Psychology-Institutional Aggression

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Outline and Evaluate explanations of Institutional Aggression. Institutional Aggression can be defined as aggressive behaviour that occurs within an institution and is motivated by social forces, rather than anger or frustration. An institution usually refers to an organisation or place of confinement with its own social roles where behaviour is formally restricted and under the control of specific staff; for example, prisons, hospitals, army camps and boarding schools. The ‘importation model’ proposed by Irwin and Cressey (1962) claims that prisoners bring their own social histories and traits with them into prison, and this influences their adaptation to the prison environment, Irwin and Cressey argue that prisoners are not ‘blank…show more content…
Levels of deprivation remain fairly constant in many institutions and yet violence can erupt suddenly, for seemingly little reason. The deprivation model also doesn’t take into account gender differences. Scholars have reported that female offenders develop stronger bonds with their other members of their social groups rather than identify with the prisoner subculture, and thus explanations for female aggression in prisons may be qualitatively different from those for male inmates. Richards (2007) examined inmate-on-staff and inmate-on-inmate assaults in some 900 US state prisons operating from 1984 to 1995. Some inmate programmes increased mean rates of assaults in prisons, while others decreased levels of violence, suggesting that it is indeed the particular characteristics of the prison institution itself that account for the violence. In addition, frequent changes in governors and administrators of state prison systems increased mean rates of staff assaults. All this evidence provides support for the deprivation model. However, this study only addresses prison environments and cannot be generalised to other institutions such as hospitals. It is also a correlational study and therefore it is impossible to distinguish cause and
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