understand the behavior of children and youth a number of theories or schools of thought have emerged trying to explain the behavior of children. These include: the Biological model, developmental model, psychodynamic model, ecological model, behavioral model, social learning model and the applied behavior analysis (Bridge, 2002).
Each of these theories shares its own varying viewpoint on the understanding of human behavior. Each model offers a different outlook and offers a different tactic that tries to explain human behavior. This paper will try to do a comparison of all this theories and models in order to find any similarity or differences that the models may hold. The purpose of such a comparison is to enable one to understand in depth all the models. Below is a detailed discussion of each model and what it stands for.
The biological model is a theory that views human behaviour from an organic view point. This model takes a look at the biological aspects of the behaviour of an organism. Studies in this field are done in order to determine how biological aspects in organisms can influence behaviour. Such studies have been carried out on lab rats so as to see how certain biological factors such as neural, genetic and cellular aspects of human beings and how these aspects have influenced behaviour. The theory also looks at pathogens as the cause of disease in human beings and looks at some diseases that influence behaviour for example mental illnesses. This brings about cognitive defects in an individual’s life (Bridge, 2002).
This model mainly focuses on the development of a human being during their entire life span. These model focuses on how human beings how people have developed and behave in their everyday life. The model looks at how behaviour develops in a young child and looks at the learning and behavioral changes that occur in a human being as they continue to age and grow. The main focus of this is the moral, cognitive and social development of human beings (Bridge, 2002). Researchers have been making observations of how a child’s natural environment contributes to their development and how the child learns from the environment they are exposed to. The model looks at how the child develops behaviour from the environment they are exposed to.
This model views behaviour as a functional perspective and that it can be measured and observed. The model argues that behavioral predispositions are as a result of interaction of the human being with various stimuli and human behaviour is greatly influenced by the amount of pleasure or pain that the stimuli produces. One of the models under this theory is the classical conditioning which argues that for a behaviour to be created a human being must have interacted with a stimuli that creates that behaviour. The model argues that the human brain is not open to scrutiny but the main focus is on the behaviour-stimuli relationship which the theory argues can be measured (Bridge, 2002). A good example of this model is in the child’s ability to acquire a language.
This model takes a look at the study of the psychological factors that affect human behaviour. The main focus of this model is personalities. Every human being as they grow develops a personality that influences their behaviour. This model looks at the unconscious human thought process that greatly influences human behaviour. The development of personalities in this model is seen as an explanation into abnormalities in human behaviour. The model tries to show the relationship between conscious motivation and unconscious motivation in the human mind and how this two affect human behaviour (Gordon, 2000).
Social Learning Model:
This has become the most powerful theory that has tried to explain the learning process as well as behaviour in both children and adult human beings alike. The theory dispels the notion that the learning process requires direct reinforcement. This model advocates that human beings can learn and pick up behaviors from observing other people. This is referred to as the observational modeling. This model has effectively described a number of behaviors that are shown in children. This is because the theory advocates that it is possible for a human being especially children to learn from what they see other people do. Thus this directly affects their thought process as well as their behaviour (Frankl, 1984).
The Ecological Model:
This model tries to explain how the environment affects human behaviour. The theory looks at the interaction between human beings in their ecosystems and how they influence each other’s behaviour. The theory explains how the child’s environment affects their behaviour and their development (Gordon, 2000).
Applied behavior analysis Model:
This is one of the theories that support behaviour modification. The theory looks at the possibility of being able to direct and forecast human behaviour. This theory rejects the use of hypothetical situations and mainly focuses on the relationship that can be observed between a human being and his environment (Frankl, 1984). Researchers argue that by understanding the relationship between behaviour and the environment that human behaviour can be modified. The theory looks at the way that humans are able to familiarize themselves with new behavior.
Positive behaviour supports:
This model relies mainly on a human being-centered planning and support plan. It mainly encourages the use of positive approaches towards trying to change human behaviour. It is an extension of the applied behavioral analysis