Adolescent Case Study
A. Kathy Johnson is a 14 year old female, a freshman at Parkway High
School, and resides at 789 Parkview Way, Bossier City, LA 70000.
II. History of Family
A. The subject lives with her biological mother and stepfather. The
child’s biological father resides in Bossier City as well, but he has not
maintained a relationship with the child since he divorced her mother in 1981.
The child also has a brother who lives out of state and has no relationship
or contact with him either.
B. The subject comes from an upper middle class family. Her stepfather
is a high school graduate and owns his own construction business. Her mother is
a homemaker and quit school during her sophomore year.
C.The subject and her family live in Southern Gardens, a small
subdivision in Bossier City. The family, for the most part, keeps to themselves and
doesnot have any close, personal associations. The few associates they have
are business colleagues and people from their church groups.
D.The stepfather is a relatively healthy male, approximately 6’1″
tall, dark brown hair, brown eyes, weighs around 200 pounds and has no known physical
illness. The mother is 5’4″ tall, blonde hair, brown eyes and has
noticeable symptoms of depression and a significant drinking problem. Presently
she is in good overall physical health.
E.Most of the family’s interest revolves around the subject’s
athletic activities such as baseball and church related activities such as Sunday
services and youth centered groups.
F.The family attends a full gospel, nondenominational church on a
regular basis. Their political views are primarily democratic.
G.The family is of Italian descent and somewhat antisocial. They
rarely see anyone on a personal basis and have no close personal friends.
III. History of the Case
A.The subject is approximately 5’5″ tall, long dark brown hair,
brown eyes and is somewhat overweight, weighing in at 165 pounds. However,
she is very athletic and is routinely involved in softball and basketball. She
plays softball during the summer for her church league and has won numerous
trophies. During the school year, she also plays basketball for her church
basketball team. She diligently attends every practice and never misses a game
in either sport. Although her physician states that she is in good general
health, she regularly complains of stomach pain and lethargy.
B.Due to the subject’s physical complaints, her school attendance
is relatively poor; however, her grades are above average in the A to B range.
In the past, her attendance in school was better, but her grades were not as
high. They usually remained in the B to C range.
C.The subject receives an allowance of $25 per week for doing
household chores such as cleaning her room, vacuuming, and cooking dinner.
Most often, she spends her allowance on name brand clothing and shoes.
Fitting in with the”Preppy” crowd seems to be very important to her, hence
the expenditures on only name brand clothing, shoes, etc.
D.Although she wants to fit in, she seems to lack the social
skills required in order to get along with her peers. She tends to be
somewhat aggressive which often results in confrontations and arguments with
peers her own age. Therefore, she only has one close friend and is not part
of any clique or group. According to her, the other adolescents describe her
as being overbearing and bossy, so ultimately she stays to herself and does
not get along well with her peers.
E.The subject’s recreational habits consist of playing softball
and basketball and attending youth oriented activities at church such as
youth camp and bible studies. She is a very outgoing and aggressive teenager
who often tends to try and force her opinions on her peers. Which in turn,
has the opposite effect and more often causes her peers to become distant
and antisocial with her.
F.Her personal philosophy and ideology is based mainly on her
religious beliefs. She believes in the teachings of the bible and that there
is one God who controls and oversees the world in which she lives. Therefore,
she is against premarital sex, drug and alcohol use, and abortion. When
asked her politicalviews, for example who she would vote for, her reply was
“Bill Clinton, simply because he is a democrat.” She seems to be heavily
influenced by her families political views, in that, she doesn’t know much
about politics, but she would vote for a democrat because her family belongs
to the Democratic Party.
After interviewing and observing the subject, my findings relative to her
current status are the following:
Her stepfather is physically and verbally abusive toward her mother
often forcing the subject to call the police. Her mother appears to suffer from
prolonged bouts of depression and ongoing alcohol use. Therefore, the subject
is required to more or less handle the everyday household obligations such as
cooking and cleaning. She also has a deep resentment for her stepfather and
feels the need to protect and take care of her mother.
In my opinion, the subject is suffering from physical and emotional neglect
from her parents resulting in depression, low self esteem, aggressive tendencies,
and bouts of hypochondria.
My recommendations would be to remove the subject from the abusive
situation by placing her in a temporary foster home and to require her parents
to undergo a full psychiatric evaluation. She should remain in the foster home
until her mother undergoes and successfully completes an alcohol rehabilitation
program and receives counseling for the physical and emotional abuse which she
has endured. The stepfather should be required to stay away from the subject
and her mother until he undergoes counseling and no longer exhibits signs of
aggressive and abusive behavior. Other recommendations for the subject would be
to prescribe antidepressants combined with group support with other adolescents
suffering similar situations and problems. Her aggressive tendencies and low
self esteem need to be addressed by placing her in a loving and emotionally
stable and supportive household where she would be allowed to experience some
freedom from the emotional burden of having to run a household virtually by