May 24, 2011
In the case study provided, one can see many areas where the development of the child in question can be taken into consideration when looking at the case from a law standpoint. In any case involving children, one must always take into account their environment, their developmental age, and their true age. With each age group, there is a norm for development and each child must be evaluated regarding that norm. In this case, the current law regarding the “age of accountability” can be upheld through three basic points. These points are the biosocial, the cognitive, and the psychosocial areas of development. Each area plays a huge role in whether or not a child (at the age of six) can be held accountable for such a violent act.
In the area of biosocial development, everything from a child’s nutrition to brain development to abuse can affect their perceptions (Berger, 2008). In the case provided, the six year old boy, coming from a single parent household, could very easily suffer developmentally in this area. Historically, single parent households make much less than households where both parents are present. Less income (socioeconomic status decline) could equal less nutritious food to aid in proper development. At the age of the child provided for this case study, he seems to be at the norm for brain development. At this age, even though children can think in rapid succession, they do not process the information to the point of seeing the true consequences. The child is also not completely able to use deductive reasoning when thinking the situation through from beginning to end and vice versa (Berger, 2008). Emotions at this point also play a key role in the development of the child provided. At this age, emotions such as anger (which would commonly be felt after the scuffle on the playground) can grow over a...