I’m not going to use this as a long reflection about restraint but just to throw a few reflections about the use of restraint in residential care settings, having in consideration the basic concepts about how people learn under the Social Learning Theory. I’m not, at least here, going to discuss other impacts of the use of restraint.
The Social Learning Theory tell us that people learning by observation. Going back to one of the experiments that supported this theory, Bandura demonstrated that children learn and imitate behaviours they have observed in other people. The children in Bandura’s studies observed an adult acting violently toward a Bobo doll. When the children were later allowed to play in a room with the Bobo doll, they began to imitate the aggressive actions they had previously observed.
Obviously there are other factors involved, and this will never be a cause-effect relationship, but based on this, isn’t possible to say that, potential aggressive behaviour being displayed by children and young people might have as origin (or be promoted by) the use of restraint with them?
There are, obviously other aspects to have in consideration (mental states, potential reinforcements of future behaviours and so on), but could the professionals working in settings that use restraint, being the ones promoting future aggressive behaviours, without even considering the role they have on this?