Even though Asma and Lia are sisters, they cope differently with their parents’ separation and contemplation of divorce. Asma, who is a junior in high-school shares her feeling with others while Lia, who is in the fourth grade in elementary school is uncomfortable talking to others and spend most of her free time alone in her bedroom. The main theories of social psychology explain why both sisters react differently to their parents’ separation.The different reaction is first explained by the Social Cognitive Theory which states that cognitions are thoughts that people have which are influenced by emotion, interpretation and memory of an event.
Accordingly, Asma must have been exposed to a world of communication and letting out her feelings without fear in her early childhood. She successfully developed an impression about what she should do when she is under stress. Asma’s behavior shows that her early socialization involved witnessing and mentally recording in her brain how to react towards problems.
On the other hand, Lia must have experienced a series of feeling suppressions and was not offered means to understand and relief of her worries. She might have seen her parents arguing or fighting and her fears from this situation were never cleared or released. Lia developed a schema that she should hold her feelings down as she is retrieving from her brain what is suitable according to her past experience.Second the Social Learning Theory explains the different reaction. The social learning theory states that we do what we are rewarded by others to do and we engage in behavior that we notice others being rewarded for performing. It seems that Asma has been encouraged and rewarded by others especially by her parents when she let out her feelings whereas Lia never got this response.
Most probably she was discouraged and never allowed to express her feeling freely.Third the Sociocultural Theory pays more attention to macro sociological phenomena and what people, culture and social institutions in society consider desirable and good. Accordingly, Asma developed a behavior of social interaction due to her environment such as school, friends, books, T.V. programs, etc.
.., which emphasizes the importance of communication and problem discussion.
On the other hand, Lia developed her anti-social behavior and prefers to keep her feelings to herself due to her environment which does not encourage communication and problem discussion.Both parents must be more involved with their girls to help them cope with their divorce. In the case of Asma, she must be encouraged and rewarded to express her opinions and feelings with both of her parents in addition to her school guidance counselor. She also should be encouraged to more social interactions and the joining of the support group after school. On the other hand, Lia should be given much more attention as to slowly engage in expressing her feelings and emotions concerning her parents’ divorce. This could be achieved by continuously encouraging and rewarding her let out of emotions.
She should also be exposed to different environments where people appreciate and encourage free discussion and social interaction such as reading books and watching T.V. programs encouraging speaking out of own feelings and expressions.