How an Operant Conditioning Influences Child Development

Impact of Operant Conditioning on Development

Child development is closely associated with the way in which parents may condition them to develop favorable and appropriate behaviors throughout the period of growing up. Thus, operant conditioning, which was initially developed by B.F. Skinner, is implemented to change behaviors by using a system of rewards and punishments. By giving or taking away certain things, it is possible for parents to change the behaviors of their children. Such an approach has been widely used to condition children adhere to certain standards of behavior that are essential for their future life in a social environment, such as kindergarten, primary school, high school, college, and further. It is important to study the impact of operant conditioning on parenting success in terms of helping children develop appropriate behaviors. Even though there may be a difference in the way that operant conditioning influences child development, it can be hypothesized that operant condition has a positive influence on parenting success in the long run.

Annotated Bibliography

Altman, K., & Linton, T. (2014). Operant conditioning in the classroom setting: A review of the research. The Journal of Educational Research, 64(6), 277-286. 

The study by Altman and Linton (2014) explores operant conditioning implementation within the educational context of a classroom setting. The study is important for the understanding of operant conditioning because it sets to accomplish multiple goals. First, the scholars aimed to summarize the available studies associated with applied behavioral analysis that could be relevant for public school classrooms as well as discuss important issues and consideration associated with applied behavioral analysis in the classroom context. Operant conditioning bears relevance for a variety of processes in the classroom, such as issues associated with obtaining teacher cooperation, reliable and valid measurement, as well as the confirmation of stimulus control.

De Meyer, H., Beckers, T., Tripp, G., & van der Oord, S. (2019). Reinforcement contingency learning in children with ADHD: Back to the basics of behavior therapy. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 1889-1902. 

The research by De Meyer et al. (2019) focuses on investigating operant conditioning methodologies within the context of child development among individuals with ADHD. The study is relevant to the chosen research topic because it illustrates the notion of operant conditioning as a relevant and useful tool for behavior management and treatment. According to the scholars, behaviors that have been acquired under partial reinforcements are less readily extinguished after the discontinuation of reinforcements compared to behaviors acquired with the help of continuous reinforcements. Considering the impact of operant conditioning in modifying the behaviors of children with ADHD, the application of the method to individuals without behavioral problems has great potential. Overall, the wide use of operant condition among children with different levels of development points to the increased possibility of using the method in parenting when condition children to adhere to certain behaviors that are deemed socially acceptable and expected from children of certain ages.

Law, B., Siu, A., & Shek, D. (2012). Recognition for positive behavior as a critical youth development construct: Conceptual bases and implications on youth service development. The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1-7. 

The research article by Law, Siu, and Shek (2012) studies the impact of recognition for encouraging positive behaviors in the youth. According to the scholars, recognition for positive behavior is an operant condition approach that implies and appropriate response within the social environment that may elicit desirable external behaviors in young people. Positive responses, which can be rendered from various social systems, include both tangible and intangible reinforcements. The researchers applied such theories as operant conditioning, self-determination, and observational learning as explanations for the need to recognize positive behaviors in young people. In the context of adolescent development, the recognition of positive behaviors is essential because it has shown to promote the formation of young people’s identity while also cultivating moral reasoning and the perspective of social thinking.

Pelaez, M., & Monlux, K. (2017). Operant conditioning methodologies to investigate infant learning. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(1), 1-30. 

Research by Pelaez and Monlux (2017) describes the methodologies of operant conditioning that have shown to be very important in enhancing the understanding of processes occurring during infant learning. The researchers discuss a vast variety of processes and assessments which provide useful data about child learning at pre- and postnatal, neonatal, and infant stages of development. Such procedures are connected with the preferences of children regarding auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic stimulation. The article is useful for current research because it provides an overview of operant conditioning use in human infants, including the study of infant responses, reinforcement schedules, the immediacy and efficacy of reinforcement, infant vocal conditioning, and other phenomena related to operant conditioning in infants. Overall, the range of procedures described by Pelaez and Monlux (2017) yield important information about the social learning, memory, and perception of infants that can be used to facilitate operant conditioning in children.

Sturdy, C. B., & Nicoladis, E. (2017). How much of language acquisition does operant conditioning explain? Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1918. 

The research by Sturdy and Nicoladis (2017) explores operant conditioning as related to language acquisition. The scholars focus on studies conducted on the topic of language learning and development among infants and toddlers for illustrating whether operant conditioning could be used as a mechanism of learning. They argue that the acquisition of language should initially rule out operant conditioning before invoking the alternative mechanisms pertinent to learning. While there is a possibility that operant conditioning does not explain all language acquisition, simple mechanisms of learning that work across a wide range of contexts can have exploratory power. The study is relevant to current research as it shows that operant condition could be used by parents when facilitating children’s language acquisition.

References

Altman, K., & Linton, T. (2014). Operant conditioning in the classroom setting: A review of the research. The Journal of Educational Research, 64(6), 277-286. Web.

De Meyer, H., Beckers, T., Tripp, G., & van der Oord, S. (2019). Reinforcement contingency learning in children with ADHD: Back to the basics of behavior therapy. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47, 1889-1902. Web.

Law, B., Siu, A., & Shek, D. (2012). Recognition for positive behavior as a critical youth development construct: Conceptual bases and implications on youth service development. The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1-7.

Pelaez, M., & Monlux, K. (2017). Operant conditioning methodologies to investigate infant learning. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(1), 1-30.

Sturdy, C. B., & Nicoladis, E. (2017). How much of language acquisition does operant conditioning explain? Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1918.