Human Behavior and the Social Environment I

Summary of the Case I am Using

The case I will be using for my final project is about a 14-year old girl named Dalia who is the last born child in a family of five, of whom two children have already moved out making her the only child at home. The parents, who have Irish and African origins, are both working and therefore have limited time to take care of Dalia. She describes the family has a tense relationship. According to her, she gets excess freedom from her father while her mother gives her excess restrictions. She also enjoys a warm relationship with her brother but admits that they are not in the best terms with her sister. Despite being a good girl until middle school, Dalia’s character has suddenly changed, and both her parents and the school have noticed. The school has recommended that the family seeks counseling from the social worker and so I will be helping them solve their issues. To identify the presenting problems and help the family to develop the right goals, I assessed to learn more about the family and their social environment and how the issue of racism and ethnocentrism affects their relationship, which will help me deliver an appropriate intervention. 

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The presenting problems.

In the assessment, I realized that the problem that finally motivated her parents to seek professional help was the fact that Dalia’s school also raised a concern about Dalia’s behavior. The school was concerned that Dalia had developed a behavior of arguing with persons in authority, engaged in physical altercations with her peers, concentrated poorly in class, had an irritable mood, and always reacted with verbal combat whenever she was confronted about her changing behavior. The school also reported that that Dalia had missed school severally with no justified reason and that her sexual conduct with male peers was also escalating. Dalia’s parents had also noted similar behaviors at school, including being more argumentative, highly irritable, and physically threatening. Besides, Dalia had hardly slept at night but would spend almost the entire sleeping. They also noted that she had drunk alcohol in their home with her friends. Moreover, Dalia had become extremely impulsive and was developing no interest in engaging in extracurricular activities claiming that the events were “corny and boring.”    

Goals of the client

The main goal for Dalia’s parents, who are the client in this case, is to get the best quality of treatment for their daughter and assist her in improving her behavior. The parents sought the help of a counselor to help her improve her behavior. They intend to help her improve her relations with the parents, the school, the authority, and also her peers. They also aim to assist her control her sexual behaviors and even her drinking habit. It is also the wish of Dalia’s parents that she stops being argumentative and changes her irritable attitude. The parents also intend to help Dalia to focus on her studies and spending her time wisely. As a result, by spending her time wisely, Dalia may reconsider changing her attitude towards engaging in extracurricular activities from where she can raise her self-esteem and even learn life skills such as time management, problem-solving and prioritization. The next goal would be to help the parents identify where they failed in their parental responsibilities. The parents need to learn how to be there for Dalia and attend to her needs to help heal the differences between them since she feels like her parents are too busy to attend to her parental responsibilities. The parent’s lack of time with Dalia is evident even during the therapy session where they can only attend occasionally due to their busy schedules.

Peer-reviewed article

I intend to use a peer-reviewed article with the title “Practice-Based Evidence for Children and Adolescents: Advancing the Research Agenda in Schools.” The article is about recommendations made by the American Psychological Association Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice for Children and Adolescents. The task force suggested a systems approach which would help to improve care and promote the results for children with mental needs and also redress the frequent occurrence of problems within the structure of service (Kratochwill., 2012). The article contains several methods of discovering the source of a problem within a system, how to develop goals for individual persons, several intervention methods, and to determine a treatment plan for different cases. It will, therefore, be of great importance to me in finding an intervention plan in the case of Dalia.

Ethnocentrism and Racism

The issue of ethnocentrism is likely to influence the case since Dalia’s parents are Americans but with African and Irish origins. As a result, one parent may feel like the culture of the other parent is inferior and is impacting negatively on the behavior of Dalia. During the session, the parents engage in an argument whereby they trade blames for the ill-manners of Dalia. Individual parents are likely to feel like they are better than the other parent for reasons that are based on their heritage only.  

ReferenceKratochwill, T. R., Hoagwood, K. E., Kazak, A. E., Weisz, J. R., Hood, K., Vargas, L. A., & Banez, G. A. (2012). Practice-Based Evidence for Children and Adolescents: Advancing the Research Agenda in Schools. School Psychology Review, 41(2), 215–235.

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