Developmental theory has been important in virtually every branch of medicine and education. The psychoanalytic theories of Sigmund Freud were the foundation of psychiatry and still form a central core for much of modern psychiatric practice. These theories are less emphasized in modern clinical psychology, but the work of Freud, Erikson, Jung, and later psychody-namicists is still employed in many areas of psychotherapy.
The behavioristic theories have proved useful in the study of children's learning for educational purposes, and they have considerable relevance for social development. An example is seen in the area of media violence. Bandura's work and other research stemming from social learning theory has repeatedly demonstrated that children tend to imitate violent acts that they see in real life or depicted on television and in other media, particularly if the individuals who commit these acts are perceived as powerful or as rewarded for their actions. Although this is disputed, especially by the media, most authorities are in agreement that excessive exposure to televised violence leads to real-world violence, largely through the mechanisms described by social learning theorists. Social learning theory has contributed significantly to an understanding of such topics as school violence, gang violence, and violent crime.
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