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Developmental Analysis Research Paper

Analysis of Your Childhood Development
Ages Birth-18

7 type-written pages, APA format, 12 point (Times New Roman font, double-spaced). Please reference both Bronfenbrenner 1977 and 1986 articles and your Hutchison and Robbins et al. texts when writing this paper. Students must properly reference all material that is not their own intellectual property. There is not a specific required number of references. However, since this paper is structured around theory, it is not possible to write this paper without references.

In MSW 501 students learn key theories of cognitive, social and moral development as well as theories that explore how the environments in which development occurs impact human behavior. This assignments asks you to reflect on your own development (ages 0-18) and describe development using relevant theories of development as well as Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological-Systemic Perspective, addressing all dimensions of development.

Reflect on your childhood development and identify salient developmental milestones, life events, and turning points that contributed to changes in your developmental trajectory. Be sure to attend to biological, social and psychological factors. Critically apply both relevant developmental theory and Bronfenbrenner’ Ecological Systems Perspective to your development as if you were analyzing a client’s development.

Please integrate appropriate developmental theories into the information provided regarding my own childhood development.

References that must be used:

Hutchinson, E.D. (2011). Dimensions of human behavior: The changing life course (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Hutchinson, E.D. (2011). Dimensions of human behavior: person and environment (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Robbins, S.P, Chatterjee, P., & Canda, E.R. (2011). Contemporary human behavior theory (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Bronfenbrenner, U (1986). Ecology of the Family as a Context for Human Development:Research Perspectives

Be sure to answer the following questions (as they apply to your life experiences).

1)What did your parents or caretakers do that promoted your health?

2)What did your parents or caretakers do that positively or negatively impacted your development?

AGES 6-11
Positive impact-
Socialization: enrolled in numerous extracurricular activities such as soccer, karate, tumbling and swimming.
Provided structure and responsibilities: We all had chores that were assigned every week. Homework that could be done on my own was to be done before I went to play. Homework that I needed help with was always done after dinner. Dinner was at 5:30pm, everyone had their assigned chair. No one was allowed to get up until everyone was done eating. This was the time family came together and discussed day. We were to be home by the time the street lights were on. The whole family played board games together in the evening or watched TV.

Identity/gender formation: I was a tomboy. My parents were confused by this, but allowed me to dress as I wished (Father more supportive of my choices than Mother) except for dining out, church and family gatherings (was expected to wear dress or skirt). Parents encouraged us to play outside. My best friend was a boy and I enjoyed playing sports, riding my skateboard and bike, playing with cars.

Schooling: Father was always available and assisted with all homework and school projects. Education and grades were a very important focus of my parents. Good grades got rewarded and bad grades (or behavior at school) were punished.

My mother worked from home and my father was a real estate agent.
We took many family vacations during this period of my life.

Negative impact:

Corporal punishment in the form of grounding to house for long periods of time by mother. During these years I once spent the entire summer grounded to the house and to this day I do not remember the reason. Grounding duration was usually no less than 2 weeks for any infraction.

Multiple moves during this period of my life causing me to change schools and make new friends repeatedly. 1st and 2nd grade same residence and school. Moved during the summer and started a new school in 3rd grade continued there until last quarter of 5th grade. Moved to new residence and completed 5th and 6th grade at new school.
Parents basically focused on children, never recall any affection between parents. They showed affection toward children. My brother and I were close. My sister and I were not very close during this time period because of very different interests.

12-15 years of age

Discovered my father was a functioning alcoholic. Mother was uninvolved with marriage or children. Become a latch-key-kid who basically would come home from school to no parents when I was 12 and 13. We would still be expected to be home for dinner. Discussions at dinner would center on things I did wrong. Mother unhappy in marriage and spent most of her time away from the home, when at home she watched a lot of TV in her room. Grades began to slip, would sneak out at night. When my mother would discover I was gone, I would come home to a locked door with no answer (age 14 and 15). My mother implemented the “tough love” theory to parenting popular in the 1980s. Three different moves during this time would continue to make for an unstable environment and difficulty retaining long term friendships. I did have 2 friends at this time on which I could rely and talk to. Started smoking cigarettes and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. My sister and I became closer due to instability of our home life. Took a united stand regarding father’s drinking and would not get into car if he was driving.

4) What were your important familial and other social relationships that affected your development?
Maternal grandparents were very important. I spent a great deal of time with them on the weekends and summers (from age 5-12). My grandmother was very nurturing and encouraged my love of music and drawing. Always felt loved and safe with grandparents. Grandfather was a very hard worker and instilled that in me. He would always say work hard and save your money. Grandparents instilled belief that if I worked hard I could do anything I wanted.

Best friend in high school ( 9th and 10th grade) was a source of support and her family would later take me in at the age of 17. This would end up being the most stable and supportive environment of my childhood. Her mother and father helped me get a job, save for my first car. They taught me responsibility by having me pay $20.00 a week in rent. I was treated like part of the family.

My 3rd grade teacher was very supportive and encouraging in my studies
Soccer coach was very influential and supportive

Friends in the system and group homes accepted me without judgement, as they had similar unstable home environments for varying reasons.

5)How did your caregiver’s parenting style affect your development?
Mother- Authoritarian
Father- Authoritative

6)What social systems/factors (i.e. school, parents’ work, neighborhood) impacted the course of your development? Which of these was the most impactful?

This question is answered in other sections

7)What community resources most affected your development?

Playing club soccer for 7 years was influential in my development in the following areas: agility, speed and stamina, importance of teamwork. The ability to cooperate and interact with other children is very important, as this is a team sport. In order to move the ball towards the opponent’s goal, you have to pass it to other players. Each position is responsible for certain elements of the game.

My father never went to church, but my mother, sister, grandmother and myself would attend every Sunday. I was raised Lutheran, and while still not able to go to church in my younger years, I attended bible school. I began going to the formal church around 12 years of age. I went to confirmation classes for 18 months. The family believed I should have a firm foundation in the Lutheran doctrine prior to making the decision not to go to church. I have rejected organized religion, as I never felt I was a true member of a church group.

8) How did your gender, race/ethnicity and/or other circumstances of diversity influence your development?

I am a Caucasian female who was raised in the Suburb of Anaheim, Ca. I discovered I was different than most girls that I knew when I was approximately 9 years old. I had crushes on girls. I would hide this fact throughout my childhood and adolescent years. At the time of my upbringing (1970s and 1980s) homosexuality was not widely accepted.

9)What cultural factors most profoundly affected your development?

Orange County boasted a predominately conservative population during the 1970s and 1980s. During my teenage years, this conservative view would result in my attempt to hide the fact I was gay.

10)Describe a significant life experience, crisis or stress which influenced your own understanding, perceptions, or interpretations of others’ behavior and circumstances.

Ages 6-11
When I was 9 years old, my brother was caught stealing and sent to juvenile hall. My mother stated that he had done something wrong and could not live with us any longer. He never returned home. This was very devastating to me, as I had an extremely close relationship with my brother. This also left me with the impression that if I did anything wrong, I too would have to leave the house. I did not understand it at the time and would subsequently learn during the time I visited him at his group home (2 years later age 11) that my mother went to court and stated she did not want him back, was afraid of him and could not handle him. I never truly understood what really happened and it was not discussed with my sister and me.

Ages 12-15
When I was 15, I stole my mother’s car and she pressed charges. Subsequently, I was taken to Juvenile Hall and sentenced to 10 days for joy-riding. My mom would later come to court, and state she could not handle me anymore and did not want me to return home. I was not surprised by this, as things were coming to a head at home. Also, I thought back to what had happened to my brother. I would remain in Juvenile Hall for another 45 days awaiting placement. I went to Orangewood Childrens Home and after my parents were claimed unfit (mother only showed up to initial evaluation and father showed up smelling like alcohol) and I became a ward of the court for general neglect. I felt rejected and alone at this time.

Ages 15-18

I would spend ages 15 and half of 16 bouncing from one group home to another; in all 5 placements in 2 years . I did not follow any rules and felt like I could do anything I wanted with the only consequence being another move. Since this was second nature to me, it did not detour me from running away, ditching school, being disrespectful to group home staff. My thought was that I could run away and see my old friends and the system would have to take me back, unlike my parents. In those 2 years, I would spend approximately 7 months in Orangewood Childrens home between failed placements. During this time I had no contact with any of my biological family.

When I was 17 and a half, I ran away from Orangewood for the last time, as I knew I would remain in Orangewood until my 18th birthday. No more placements for me. I was taken in by my best friend’s parents and would remain there until I was 19 years old.

11)What have you learned from this assignment regarding why application of developmental theory is relevant to assessing and understanding a client’s unique needs?

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