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Social Learning Theory of Crime

Social learning theory of crime refers to a theoretical perspective of crime and criminal behavior, which blends ideas from psychological behaviorism with sociological traditions. In its contemporary form, the theory is associated with sociological criminologist Ronald Akers. His version identifies distinct learning mechanisms crucial to the explanation of both conformity and forms of nonconformity. A recent definition of the perspective offered by Akers and Gary F. Jensen (2006) defines social learning theory as

a general theory that offers an explanation of the acquisition, maintenance, and change in criminal and deviant behavior that embraces social, nonsocial, and cultural factors operating both to motivate and control criminal behavior and both to promote and undermine conformity. The basic proposition is that the same learning process in a context of ...

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