Social Learning Theory and Family Psychopathology

A Kantian Model in Behaviorism?
  • Elizabeth A. Robinson
  • Neil S. Jacobson
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


The foundation of social learning lies in diverse fields: social psychology (Ho-mans, 1961; Thibaut and Kelley, 1959); psychiatry (Sullivan, 1965); and experimental psychology (Skinner, 1957). The superstructure of a cogent theory, however, can be attributed to Bandura (e.g., Bandura, 1969, 1977; Bandura & Walters, 1963). His theoretical work, derived from modeling and aggression studies, was primarily concerned with normal behavior. The challenge of developing social learning as a framework for understanding psychopathology was left to researchers such as Patterson (1969; Patterson & Reid, 1973), Weiss (Weiss, Hops, & Patterson, 1973), and Wahler (1980; Wahler, House, & Stambaugh, 1976), among others. These psychologists built on a methodological groundwork laid by operant behaviorists, including Azrin, Stuart, Goldiamond, Krasner, Ullman, and others who had been applying learning principles to “problems in living.” The result was a stimulation of interest in applied research with troubled families in the 1960s and 1970s that was to have a profound impact on the treatment of both childhood disorders and marital dysfunction.


Social Learning Marital Satisfaction Negative Behavior Marital Conflict Social Learning Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Robinson
    • 1
  • Neil S. Jacobson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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