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Psychological Aspects of Human Development Case Study


PsychologicalAspects of Human Development Case Study

PsychologicalAspects of Human Development Case Study

Jill Diana

Age: 13 years

SchoolGrade: Sixth grade

Marital/Family Status: First born child

Race/Ethnicity: White

Gender: Female


JillDiana was born February 11, 2001. She is the first-born child in afamily of four, two parents and one more child. Her parents are welleducated and are both working, the father works as a bank managerwhile the mother is a senior nurse in the home for old people. Jillis thirteen years and currently in sixth grade. Children her age arealready in eighth grade. She forgets fast what is taught in class andis unable to concentrate well compared to other children. Jill isstill in sixth grade because she started school late, due to herslower development. Her classmates complain that Jill is at timesnoisy during class, which makes it difficult for the students toconcentrate. Her moods also vary extremely, at one moment she may behappy, while within seconds she is completely aggravated. Jill’sparents also note that they are apprehensive of leaving her alonewith her younger sister. Although they relate and play well, therehave been instances when Jill has reacted brutality towards hersister, like hitting her with toys. Her performance at school isbelow average and she does not form any relationships with classmatesor teachers.


Jilllooks like a normal child. Without spending a substantial amount oftime together, it is difficult to note her behavioral differenceswhen compared to children her age. After informing Jill that I intendto conduct an interview on her, she demonstrates some level ofunderstanding. She sits still and nods her head in agreement. Theinterview begins well as we exchange greetings and introduce eachother. Jill seems excited about the interview, probably because shedoes not understand the objective. The connection at the beginning ofthe interview is mutual, as Jill responds well to the first fewquestions. However, as the interview progresses, she demonstrates aloss of interest and begins to narrate stories about her home. Basedon the behavioral observations, Jill is incapable of concentratingfor more than ten minutes. She stands often during the interview andwalks around singing. She at times responds to interview questionswith incorrect answers even when the questions are simple tounderstand. For instance, when asked to answer if she would like tohave a pet, which is a simple yes/no answer, she responds by sayingthat her sister has a pet. Jill communicates nonverbally, especiallythrough facial expression as frowning to demonstrate that she istired of the interview.



Dueto brain alterations, 11-13 year olds represent an enhanced abilityto look past plain interpretations and comprehend the metaphoricutilizations of language. They should be capable of understandingproverb, and sense sarcasm. Children aged 13 are able to understandconcrete and abstract statements (Watts, Cockcroft &amp Duncan,2009). Jill expresses herself fluently when asked basic questions,which include her names and those of her parents and sister. She isalso able to explain what grade she is in, in addition to naming someof her classmates and teachers. Jill demonstrates ability incomprehension of abstract statements. Although, she might respond tosome concrete questions, she takes time to answer. In some cases, sheneeds clues to give the correct answer. Her rate of speech is normal,because she does not speak or respond as fast as other 13 year olds.


Cognitivedevelopment regards to the advancement of the capacity to reflect andreason. At this age, children represent a more planned and systematicapproach to challenges (Watts, Cockcroft &amp Duncan, 2009). Jill isa below average student. Due to her slower development, teachersalready understand her learning ability. They provide private tuitionfor Jill, to ensure that she is not left too behind academicallycompared to her peers. She performs well in the English language, butperforms poorly in science subjects like mathematics. Jill is unableto do calculations and despite repeated illustrations by her teacher,she is still unable to solve equations. She performs well in English,because she reads well and it does not require a systematic approachlike mathematics. This is because she has proper abstract reasoning.Adequate problem solving skills are apparent in her learningcapability.


Jill’sdevelopment was delayed. She did not reach developmental milestoneson an appropriate time. For instance, her parents note that shestarted crawling when she was already one year and could not walkun-supported until the age of three years. As a nurse, her mother wasable to detect the slow development in her child. Unlike otherchildren who are able to dress themselves at 3 years, Jill stillneeded help when dressing as late as the age of five years. Theindividual’s fine and gross motor skills are normal. Jill walkswell and move within appropriate speeds, which her parents attributeto training. When her parents noted her slow development, they hireda specialist to train her on how to walk normally and withoutsupport. Her hand-eye coordination is not satisfactory. This isprobably due to her inability to concentrate for long. She at timesdepicts awkward movements, especially when aggravated. Her pubertywas normal as she started showing signs at the age of ten.


Jilldoes not have a best friend however, she often talks about hermother. She states that she likes spending time with her mother andis quick to note all the things they do together. During theinterview, when asked who she loves most she says that she loves hermother. She also states that she likes her sister because they areable to play together. Jill notes that she likes it when the fatherreads stories to her. It is apparent that she feels comfortable whenshe is with her parents. Due to her often-aggressive behavior, Jillhas few friends. Around the age of 10 to 13 years, children becomeconscious of their behaviors, which affect how they feel aboutthemselves (Gibbs, 2003). Jill is aware of her behavior anddifferences with fellow children. She understands that at times shebehaves aggressively towards others hence, avoids having manyfriends. Jill’s social skills are both tolerable and intolerable.At times, she speaks when she is supposed to, while in otherinstances she interrupts when another student is talking. Jillunderstands other people’s emotions. At times, she accompanies hermother to a nursing home and helps in taking care of the old.


Jillunderstands her social challenges because her parents talk to herabout how she can control her behavior. She has a positiveself-esteem and even informs during the interview that she does notconcentrate for long. Although she states that she does not know whyshe behaves aggressively in some instances, she later apologizes forthe aggressiveness. Jill does not perform well academically. However,she has attained some personal goals. For instance, prepares herselffor school, in addition to making light meals at home. Her parentsnote, that as she progresses to grow, she is able to adjust toappropriate behaviors. For instance, she depicts more interest inwanting to understand subjects that are difficult for her. Accordingto Erikson, 13 year olds realize their special talents and progressto discover interests as their education advances (Thompson, Hogan &ampClark, 2012). Jill notes that she likes singing, and reading stories,which enhanced her interest in the English language.


Jillrealizes when she does a mistake, as she is quick to apologize. Herteachers also recommend her when she does something in the rightmanner. At home, her parents assign roles to her, which they accessafter informing her on what she did right or wrong. She is also quickto ask when she does not understand something. She makes difficultdecisions by ignoring the issue. When incapable of decision-making,she tends to remain silent. For instance, during the interview, whenasked a difficult question she remained silent. According toKohlberg, Jill is at the conventional stage 2 of moral development(Gibbs, 2003). She is able to form a sense of individual identity,despite depicting role confusion in some instances.

Recommendationsand Conclusions

Basedon the behavioral observations and different developmentalobservations, Jill’s development differs from that of her peers.She lags behind in understanding and other behavior control, whichshould be inherent for all 13 year olds. Despite her laggingdevelopment, with more training and instruction, Jill can catch upwith other students. Her slow development is not extreme, and can beimproved. For instance, she can be taught on how to concentrate anddeal with her aggression.


Gibbs,J. C. (2003). Moraldevelopment and reality: Beyond the theories of Kohlberg and Hoffman.Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Thompson,D., Hogan, J. D., &amp Clark, P. M. (2012). Developmentalpsychology in historical perspective.Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell.

Watts,J., Cockcroft, K., &amp Duncan, N. (2009). Developmentalpsychology.Cape Town, South Africa: UCT Press.