Discussion Topic

In this unit’s Discussions, you will work to integrate developmental theory to practice by exploring typical adolescent development and the issues faced by them.

Read the scenario below and use your understanding of adolescent social, cultural, and cognitive development to respond to the questions. Try to evaluate the main problem in the scenario and then use any of the theories or concepts from your Reading to support your response. Be sure you have read the article by Dahl before responding to this Discussion Board.

Scenario: Manny

You work as a psychologist in an outreach program within your community. Your new client, Manny, is a 14-year-old Hispanic male who lives with his grandmother in a two-room apartment in a poor section of the city. He is physically small for his age and seems to struggle with academic skills (he is functionally illiterate according to the intake assessor). His grandmother recently found out Manny had been drinking beer with other teenagers at a local park. Manny is also known as a “risk taker” and enjoys showing off, particularly in front of his friends. When asked about his behavior, he simply looks at his shoes and shrugs. In fact, he really does not provide much information about anything, which you know is typical of most adolescents. You notice that Manny does become animated when you ask about his grandmother, music, and cars.

In this session, he finally tells you more about himself and his troubles. He tells you that he has not attended his classes at the high school (he is a freshman) in over 2 weeks. Now, he is afraid to return because he thinks that he will be in trouble and that they may not allow him to return. He says that he realizes that getting an education will help him to leave his neighborhood someday for a better life. In addition, he expresses his concern about his current friend group and is worried that they all may get into serious trouble eventually.

  1. Given what you know about adolescent development, assess Manny’s main problems. Predict which of the problems might worsen without proper intervention and support your ideas using the concepts/theories from the Reading.
  2. Create a short dialogue of what you would say to Manny to help him to identify his core issues. Then, guide him towards understanding the core issues, focusing on how his biological development might be interfering with his social development.