The purpose of this case study is to determine how the development of a studied child compares to the “normal” child. It discusses the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial development of a 13-year-old boy named Jesse. Jesse's family background information is given first, then his physical development is discussed. Next, his cognitive abilities are evaluated, then his psychosocial development is discussed. Jesse's development is compared to theories established by Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg, and other theorists. Predictions are made for his future development, and it is determined that Jesse will continue to develop into a normal, successful man.
Part I: Background Information Jesse is a 13-year-old boy in the 8th grade. He is a typical barely teenage boy, interested in video games and sports, but he is also very smart and performs well at most anything he tries. He is an interesting person to talk to, and I had the chance to talk to him for quite a while. He's opinionated and has an interesting family situation, so I got to hear a lot about his family, without his parents actually being present. Jesse's parents have been separated for 3 years, and got divorced early this year. His parents have shared custody and he spends about an equal amount of time with each parent, but Jesse considers his dad's house to be his home. Most of his stuff is there, but he does have some things at his mom's house. In the mornings, Jesse goes to his mom's house to get on the school bus, and is dropped off there as well. His dad gets off work and picks him up about an hour after the bus drops him off. Most days he is home alone during this time because his mom works in the afternoons. Boyd and Bee state that self-care can have many negative effects including bad behavior and school performance, but that monitored self-care can be alright. Jesse is required to call his mother when he gets home and she leaves him notes every day. “Children whose periods of self-care are monitored in this way are less likely to experience the potential negative effects of self-care” (Boyd & Bee, 2012, p. 345). His mom has one week off a month and Jesse lives with her full-time during that week. Jesse's dad just got a new job this summer and is happy with it. He gets to go on vacation a lot; he just took his girlfriend to Jamaica and proposed to her, so she will be Jesse's new stepmother in the next year or two. Jesse likes his dad's girlfriend and considers her part of his family. His dad and soon-to-be stepmom are caring and helpful but have house rules that are easily followed. This sounds like an authoritative parenting style, which is high in both warmth and control (Boyd & Bee, p. 325). Jesse's father agrees that this is the style of parenting that fits him the most because he sets limits while also giving Jesse freedom to develop as an individual. When I asked what the number one rule of the family is, both Jesse and his dad said that food is not allowed to leave the kitchen. More seriously, his dad said that family comes before all else, and that family is forever. Jesse's mother, however, sounds like she could be considered an authoritarian parent, which is defined as being high in control but low in warmth (Boyd & Bee, 2012, p. 325). Jesse says she has a lot of rules that don't make sense, and she doesn't let Jesse do anything fun. This could be an exaggeration, but just observing the family I can see that she is controlling. She even stated herself when asked what her style of parenting is like, that she has always been assertive and disciplinary. This is not necessarily bad, but Jesse didn't seem to like being at his mom's as much as his dad's house. When asked about specific mottos and rules of the family, Jesse's mother stated that honesty is the number one rule. His mom used to work in the home as a daycare provider, and started working away from the