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The Dilemma That Exists - Case Study Example

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Matt’s mother feels that the child should be brought up in the most natural way just like she was brought up during her early age. Her argument is that her seven year old child should take up his responsibilities without necessarily being rewarded for doing what he is supposed to do. …
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The Dilemma That Exists
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Case Scenario College: The Dilemma That Exists In this scenario, Matt’s mother feels that the child should be brought up in the most natural way just like she was brought up during her early age. Her argument is that her seven year old child should take up his responsibilities without necessarily being rewarded for doing what he is supposed to do. On the other hand, the psychological approach is that behaviorism principles be applied to help the child learn to distinguish right and wrong behavior by rewarding the child’s positive behaviors (Bailey and Burch, 2013). While it is right to reward a child’s behavior, it is more appropriate if the child learns to take up their responsibilities without necessarily expecting a reward. The dilemma that exists is that there is a conflict on whether to use the Matt’s mother’s intuition or to apply a psychological approach in helping the child to appreciate their duty of doing homework or even using respectful language. According to McNamara’s decision making model, if there exists a situational dilemma it is important to identify the basis of the conflict while choosing the right path to take on the situation (McNamara, 2008). The Basis of the Conflict A keen look at the scenario shows that there exists a conflict of interest between Matt’s mother and the welfare of the child in the child orientation program. The mothers wish is that the child learns to respect people, do its homework and doing his chores in the same manner that she learnt without necessarily receiving tokens for doing what they are supposed to do. On the other hand, there is an obligation to change the child’s attitude towards their roles and the end objective is to turn them into a responsible person. The mother suggests that the child be punished for the wrong actions rather than be only rewarded for doing what in her opinion should be done by any responsible child. McNamara (2008) provides that the role of a psychologist is to protect the interests of all the parties that are entangled in a dilemma without sacrificing the primary objective of the therapy program. In this scenario, the therapist would require to achieve the objective of transforming the child’s behavior without hurting the feeling of the mother about child appraisal. By upholding the Matt’s mother’s opinion, it would be satisfactory for her but at the end the reform process is likely to be ineffective. Consequently, the psychologist has a role to consider the best course of action that would resolve the dilemma effectively by harmonizing the interests of their client. Available Courses of Action After identifying the basis of conflict resulting to the ethical dilemma, McNamara (2008) recommends that the psychologist be able to plot the possible paths that they could use in resolving the dilemma. One of the possible actions that a therapist in this situation would take is to give the mother a go ahead in withdrawing the rewards that she had used to entice Matt and instead resort to punishment when the child does wrong. Going by this, the child would learn to associate wrong behavior with punishment and may at the end of it drop such behaviors. The danger with this method is that the child might develop a negative attitude towards the parent and to her homework which might affect their academic performance. Another option would be to disclose to the parent the essence of rewarding good behavior in encouraging a child and helping them to improve its relationship with the parent. The danger of this would be that the parent may be more likely to overwhelmed by her feeling to bring up her child naturally and the consequently the risk of withdrawing from the therapy program. This may have a negative impact on the child’s interest given that the priority of a therapist is to solve the primary problem of rehabilitating the child. Lastly, another path to take would be to provide harmonize the mother's idea with the behavioristic approach recommending the application of both punishments for wrong behavior and reward for positive behavior. In this case, Matt’s mother may be satisfied by the partial adopting of her intuition and is likely to respond to positively to such a procedure. Course of Action and Outcome Evaluation The best course of action in this scenario would be to harmonize the two methods of child rehabilitation by allowing the parent to discipline the child for its wrong behaviors and reward them for responsible behavior. The expected outcome of this course of action is that Matt would learn to associate the wrong behavior with punishment and the right behavior with a reward, which is likely to encourage him to be responsible. Consequently, the action would achieve the primary goal of rehabilitating the child through an affirmative reform process. The possible negative impact of this course of action would be the kind of attitude that is likely to be impacted on the child especially if the mother inflicts severe punishment on the child wherever they wrong, which would be a hindrance to the primary objective of therapy plan. To ameliorate the negative impact of this course of action, I would make Matt’s mother aware of the dangers of excessive punishment. Also, like Bailey and Burch (2013) points out, it would be necessary to start a re-evaluation program to check the success of this course of action after every one week by obtaining feedback from Matt’s mother on the progress. Consequently, it would be possible to modify the therapy program depending on the response of the child behavior to the rehabilitation scheme. References Bailey, J. and Burch, M., (2013). Ethics for Behavior Analysts. UK, London: Taylor & Francis. McNamara, K. (2008). Best practices in the application of professional ethics: Best Practices in School Psychology. National Association of School Psychologists. Retrieved from: <>Read More
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