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David - 18 Year Old Boy Case Study

Essay by   •  October 22, 2013  •  Case Study  •  1,997 Words (8 Pages)  •  2,033 Views

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David is an 18 year old boy who has recently been admitted to a juvenile detention facility in Denton, Texas. Police reports indicate that he was arrested for trying to steal a car. He has also been charged with assaulting police officers at the time of the arrest.

David grew up in an upper middle class section of Denton. David's father, George, is the CEO of a small Law firm in Dallas, Texas, and his mother, Judy, is a Pediatrician who works for a large health care group. David has an older sister, Lucy, who is 20 years old. This is the first time the family has had any contact with law enforcement agencies.

When David was a small child, he seemed unable to restrain himself. He would run around the house, running into the walls and other objects, frequently breaking items or destroying his mother's figurines. These activities became more intense just after meals and when he was angry or disappointed. David did not have a very big attention span. He got bored with most activities that his mother had for him. When David was asleep he did not seem to stay asleep long. However, he would spend long hours playing computer games, and also enjoyed playing with the family dog, Spot. David entered a period of depression at the age of 13 when Spot died.

David's parents said that he has always been insecure about himself. When it came time to potty train David his parents said that it took him much longer than most, and his parents teased him about not being able to learn. According to the parents he continued this pattern until he was 10 years old. His sister on the other hand was much more precocious and he was not able to compete with her. This caused problems for him as well. Lucy would be on David's side when their parents were around but, behind their backs he said she teased him.

Judy took off work for the first three years of David's life. After that she returned back to work on a part-time basis and enrolled David in a local day care center. David seemed to be engaged in this environment and would look forward to his twice weekly visits. Before his fourth birthday, however, David grew ill and had to be withdrawn from the school for more than a month. Afterward, David seemed highly anxious about returning to the center. Indeed, each time he did go to the center, he was highly agitated; at the school's request, his parents withdrew him from the program. For the next year until he began school, Judy and George arranged their schedule so that one or the other of them was available to take care of him.

At the age of 6 years, David's parents enrolled him in a private school, and with the help of the school psychologist, David made a fairly smooth transition. David developed few friends at school; most children seemed annoyed by his high level of energy and incessant talking. In spite of his social isolation, however, David seemed to enjoy learning very much, and did well in school through the fourth grade. His IQ was tested and he scored a 130. He scored particularly high on verbal abilities, though much lower on mathematics.

Unfortunately, David did not get along with his fifth grade teacher, who was not tolerating to his ways. David's grades dropped dramatically, and since then, he has steadfastly refused to put forth an effort at school. Around this time, David began stealing small amounts of money from his mother's purse. When his mother confronted him about it, he denied it. He continued to steal the monies and after a while he did not conceal that he was doing so.

David entered puberty at the age of 13, and at that time, his mischievous behaviors became more destructive. He frequently got in fights with classmates, and would verbally assault teachers. He was suspended from school for graffiti he put on the school walls with obscenities. David would always try and tell his parents that he had no control over the things that he was doing. His parents would only discipline him by taking his computer away for a month. Even though David would be on punishment, both parents said that they would let him play his games while on punishment.

When David was in Middle school he started hanging out with boys that were much older than him. At this time his parents thought that he may have been smoking cigarettes and perhaps sniffing paint. Once again he was suspended from school for fighting with other children and threatening them. He is frequently truant from school, and his parents have caught him sneaking out of the house late at night.

After his arrest for trying to steal the car, David began to cry and told his parents that he felt badly for what he had done. He added that he was unable to control himself. When David entered the detention center for juveniles he was evaluated for psychiatric issues.

"In understanding risk, it is especially important to consider protective factors. Clearly, protective factors serve to buffer or protect young people who might otherwise be at greater risk. Just as risk factors can be thought of with respect to individual characteristics, family, community, and other contextual characteristics, so too are protective factors potentially present at each level. Individual protective factors include but are not limited to social skills and intelligence; familial factors include authoritative parenting and strong attachments between parents and children; community factors include accessible resources such as social and medical services and parks, as well as strong linkages between family and community. Prevention efforts that support and maximize protective factors while reducing risk factors are more likely to be successful" (McWhirter, 2013).

In David's case the intervention that will be used here will be Reality therapy and choice theory. Because David is a high risk youth and cannot seem to find the common bond between loving himself and others loving him. "Psychological problems are caused by lack of responsibility, the choice of behaviors, and toxic relationships (Glasser, 2001)."



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