Social Learning Influences: Modelling, Instructions, Consequences

  • Trevor G. MazzucchelliEmail author


There are many influences on children’s behavior, but the influence of parents, regardless of gender, culture, socioeconomic grouping, race, or religion, is pervasive, continues throughout successive stages of a child’s development, and is modifiable. This chapter describes the learning processes that can explain how the interactions between parents and their children shape the course and direction of a child’s development. Evidence linking these processes to three major aspects of children’s development are outlined—disruptive and antisocial behavior, anxiety, and prosocial behavior. The strengths and limitations of this work, as well as directions for future research, are discussed. Finally, implications for policy and practice are noted. It is concluded that parenting interventions based on social learning principles not only provide evidence of the operation of these processes but also hold great promise for a population-level improvement in the well-being of children and families.


Antisocial behavior Anxiety Disruptive behavior Evidence-based parenting support Operant learning Parenting Parent training Prosocial behavior Respondent learning Social cognitive theory Social learning theory Vicarious learning Well-being 



The Parenting and Family Support Centre is partly funded by royalties stemming from published resources of the Triple P—Positive Parenting Program, which is developed and owned by the University of Queensland. Royalties from the program are also distributed to the Faculty of Health and Behavioral Sciences at UQ and contributory authors of Triple P programs. Triple P International (TPI) Pty Ltd. is a private company licensed by UniQuest Pty Ltd., a commercialization company of UQ, to publish and disseminate Triple P worldwide. The authors of this chapter have no share or ownership of TPI. Dr. Mazzucchelli receives royalties and consultancy fees from TPI. TPI had no involvement in the writing of this chapter.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Parenting and Family Support Centre, School of PsychologyThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

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