Unit 8: Psychosocial Development Case Study Assessment
COUN5004 Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors
Dr. Bill Garris
July 31, 2015
This research identifies the psychosocial life stages of development stage for three characters in the film Little Miss Sunshine. Different crisis faced by each of the character based on their life stages are identified. Seven year Olive is in the school age stage (5 to 12) of development made up of industry versus inferiority crisis. Dwayne is in the ego identity versus role confusion crisis stage of development. Richard is in the adult’s stage of generativity versus stagnation. The article explores how each of the individuals resolves the crisis and the impact on the family unit as they move to the next stage. The essay further highlights how the three function as part of the family unit. Finally, evaluations of the major challenges as well as areas of strength related to wellness and resilience are explored.
The film, Little Miss Sunshine shows a dysfunctional family unit made up of several individuals in different life stages. The three characters that are analyzed in this paper include Olive, who at 7 years old falls within the 6 to 12 years age bracket of industry versus inferiority crisis stage. The second character is Dwayne, who is about 15 years and falls under the 12 to 20 years adolescence stage consisting of identity versus role confusion crisis stage. Finally, Richard, who is in middle age (30 to 65 years), is faced with a crisis of generativity versus stagnation. Besides identification of their life stages and the crisis that the characters face, cultural and other influences that may shape their behavior are identified. This is followed by analysis of the effects of transitions of the three members from the present life stages and their contribution within the functioning of the family unit. The essay further define challenges and areas of strength related to resilience and wellness within cultural groups and communities and subsequently delineating its relevance to clinical mental health interventions.
Character 1- Industry VS. Inferiority Psychosocial Stage
The first character in the film is Olive. Olive is the youngest member in the family unit and is the daughter to Richard and Sheryl. Olive plays a central role in the family unit as she provides the divided family with focus through her innocence and curiosity. Olive receives support from other family members to participate in beauty competition and this is evident as the family joins her in
a road trip to the beauty pageant. Olive is in the industry versus inferiority psychosocial stage since she is about 7 years, which falls within the 5 to 13 year school age bracket. The psychological crisis experienced by Olive relates to new social demands reflected in her desire to join the pageant. If successful, Olive would benefit from the crisis by developing competence while lack of success would lead to inferiority feelings (Palmo et al, 2006). In order to succeed, Olive undertakes to prepare for the event through persistent rehearsals for the event. Based on the psychosocial development theory, children in middle childhood stage seek social competence (Obier, 2014). At this stage of development, the child seeks to develop competences in the mastery of biosocial as well as cognitive abilities that are considered important in their culture and seek to make psychosocial accomplishments (Grahame, 2013). The development of self-concept is further extended. The theory further highlights the role of families in influencing the children and their experiences and in the case of the film; this is evident when the father supports Olive.
The psychosocial theory in the film in relation to the middle childhood is...
References: Austrian, S. ed. (2014). Development theories through the life cycle. New York: Columbia
Grahame, S. (2013). Psychological interventions in mental health nursing. New York: McGrawHill Education.
Obier, K. (2014). Families and health care: Psychological practice. Piscataway: Transition
Palmo, A. William, J., & Borsos, D. (2006). Foundations of mental health. Springfield,, Illinois.
Southwick, M.S., Brett, T.L., & Charney, D. (2011). Resilience and mental health: Challenges
across the lifespan
Townsend, M.C. (2013). Essentials of psychiatric mental health nursing: Concepts of care in
New York: F.A
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