THEORY APPLICATION 7
Christina S. Washington
Running head: THEORY APPLICATION 1
In the movie, Joe the King, Joe is an adolescent who (to the outside world) would be classified as a juvenile delinquent who needs to be punished and put in a juvenile detention center with other adolescents like himself. However, to professionals in social work, psychology and other fields relating to the study of humans, they would see Joe as a misguided, neglected confused boy who had to take care of himself and his family in order to survive. Joe’s family and social environment were dysfunctional, which were factors that caused him to exhibit criminal behavior. Therefore, the scholar believes the combination of genetics and their environment influences human behavior.
According to Gottlieb (2000), most psychologists accept that both genes and environment are necessarily involved in all outcomes of individual development, thus the nature/nurture theory. Social workers can now apply this theory to other situations similar to Joe’s so they can assess the parents as well as their environment, such as their friends, teacher, and employers to get a better understanding of the child. The social workers can then provide the family resources in order to intervene and diminish the child’s behavior until it is completely eliminated. However, according to Perry & Szalavitz (2017), the earlier the trauma starts, the more difficult it is to treat and the greater the damage is likely to be. The scholar does not know how long Joe has been dealing with his traumatic experiences at home but from what she has observed, she has concluded that not only does Joe need these resources (such as therapy), the parents do as well so they can learn how to be a functional family and to end the generation cycle of conflict, neglect and abuse.
As the scholar mentioned in her previous assignment, she works with individuals with mental health and a few of her clients have had similar experiences to Joe’s and those clients ended up on either on drugs or in prison for criminal activity. For instance, the learner had a client named Alisha* who was addicted to drugs and had a criminal history of theft but she was also diagnosed with depression and schizophrenia. Growing up Alisha lived in a neighborhood filled with crime and her parents were just like Joe’s: the mother was always working and the father was not only an aggressive alcoholic but he also abused drugs and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and depression. Alisha’s parents neglected Alisha and her two sisters and even worse, the father sexually abused all three of his daughters while their mother was working but Alisha experienced most of the abuse because she was the oldest. When the children finally told their mom what happened, she immediately called the police and their father was put in prison. However, the effects of the abuse and the neglect from their mother had long lasting consequenc...