Introduction and Background Information
Megan is a 25-year-old college student. She grew up in a middle-class family in Ortonville, Michigan with 3 older brothers and her mother. Megan was raised what is traditionally known as a broken home. Her mother was a single parent of 4 and worked as a Nursing Aid for most of her life and she didn’t meet her father until she was about 5 years old. Her father comes from a middle-class family and didn’t have a career, but consistently had a stable income. Both of her parents do not have any siblings which resulted in situations with her father many years later. Two of her brothers suffer with bipolar disorder as well as attention deficit disorders. Megan is currently a salon director that is working toward obtaining an International Business degree. This case study aims to explore Megan’s biosocial, cognitive, and psychosocial history to further my understanding of developmental psychology. I will apply the theories and concepts of developmental psychology to my life; past, present and future. This case study will be supported by the Berger (20011) text book and empirical research articles on areas relevant to my life.
The Biosocial Theory suggests that gender is determined by the combination of biological and social factors. This produces either masculine or feminine gender behaviors and identities. The theory also suggests that it is the perceptions of biological sex which leads to gender identity. Megan falls into the category of “emerging adulthood” stage. She is 5’8”, weighs 150 pounds and recently experienced a dietary health issue that she is still trying to resolve. Within the last year and a half, Megan became allergic to milk. There is not a “cure” or “fix” to this issue, but she has to avoid any milk products in order to avoid being ill for days on end. She has been to the doctor numerous times and they still cannot determine why she vomits and has severe body and lower abdominal pains when milk is consumed. She became a pescatarian 4 years ago and recently had to remove dairy from her diet and consistently exercises whether it is in the gym or hiking on a trail.
Megan struggled with her body image during adolescence. She was tall and appeared slightly overweight. She had very low self-esteem from middle school to early high school years. At that time, she was not very active and consistently had a poor diet. Megan decided to get involved in numerous sports, make friends that were also active and choose to examine the food and calories she was consuming. Since then, Megan remains an active lifestyle and maintains a healthy diet.
Throughout school, she maintained an “A” and “B” average and was consistently on the Honor Roll and placing her in the formal operational stage. This stage involves an increase in logic, the ability to use deductive reasoning, and an understanding of abstract ideas. At this point, Megan became capable of seeing multiple potential solutions to problems and think more scientifically about the world around them. That is what differentiated herself from her other siblings and caught her mother’s attention. She always invested her time reading or studying because she had always loved obtaining an education. In elementary school, Megan was extremely advanced for her age group because she was always active with various workbooks, reading and outdoor activities. She could have skipped a few grades, but her mother decided against it. As each new school year arrived, her mother requested that she is placed in a class where a teacher could challenge her by providing more homework, class work, etc. Although the school granted this request, she still found herself sleeping during most classes because her work was completed over the weekend before the subject was presented and taught to the class.
Megan’s mother presents with the integrity versus despair stage as the aging adult begins to tackle the problem of her mortality. The onset of this stage is often triggered by life events such as retirement, the loss of a spouse, the loss of friends and acquaintances, facing a terminal illness, and other changes to major roles in life (being a single parent).
A parent where there were several rules growing up and didn’t give much room for anything else. Since she was a single parent and a full-time employee, by the evening she was exhausted from her day, so she laid down the law.