Social Cognitive Theory-Nursing Paper Examples


Roman, C. G., Cahill, M., & Mayes, L. R. (2021). Changes in Personal Social Networks Across Individuals Leaving Their Street Gang: Just What Are Youth Leaving Behind? Social Sciences10(2), 39. (Social Cognitive Theory).

Social Cognitive Theory
Social Cognitive Theory

The study investigates the association between changes in personal networks with gang disengagement and desistance. It found that those who abandoned gangs exhibited positive behavioral changes, with most individuals developing prosocial relationships (Roman et al., 2021). However, the study found few changes among individuals who left but continued engaging with the gangs. The study is based on the social-cognitive theory proposed by Albert Bandura, which suggests that individuals engage in a particular behavior through learning.

Johnston et al. (2019) explain that the theory can be used to explain criminal behaviors since an individual’s environment is crucial in teaching and reinforcing antisocial behaviors. Therefore, the theory explains the gang membership assistance and engagement identified in the study, whereby some gang members disengage from gangs by associating with individuals who are not criminals (Roman et al., 2021). The new environment enabled the gang members to reinforce prosocial skills. On the other hand, those who left the gangs but maintained the connection still depicted criminal behaviors.

Summary (Social Cognitive Theory)

The research article meets the evaluation criteria for primary sources since it is peer-reviewed and was authored by expert researchers in the field of psychology. Furthermore, it was published in a reliable Journal of Social Sciences journal. The authors analyzed and reported data collected first-hand through longitudinal surveys and interviews of 228 street gang members in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia between June 2013 to June 2015 (Roman et al., 2021) (Social Cognitive Theory).

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Besides, the data collected in the study was original and required interpretation. Based on historical context, the article is descriptive since it elaborates on antisocial behavior associated with gang engagement and resistance. The study is conclusive since it answers a specific research question ‘What is the impact of personal social network composition and engagement or desistance from gang membership?’ However, the source has shortcomings, such as potential bias in the interview responses. 


Johnston, T. M., Brezina, T., & Crank, B. R. (2019). Agency, self-efficacy, and desistance from crime: an application of social cognitive theory. Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminologypp. 5, 60–85.

Roman, C. G., Cahill, M., & Mayes, L. R. (2021). Changes in Personal Social Networks Across Individuals Leaving Their Street Gang: Just What Are Youth Leaving Behind? Social Sciences10(2), 39.

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