatment, and enables the child to combat such abuse. The problem with the children turning to their peers for advice is that groups are more likely to be accepting of aggression, and violence. The average child watches four hours of television per day.