5th Annual WML Academic Symposium

Time: 10:00-10:20
Room: 303
Presenter: Nate Kennedy and Mercedez Smith
Title: Delinquency and Social Learning Theory
Developed under the guidance of Prof. Amanda Parker, Criminal Justice

Several theories have been applied by theorists and criminologists in efforts to explain juvenile deviant behavior. There seems to be a natural fit between juvenile delinquency and the Social Learning Theory. This theory, founded by Ronald Akers, suggests that learning is a cognitive process that takes place in a social context and can happen through observation or direct instruction. Akers applies this theory to criminology to detect the emergence and aggression of deviant behavior among youths in gangs, which can be positively correlated to the instability of youths growing up in foster care. The Social Learning Theory will be used to understand the criminal behaviors that are learned in both social and nonsocial situations among juveniles in foster care and gangs.