Theories on Criminal Behavior Case Study by Quality Writers

Theories on Criminal Behavior
A case study on criminal behavior that applies R.L. Aker's social learning theory and the general strain theory on criminal behavior.
# 100331 | 2,079 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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This paper presents a case study of a sixteen-year old girl who, along with two friends, has been charged with assault and fraud. The paper discusses Aker's social learning theory which operates on seven basic principles to explain criminal behavior and explores these principles. The paper then analyzes the general strain theory (GST) on criminal behavior. Finally, the paper integrates the theories and discusses how they apply to the case study.

Table of Contents:
Introduction: Joyce's Story
Theory Evaluation # 1 - Aker's Social Learning Theory
Theory Evaluation #2 - General Strain Theory
Theory Integration
Conclusion: Policy/Practice Implications

From the Paper:

"The theories work somewhat in addressing weaknesses in their complement. Aker's theory that criminal behavior is learned is refuted by research demonstrating that delinquent behavior proceeds criminal social attachments. GST would state this is because the cause of criminal behavior is emotional and is therefore the result of the individual, not the individual's peers (though this emotion is spurred by outside forces). GST's emphasis on emotive responses also explains why some crimes are not committed for material benefit - a factor Aker credits as instrumental in the crime process. GST's failure to acknowledge the higher proportion of male crimes (as compared to crimes committed by females) may be accounted for in Aker's theory of social learning and material benefit, but not enough research has been done on the topic to confirm this. Also, the simplicity implicit in GST and its inability to adequately distinguish between types of strain may be explained using Aker's Social Learning Theory. Perhaps some strains are linked to delinquency when there is an obvious benefit, and types strain not linked with crime may produce not obvious advantage for the individual."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Agnew, R. "An Overview of General Strain Theory." In Paternoster, R. & Bachman, R. (ed.'s) Explaining Criminals and Crime. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Publishing Co., pp. 161-174.
  • Akers, R. L. (2001). "Social Learning Theory". In Paternoster, R. & Bachman, R. (ed.'s) Explaining Criminals and Crime. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury Publishing Co., pp. 192-210.

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

Theories on Criminal Behavior (2007, December 25) Retrieved August 20, 2017, from

MLA Format

"Theories on Criminal Behavior" 25 December 2007. Web. 20 August. 2017. <>