Katie and Corabeth Katie Sixteen-Year-Old Term Paper

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Katie and Corabeth


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Sixteen-year-old Katie, once an excellent student with clear extracurricular interests, at least up to age 13 when she became pregnant with and gave birth to her son Drake, is now withdrawn, severely underweight but with no appetite, and uninterested in her son; her living environment back at home with her parents (at least until two weeks ago, when she moved out of their house and in, along with Drake, with her grandparents instead); resuming or otherwise completing her education, or learning work skills toward becoming autonomous and self-sufficient. For all of these reasons, Katie seems an example, especially under Piaget's (see Huit & Hummel, 1985); Erikson's (see Harris, 2000); and Kohlberg's (see Marcia, 1966) theories of an adolescent female whose various stages of development: either physically; cognitively, or psycho-socially, have not been adequately achieved. According to Erikson there are eight separate human developmental stages, starting with infancy and reaching into late- adulthood (Huitt, 1997). Within each, key developmental work consists of experiencing and mastering new emotional understandings and challenges (Huitt; Marcia, 1966). In emotionally unhealthy individuals, though (clearly, Katie is one of these), various adjustment problems springing from incomplete mastery of core stage-developmentally significant "material" from any earlier stage (or all of them combined). Under Erikson's theory in particular (Marcia, 1966) unresolved challenges and difficulties from an earlier developmental stage or stages will reappear since they are still in need of developmental resolution: even long after the individual ought to be developmentally past that stage, chronologically speaking (Harris, 2000). The latter appears, strongly, to be the case with Katie herself. Moreover, Katie is developmentally and chronologically far too immature to be an adequate care-giver to her baby son Drake, as she clearly is not.

Physical Development

TOPIC: Term Paper on Katie and Corabeth Katie Sixteen-Year-Old Katie, Once Assignment

Adolescence is an important time for physical maturation according to Erikson (Marcia, 1966), Piaget (Huitt & Hummel, 1997) and Kohlberg (Huitt, 2003); but Katie's own physical maturation processes at this stage appear to have been stunted, likely for psycho-social rather than (at least currently, now that she is back living with her parents) economic or any other reasons. Before running away from home at 13, Katie had obviously been strong, energetic, and physically healthy enough to have been "a member of the swimming team" and to have also volunteered as a Candy Striper after school and a "leader in her church's youth group." But now "she is underweight and anemic"; these are likely contributing factors also to her current physical listlessness and lack of energy. Her non-eating in and of itself is perhaps another sign that (as the literature on anorexia nearly always suggests) Katie continues to feel overly controlled by her parents (a possible sign, also, of still-unresolved "initiative vs. guilt" from Erickson's Stage 3 (ages 3-5) (Marcia, 1966) and reacts to that feeling by overly-controlling her food intake to the point of becoming malnourished. That in itself continues to impede her continued physical maturation of a healthy kind, a key developmental task at Stage 5, up to age eighteen.

Cognitive Development

Katie's Cognitive Development seems to have been normal or perhaps even advanced, for age 13 before she ran away from home and became pregnant, but three years later, at 16, Katie seems to have experienced little additional cognitive development, even in terms of having developed additional practical; negotiating, and survival skills while living away from home, e.g., on the streets and/or communally with peers and their own children. Katie dropped out of school when she ran away… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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