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Understanding and assisting Megan Griffiths - Case Study Example

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The goal of the paper “Understanding and assisting Megan Griffiths” is reached by researching, evaluating and choosing the most appropriate theory, model approaches or perspectives of human growth and development. The writer has selected the work of Piaget as the model for understanding Ms. Griffith’s…
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Understanding and assisting Megan Griffiths
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Download file to see previous pages Megan Griffiths is a 27 year old single parent who has 4 children. She has had four different boyfriends since she was aged 13 and has been living on her own since she was 16 years old. Megan’s first daughter, Jane was in foster care from birth until the time her mom reached the age of 16.
Understanding the situation Megan is in may be easier with some knowledge of the developmental stages that occur during adolescence. It seems that, because her first pregnancies occurred during her teen-age years, one must first have a solid understanding of the state she was in at that time. Along with looking at the actual information provided by Megan herself, the literature can provide a good framework for case planning.
Pierno (1995, p-1) has provided some excellent information in her work on adolescent pregnancy. She points out that Freud’s concept of adolescence as a time “fraught with struggle…a time when the ego is torn between the strong impulses of the id and the restrictions of the super ego. This conflict makes adolescence a time of tremendous stress and turmoil. She goes on to contrast Freud’s theories of psychosexual development to Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory which takes a broader view of the factors impacting human development.
Erikson proposes that all people face a series of developmental tasks but he does not see individuals getting ‘stuck’ in a phase, as Freud believed. Erikson’s theory is that people will rework old issues in the context of certain tasks and then move on.
In Megan's situation, having had a total of four children she seems to have initiated the process of 'moving on' by accessing help for a depression that was diagnosed when she was fifteen years old. There appears to have been significant progress in this area in that she accessed training as a nursery nurse and is working part time in a children's play group and nursery. However further research and reflection have led this writer to conclude that Piaget's theory is the most appropriate model for understanding Megan's situation.
Piaget's theories about cognitive development (3) through adolescence involve ".movement from concrete to abstract thinking and a decrease in egocentric thought." Pierno (1995, pp. 2-3) points out that "The acquisition of formal reasoning skills allows older adolescents (about age 15) to think about many possible outcomes that do not exist now.An adolescent with formal reasoning skills (with appropriate guidance) could try to think through the full implications of parenting a newborn."
Risk taking, part of the normal behavioral development as seen to occur during adolescence may have been the basis for Megan becoming sexually active in her early teens. This is a time when young people typically work at finding ways to "shape their identities, try out new decision making skills, develop realistic assessments of themselves and gain peer acceptance and respect (Ponton, l997; Jesser (1991)" (1995 p-3)
Pierno points out that "unfortunately, some of the risks that adolescents pursue may pose a real threat to their health and well being. These include motor vehicle accidents, pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse and cigarette smoking."

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