Human behavior can be explored by taking a look at the different aspects of a person’s life.
These aspects include the biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual. These aspects can help social workers better understand the background history of a person’s life and gather information in order to do an accurate assessment of a person. This paper does not intend to make an assessment but it’s rather an informative paper in order to discover and understand the various systems of a person’s life. Furthermore this paper will also focus on how these systems interact with one another.
I chose to do this paper on my cousin who just became a mother and she is currently learning how to adapt to her new way of life. I think she is in an interesting stage in her life and that is also why I chose her. My cousin and I are only a year apart in age and she chose a different path from the one that is expected after she graduated from high school.
She decided not to go to college and began to work doing random retail jobs until she found a permanent job as a hostess. We are so different now but a few years ago we did get along and had a lot of things in common.
Her relationship with her mother has also changed and now that my cousin is a mother, they seem to understand each other better. BIO-PHYSICAL My cousin’s name is Carla Sanchez and she is twenty two years old and the youngest of three.
She is 5’5 and before she had the baby she had lost so much weight but now she regained some of that weight back. She has dark long hair and dark brown eyes. Before she became pregnant she fell in love with her baby’s father and lost a lot of weight. During her teenage years she was not as determined to lose weight as she was when she was nineteen when she met her significant other.
During her pregnancy her body went through some physical changes. She did not have impulsive cravings and she ate the foods she normally eats but in larger portions. She gained around sixty pounds and now she looks like the way she did before she lost the weight. Her weight when she was a younger child before the teenage years resembles that of her mother. My aunt had an average weight because she was not skinny but she was not overweight either. My cousin’s weight then was average like her mother’s because due to the genes that were passed down to her through her mother.
My cousin’s baby is a girl and looks more like her father but she has my cousin’s straight hair. Now that it has been several weeks after childbirth my cousin plans and is determined to lose the weight again. She looks like her mother and both have a healthy mother and daughter relationship. She is very open-minded and very out spoken. Her mother is also an open-minded person. According to the biological determinism theory it is evident that a person’s personality and physical appearance is embedded into a child from birth trough genetics.
My cousin’s parents divorced when she was a young child and therefore she has always been close to her mother and that is why my aunt has been able to greatly influence my cousin’s behavior. Most of her life she has been more attached to her mother. PSYCHOLOGICAL According to Erikson’s theories of psychological development my cousin is in the intimacy versus isolation stage. My cousin’s childhood and teenage years have passed by. All that is left of her childhood and teenage years are memories. She began working at restaurants during her high school years and has stayed with that career.
She has gone from being a waitress when she was sixteen to a hostess. However she is thinking of going back to school because she was her daughter to look up to her when her daughter is older. My cousin did not get married and she is not living with her boyfriend. She lives at home with her baby and her mother. All her time is devoted to her baby however there have been times when she is overwhelmed with the task of raising a child and her mother helps her so that she can at least have some time to rest. According to Paiget my cousin is at the stage four which is based on formal operations.
At this level problems are now approached using logic, reason and combinational thought. Also individuals at this stage with formal operations can think about their own thoughts, feelings and think about thinking. I think that at this point Paiget is focusing on how we can look back at our past and reflect. My cousin is able to do this now and she now reflects on how her mother raised her so that she can raise her daughter the same way. My cousin constantly worries whether or not she is raising her child in a proper way or to the extent that it is expected of a mother to raise her child.
She lives with her mother and her mother helps her by giving her advice from how to comfort the child to how to give the baby a bath. My cousin’s friend had her baby before my cousin and when her friend met my cousin’s child she was also giving her advice on hoe to take care of the baby. She is acquiring knowledge on how to raise her child from people such as her mother that have had years of experience raising children. Her friend told her that she worries to whether she is taking care of her baby the right way. My cousin has to endure a psychological as well as physical adaptation.
Paiget describes adaptation as the process by which structures of the mind develop over time to achieve a better fit with the environment and external reality. My cousin is still eating food in large portions as she did when she was pregnant but now she is drinking more milk because she chose to breastfeed her baby. Therefore she keeps gaining weight and is also stressed out. As far as her mental state she is stressed and cannot focus on herself because she is constantly thinking about the well-being of her baby. She worries just as much as other mothers do because she wants her baby to be happy.
She said that her baby seems to be cranky most of the time and basically she is dedicating all her time to comfort the baby. My cousin had learned to adapt to her new role as a mother and she will need to keep up as the baby goes through different stages of her life. SOCIAL She has not been working since July and her social life is not as it used to be before she had the baby. However she was visited by her godparents and many friends when she brought the baby home. They have showered the baby with gifts and seeing how other people have acted towards the baby makes her happy.
My cousin is trying her best to imitate her mother because she loves her mother and wants to follow her advice so that she can raise a happy child. According to the social learning theory behaviors are mediated by thoughts, expectations as well as emotions and stresses the importance of observational learning or modeling. In my cousin’s case she sees her mom as a model mom that she wants to imitate. As far as I know my aunt really sacrificed a lot so that my cousin’s could have a better life than the one she had.
I have seen how selfless my aunt has been especially with my cousin Carla because she is the youngest one. My cousin wants the approval of her mother in everything she does because she has been very attached to my aunt. Her brother and sister live far away from them. My cousin has kept in touch with her fellow co-workers and many of them came to visit her when she brought the baby home. One of her friends who is a teacher and brought her a huge box of pampers. He also gave her some parenting advice because he, as a father of three, thinks that he has had enough experience with kids.
He was very happy to see the baby and many of her friends came to see the baby as well. Even though my cousin has not gone out since she gave birth in November 30th, she has had her friends come over to her place to see the baby. However her weeks have turned into the same routine of just staying at home to take care of her baby. The baby’s father also visits her but not too often because their relationship is not in good standing. My cousin is trying to be the mother that society expects her to be but most importantly she is trying to imitate her own mother.
My aunt is a fervent believer in the Catholic faith and she raised her children in the same faith as she was raised in. All of her three children were baptized, did the communions and attended mass on Sundays. Until this day my aunt does not miss a mass at her local church. Her children however have not been as devoted as my aunt has been. My cousin Carla stop attending church after her teenage years when she graduated from high school and spent her weekends working. However my aunt always tries to make sure that my cousin does not loose her faith. According to James V.
Fowler’s theory of faith development my cousin is at the stage 5 which is the individuative-reflective faith. In this stage young adults question the beliefs and stories they have received from family, friends and other social groups. My cousin does not believe everything that my aunt was taught about Catholicism. For example my cousin did not get married and decided to raise a child as a single mother. My aunt did not approve of this because she was taught that a woman must be a virgin until she gets married. Her other daughter moved in with her boyfriend and then got married.
My aunt did not approve of this either. My aunt believes that salvation is obtained by following the church’s sacraments but my cousin believes that no one really knows how to obtain salvation. She also thinks that God is everywhere and therefore she does not need to attend mass every Sunday. My aunt was raised in a very religious home and in her native country religion plays an important role in life but her children who were raised in the United States have found a way to practice their religion however way they think is the proper way.
My cousin plans to baptize her daughter and she has picked the godparents already. My family is from Ecuador which is in Latin America so that makes us part of the Latino community. My cousin Carla was born in New Jersey. She had to learn about the Ecuadorian culture and the American culture. When she was a kid my aunt would travel with her and her other siblings to Ecuador so that they could visit their grandmother and learn their cultural roots. My cousin had to learn both languages English and Spanish. She now knows them fluently and this has helped her a lot because she was able to make a lot of friends.
In Ecuador gender roles are so delineated. Men are expected to work and women are expected to stay at home raising the children. It is not common for females to work outside the home. Most females graduate from high school and after high school they start raising families. My cousin knows both cultures but since she was born and raised in the United States she identifies more with the American culture. When her baby gets older she expects to go back to work and even go back to school so that she can be able to provide a better living for both.
She is a single mother but has learned a lot from her mother who got divorced from her husband when my cousin was a young child. In conclusion these several aspects of a person’s life help us understand how each one relates to the other and how they affect human behavior. Human behavior can be affected by the people we associate with and by the culture we are raised in as well as other factors. These several theories described in this paper are very helpful to understand why a person behaves a certain way.
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