Posted: September 17th, 2015
In this assignment you are asked to prepare a written theoretical analysis of the attached vignette.
Your paper should address the following:
1) Describe the major biological (including neurobiological), psychological, social, and developmental factors that should be considered in an assessment of the case.
2) Apply at least 3 dynamic systems theory concepts/terms that are helpful in assessing the case. Place each concept in bold-face type.
3) Apply at least 3 concepts/terms from the ecological perspective that are helpful in assessing the case. Place each concept in bold-face type.
4) Discuss at least 1 strength and 1 limitation of each of the theories (ie, dynamic systems and ecological) for understanding this particular case. Avoid a general discussion of strengths and weaknesses.
Emma is a 7-year old European-American girl from a middle class, two-parent family. She was born full-term and has met all of her early developmental milestones. Her pediatrician referred Emma to your family services agency following a recent well-child appointment. During the medical visit, Emma’s mother reported concern over Emma’s increasing behavioral problems, such as frequent tantrums, yelling, talking back, throwing things when angry or frustrated, and “baby-like” behavior. She is afraid that these issues are tied to sexual abuse that Emma suffered in preschool at the hands of a school staff member. Recently, the Department of Social Services case worker has contacted the family to let them know that the perpetrator’s case is being re-opened due to another child’s report of abuse.
When Emma started kindergarten, she disclosed the abuse to her mother, who reported it immediately. At that time, Emma and her mother participated in psychotherapy. Emma’s father did not believe her “story” and attended the family sessions sporadically. Since her husband “refused to face the truth”, Emma’s mother also sought emotional and spiritual support from their pastor.
Emma’s mother indicates that she and her husband are in the midst of a bitter divorce and custody battle. At the urging of their pastor, the couple did try to salvage their marriage, but several years of marital problems have taken their toll. Besides this, Emma is significantly behind academically. She has a difficult time paying attention, staying on task, sitting still, and regulating her emotion. When not upset, Emma is pleasant and kind; however, she has limited play with the other children. The teacher at Emma’s parochial school has requested a meeting with Emma’s parents, as she is very concerned that Emma is not on target at this time to advance to the 3rd grade.
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