Dave Pelzer: A Child Called “It”
Dave Pelzer was a boy that grew up in the 1970’s and survived a childhood of physical, mental, and emotional abuse to share his story. I decided to do a personality critique on Dave Pelzer because I thought it would be interesting to analyze how abuse can shape the personality of an individual. Dave Pelzer grew up in Daly City, California and was the second born child of five boys. By the time he started school at Thomas Edison Elementary School, he realized he would not live a normal childhood. His mother suffered from alcoholism, which triggered aggression that Dave found himself the target of. He was beaten, starved, humiliated, and eventually lost the privilege of even having a name, and was instead referred to as “It”. Instances of such abuse included being stabbed in the stomach, having a soiled diaper rubbed in his face and told to eat the poop, having to eat ammonia and not being allowed to use the restroom so he had to poop in his pants, laying in a tub of ice cold water then sit outside in the shade in a prisoner of war position and having to make himself throw up after school every day to prove to his mother that he had not eaten anything that day. Dave was constantly told he was a “bad boy”, that he was an embarrassment to the family and that he did not deserve to talk or play with his brothers. Teachers at school noticed the bruises, ragged clothes and Dave’s attitude change. Even though Dave tried to cover up these things with excuses, his teachers were able to prove that he was a victim of childhood abuse (Pelzer, 1995).
Many types of data were used to critique the personality of Dave Pelzer. He was the author of his autobiography, so the majority of the data collected was self data. Self data is a person’s evaluation of his or her own personality. The pros of this type of data are high face validity, a large amount of information because you are always with yourself and have insight to your own thoughts,...
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