chapter  26
Social Learning Theory
An Emphasis on Modeling in Parent-Child Relationships
ByAlesia Woszidlo, Adrianne Kunkel
Pages 10

Social learning theory (SLT) explains the process by which individuals learn behaviors through observation of their external environments and provides a useful framework for the study of communication within the family. This chapter presents the intellectual tradition of SLT, including its history and meta-theoretical underpinnings. In addition, it identifies the main goals and features of SLT, along with how communication, particularly within families, is conceptualized in SLT. Further, it offers some contemporary research that utilizes SLT, as well as some practical applications. The chapter also provides a critique and evaluation of SLT, acknowledging both its strengths and limitations. SLT posits that behavior is learned or cognitively processed before it is performed, and it is through observation that such learning takes place. The chapter focuses on practical applications of SLT with regard to the parent-child relationship and communication skills, psychosocial problems, and interpersonal violence.