PSY 7210 Case Study Analysis Adolescence to Emerging Adulthood

Case Study: Dean

PSY 7210

Unit Seven Assignment one

Industrial Organizational Psychology


The case study of a sixteen-year-old boy who struggles with his sexuality, his identity and peer pressure is only one of the factors in a developmental life span. There are many factors and theories for lifespan development, that can explain this scenario, however the developmental stage that will be discussed in this paper will be the theory of the growth maintained that in the developmental stages impact the development of ageing maintenance. This factor is what needs to be maintained for the development of an individual to develop healthy relationships and it starts in infancy that goes through adulthood and having a big impact on the development is the relationship the child has with his mother. As the mother is not to blame in these developmental stages, she is a primary influence as well as the primary security for the child that results in trust, feelings and other psychological aspects.

Presenting the Challenges and Primary Issues

As the lifespan, developmental theories cover many stages in the lifespan from infancy to adulthood, there are many challenges and issues as well that impact the developmental stages within the lifespan of an individual. In the unit case study of Dean , Dean’s presenting challenges include not having his biological mother in the home at his age, the theory on developmental stages are identity vs. role confusion (2015). This developmental stage the adolescent should be moving toward adulthood by making choices about values and vocational goals. The mother plays a big part in this stage as the mother continues to develop the relationship through trust, intimacy as well as parental approval. As this relationship begins when the child is developing their social and relationship skills this transpires throughout adolescences into adulthood that helps in the developmental stages of relationship and self-awareness.

Failure to accomplish the goals in the parent-child relationship will result in an inadequate attachment relationship that will impact relationship difficulties throughout life. With Dean’s mother, not being there to continue the relationship between mother and son, the absence of the mother can give Dean the sense of not being able to leave the other parents side for fear of inadequate independence that is important for him to explore his surrounding environment for opportunities. This will impact his intimacy relationships limiting him to explore options in relational and social development. As dean lacks this relationship with his mother can also be linked to his uncertainty of his sexual preference that is something that is mentioned from his peers, that if young men at his age does not show entrust in the opposite sex, they must be gay. However, the challenge with this is Dean does not know that by not having the reassurance in intimacy relationship with his mother he will develop these feelings later in life due to the uncertainty of how he is supposed to react or value an intimacy relationship with the opposite sex.

The primary issues Dean is facing is the confusion of his sexuality, not having the support needed from his parents for him to be successful in is school as well as having the reassurance that he does not need to make decisions that will impact his life. Among the primary issues, Dean is facing is his father reassuring him all he is required to do is graduate, and he will have a job in the family business. This is preventing him to develop competence he will need to explore and learn about the world of opportunities. This will result in his inability in setting lifelong goals in adulthood that will also impact his ability to make and keep healthy adult relationships, that will lead to maladjustment in attachment developmental issues.

Lifespan Development Theory Explaining Presenting Challenges

The appropriate lifespan developmental theory and research based alternatives that explain the presenting challenges for this unit case study, is the developmental issues that present the growth maintenance theory. This issue which is mainly influenced by nurture, the changing in the individual’s stability that alters the growth stage of the individual. This issue focuses on the extent to which development involves gradual, cumulative change or distinct stages. The growth maintenance theory, individuals respond to and act on contexts including the biological makeup of their physical environment, cognitive processes, and social historical as well as cultural context. As the lifespan development involves the growth, maintenance, and regulation of loss into the stages of life span . The developmental stages deal with changes across the age span, it studies the increasing competence that occurs initially with age and declines in function later in age .

The Impact of Individual and Cultural Differences on Development

The potential impact of the cultural differences in Dean’s case for the developmental current age, and situation is the age and time in which he is developing in. This day and time the social norm is to haveinsincere sex with different partners, as sexuality plays a big part of the developmental stage for his age.This compared to when his parents were developing in a different era that meant having a partner meant they were developing into a responsible adult. Taking care of a family would help the developmental stage take a path that was looked at to be more positive,and thought to be a responsible adult than it does in today’s time. The difference between the cultural of his parent’s era and Dean’s era; his father believes that once Dean meets the right girl Dean will be more responsible in his decisions, however the peer pressure in the social environment for him to fit in is having a negative impact as he feels he does not fit in and does not want to focus on his education as his peers taunt him about not having a girlfriend.

Intervention Process

The interventions that would be applied in this case study would be family intervention, this will help with the developmental process as parents. As Dean is dealing with peer pressure that is causing distress for him, creating psychological issues that lead to his drinking and driving. The intervention plan would be for the whole family to sit down and let Dean now that there is family support and what they expect of him. There would also be intervention for the father and step mother since they are the primary caregivers, that would be educated on the lifespan developmental stages. This would help the adults understand what he is going through and can possibly help him in a smoother transition from adolescent into adulthood.

The risks that Dean could be facing is a life of disappointing relationships, a history of disobeying the law that could cause long term issues for him as he starts a family of his own. not to mention the disappointment that he will face of not exploring the world from fear that was instilled in him, by his parents not being supportive or encouraging enough in his developmental stages. If Dean does not get psychological help as well as social support from support groups, such as church or other outside support he could end up being a lonely, unhappy individual. Resenting his parents for every failure he encounters, instead of taking responsibility for his self and outcomings in life.As his counselor, there would be suggestions of getting help through resources to maintain a grade in school that would allow him to make choices if he chooses to attend college.

  • Enumerate the Risks Factors Present in his life

This will give him a since of making his own choices in life rather than settling for being in the family business. The approaches that would be taken would be checking in on him to make sure he is attending school and staying out of trouble. Educating him on the gain and losses as adults often are faced with can help him understand he is not alone and there are choices that can be made that will have a more positive result. Reassuring him the choices his friends are making with having sex that is meaningless will have its own negative impact in the boy’s life as well as the girls they are having sex with. Insuring him he is making the right choice by waiting until he finds someone he is really interested in. this will also increase his chances of having a healthy relationship with the individual he chooses that could prove to last longer than a meaningless one.


In conclusion Dean is not a bad kid, however he is making bad choices that could impact his life in the long run. He is faced with many obstacles in his life he does not understand nor know how to change the actions he is making. This is a part of the life span development, as individuals learn how to make the corrective actions that result in positive outcomes they struggle in trying to understand how to make important decisions. With the right resources that would help not only Dean, but his family as well. They can understand how the developmental stages work as so many families do not have the resources that help them understand this growth period they are faced with the same circumstances and ultimately make the wrong decisions for their child and family.