Theories Relating to Child Abuse
Child abuse relates to the behavioral or learning theory because “it sees human behavior as almost entirely determined through learning that takes place as a result of reinforcement of our behaviors by others or as a result of our observation of behaviors modeled by others” (Schriver, 2011). “Theories are necessary to explain and to contain the complexities of our lives” (Newberger, 1983). Based upon this theory, child abuse is a reflection of what is normalized in the household. Neglect and abuse in a home becomes a learned behavior and could take enormous amounts of therapy to correct these behaviors from continuing from generation to generation. This also connects with the theory of traditional family development. This theory deals with “structural functional, psychoanalytic, social learning, social exchange and human development theories” (Schriver, 2011), which describes the family structure and behaviors in the home are projected during socialization. The behaviors that are acceptable in the household become a normal and are projected onto others. “Another of the consistent explanations proffered for child maltreatment is that individuals who have experienced violent and abusive childhoods are more likely to grow up to become child and spouse abusers than individuals who experienced little or no violence in their childhood years. Social learning theory suggests that child abuse is learned behavior. Violence in one's family of orientation is seen as predictive of violence in one's family of procreation” (Parke and Collmer, 1975). Continued abuse throughout generation is evidence based that abuse is learned and carried on if treatment is not sought or given through mandated orders.
Treatment Modalities /Techniques
According to Newberger (1983), “insufficient attention has been given in the child abuse literature to the theoretical construction of knowledge of the problem.” The inadequate care children are receiving in the home is affecting society as a whole. Abused children are more likely to shortfall in education, social skills and many other phases of life. Abused children defy authority due to the scarcity of structure in the home. The lack of resources for the family as a unit is cause for concern. Since abuse is believed to be a learned behavior, the unit as a whole is in need of tools to learn that the behavior that is currently being exhibited in the home is inappropriate but at the same time is correctable. With the proper help and understanding the individual family can change to a positive family dynamic together. The family unit must first have an intervention, someone to step in and acknowledge the happenings in the home. An important part of treatment is to arbitrate the severity of the abuse prior to engaging in a plan to correct or assist behaviors. The initial intervention should be able determine the severity of the case. Another important piece of treatment is to fully understand the...