Iman (13 years old) attends White Star Academy and lives in Highrise Estate. She is a grade 8 student. Iman is a very driven kid who aspires to excel academically and take first place in his class. He hopes to study medicine and become a doctor so that he may help his struggling town. Iman shares a home with her single mother. The mother is very encouraging and regards Iman as the center of her universe and the driving force behind her. She constantly encourages her kid to be the best version of herself since she is so happy of the progress Iman has made so far. This interview was conducted to help in the development of case study on human behavior and social environment based on the observation of Iman. The interview took place at their residence playing ground immediately after he was done playing football with his accomplices. Jovial, motivated but exhausted, Iman meets his mother and me as we are seated right in front of the waiting benches of the playing fields. We receive him with smile and tell him to calm down in order to get ready for the long awaited interview. The smile Iman’s mother is a clear indication of mother proud and happy if her son. To her Iman’s mother, this interview is going to be e defining moment to confirm the trust she has on her son as far as his behavior and how the social environment affects Iman. During the entire season, Iman showcased his abilities in comprehensiveness when answering question. His intellect was a clear indication of behavioral and social maturity. Iman gave clear answers on how the social environment affects him and most importantly how the social environment has impacted on the development of his behaviors and attitudes. From the interaction with Iman, both the essential components of biological, physical and social dimension clearly stood out and we were able to adequately come up with a developmental focus that could guide both Iman and his mother.
It was clearly evident hat Iman is a socially stable teenager who has the capacity to discern and make concrete decisions even at that early age. During the entire interview session, we observed hat Iman always turned to his mother to ask for help in questions he did not clearly understand or know how to answer. This observation is a sigh that Iman and his mother are closely bonded and relies on each other through consultative mechanisms. This interaction showed a sense of maturity in Iman and adequate support and well bringing from the mother. The observations made from this interaction support the theoretical perspective of the case study by affirm the notion that social environment truly affects human behavior. The way human behave, both children and mature adults, is affected by and significantly molded by their social environment. The next stages of the case study is going to show us how we assessed the biological, psychological and social dimensions of Iman.
Assessment of Biological Dimension
The assessment of biological dimensions in Iman during the interview portrayed an array of biological maturity. It was evident that Iman is a highly motivated child and has the capacity to think independently. Iman’s ability to think independently shows high magnitude of motor development and skills in balancing his thoughts. Iman showed that he is capable of communicating in an eloquent manner and this must have been influenced by his wide array of emotional intelligence. Iman maintained constant eye contact during the interview an indication of a highly attentive child with a capacity to carefully observe things around him through good sight and hearing. Iman’s ability to comprehensively respond to the interview questions was a sign that his biological dimensions are above par and are capable of impacting positive behaviors.
The positive biological dimensions observed in Iman are signs that he can think, feel and adequately interact with others in his school and neighborhood. He is physically and emotionally mature and biologically at the puberty stage. From Iman’s physical expression, it was clear that he is concern about his body due to the fact that even after leaving the playing field he first went to the house to freshen up before he finally came for the interview. Iman was particularly concerned about his body shape. He is worried about adding weight and therefore does as much as possible to keep physically fit. He did not report any eating disorders, as he likes to eat healthily and adequately. Iman has developed opinions and personalities that are unique to him and he does not allow himself to be prey to peer influence. He reported that he normally asses every situation before he can make a decision of either right or wrong. Iman’s level of intelligence is a sign of maturity and proper parenting. Iman’s mother complemented her son for always doing what is right and having a focused mind in every aspect if life. Iman has developed a clear sense of who he is and respects the relationship h has with his friends and family. He reported that he feels offended whenever someone is sad and would do everything humanly possibly to restore the smiles of his mother and friends whenever they are offended. Iman has adequately shown high levels of responsibility and independence at his age, an indication that his biological dimension has formed comprehensively. He has learnt and puts into practice work habits are good for his wellbeing and that of his homer and close friends. He is also more concerned about school and future work plan. This is so because he is highly ambitious and would want to treat his ailing community when he becomes a doctor. Iman showed a capacity to give reasons for the choices he makes in life as could be seen in how he was answering the interview questions. He can clearly distinguish between right and wrong. Iman reportedly admitted that sometimes he experiences feelings of sadness and emotions, especially when he scores low grades at school. This development indicates that Iman’s biological dimensions are sensitive to Iman’s expectations in life. From the interview, Iman reported that he enjoys spending as much time as possible with his close friends including his mother. He considers this association as a foundation of development emotional intelligence and as a means of ensuring that he finds his share in the social arena of the society.
The positive biological dimensions observed in Iman were backed up with the support he received form his mother. During the interview with Iman’s mother, she reported that she is always concerned and shows special attention to any changes in the behaviors of his son. Iman’s mother is also particularly interested in the performance of his son and acts as a foundation and motivating factor for the academic progress of Iman. She encourages Iman to be in a position to handle and solve conflicts by himself and create good judgment for every situation that he finds himself into. Iman’s mother reported that she always talks to her son and assists him in planning ahead incase of difficult situations he might experience in life. Both Iman and his mother talks about opportunities that can help Iman improve his personality, how well he can be responsible and behave and act respectfully areas of public settings. Iman’s mother respects Iman’s opinions as long as they are not contagious and source of conflict. She also shows personal affection to Iman and strives to spend as much tome as possible with her son in doing what they enjoy together. Iman’s mother complements him whenever he has done well or made significant achievement in school and at home. She also motivates Iman and encourages him to be actively engaged in extracurricular activities to enable him become an all rounded person.
Assessment of Psychological Dimensions
In as much as it is no easy task clearly defines the psychological dimensions of Iman, the interaction during the interview was able to observe certain imperial outcomes of certain theories that explain the psychological development of an individual. The most evident psychological development theories identified during the interview include Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning. Theses theories were significant in this particular context as the interview mainly focused in asking questions that tested the moral and cognitive skills of Iman. The identified psychological theories in this interview were also considered vital as they help in establishing the evolution of values in Iman through his ability to reason morally.
Iman showed the ability of intellectual development as established by Piaget’s theory. It was evident that Iman has adequately progressed through all the four stages during his cognitive development. These stages according to Piaget include seriomotor, pre-operational, concrete operational and the forma operational stage. Iman is in the formal operation stage of Piaget’s cognitive development stages. This is the age between 11 to 15 years old. It can be said that Iman successfully went though all theses stage of cognitive development without facing any challenge considering the magnitude of his reasoning and communication skills. Iman comprehensively understands and the concept of conservation which he must have developed during the concrete operation stage of Piaget’s psychological development. He has the capacity to discern that quantities are the same regardless of how they have been asked and despite the various forma they can come in. form the interview and observation of how Iman carried out himself, it can been clearly reported that Iman is less egocentric and understand the interests, feeling s and opinions of other people. He does not act as if he is the only right person but gives others an opportunity to express themselves in ways that best suits them. Iman was capable of reasoning deductively and showed the ability to perform certain simplified operations by use of physical objects; he also showed the ability to be logical before arriving at conclusions. Iman showed cognitive maturity and was able to think abstractly.
At the point of this interview and observation, Iman was at the final stage of Piaget’s cognitive development stage. This is true due to the fact that Iman could test hypothesis in a scientific and mature manner. He had the skill and ability to clearly communicate on ethical issues that are complex. Iman was also able to engage in a discussion of terms such as liberty, freedom and rights in clear and abstract manner without any difficulty or fear. He understands his rights and stands the chance to correct or stop anyone who tends to violate his right and freedom.
In relation to Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning, the observation made from interviewing Iman showed that he is an individual reasonably makes choices in his life. This type of moral reasoning is clear to have occurred in Iman’s life and are highly determined as well by the social interaction he has with his mother and good friends from school. Iman showed a higher level of moral reasoning. His ability to rationally reason can be said to have originated form his past experience of poor performance in school that he aims to rectify at all cost and emerge victorious. Iman reason based on self-gratification, individual values and internalizes every aspect of cognitive inputs.
From the interaction I had with Iman’s mother, Iman avoids breaking rules and ensures that he maintains his discipline at home and school. According to his mother, Iman is very much afraid of punishment and therefore does all his best to be on the right side of the law by always doing what is right. Kohlberg’s theory was also noticed in Iman as he makes his decisions based on the cultural determinants of what is considered right or wrong. Iman is considerate of others and wants the best for his mother and friends at school. He reported to be always proud of his friend who performs well in class. He even supports the poor performing students by assisting them with their homework so that they can equally perform better and be the best version of themselves.
Assessment of Social Dimensions
Looking at the life of Iman, it can be assumed that his development has been rapidly influenced by different environmental systems he’s been subjected to. Bronfenbrenner theory helped us to understand why Iman behaved differently form most of his age mates we observed. This theory also helps in understanding how his immediate family and school contributed towards the development of his maturity.
The micro system setting involving Iman’s friends, neighbors, family ands other people who has direct impact on how he operates and thinks has been a positive one since his childhood (Hutchison, 2013). Most of the children in the neighborhood love Iman for what he is. He is considered friendly and highly sociable hence the reason why most people are comfortable with him. This gives Iman the confidence to freely interact with his neighbors and develop good relationship with his friends.
The mesosystem in Iman’s social life is mostly related to his relationship with his mother. Iman has a good relationship with his mother. Iman’s mother can be considered the backbone of her son’s progress in life. She mentors Iman and hives him practical advice and necessary discipline required for his ample development. Because of Iman’s love and supportive care, Iman has developed positive attitudes in life and shows love to al including his teachers back at school (Dale & Smith, 2013).
Iman is highly attached to his mother due to the fact that his father passed on at an early age when Iman was very young. He doesn’t have a father figure in the family and considers his mother to be the pillar in providing any care and support he might need. However, Iman reports to wish he could have a father just as most of his friends do. Missing a father subjects Iman to grief at times as he feel that if his father was alive, his mother would be struggling so hard to provide for the family despite her strength to do so.
Iman’s mother reported that they are a religious family and makes it a habit to attend Christian meeting every week. Iman loves going the Christian meeting as he receives spiritual nourishment essential for the growth of his spirituality and personality. He attends the Christian meetings with his schoolmates, neighbors and other friends and often participates in Christian activities that enable them to strengthen their social and spiritual bond.
From the information obtained during the interview with Iman, I can mention beyond any reasonable doubt that Iman is developmentally on track. He is an impressive young man full of ambitions and positive energy. There is no delayed development in Iman’s life and he is an individual with a promising future. The support Iman receives form his mother is beyond measure and this can be attributed to his development in both social and cognitive context. The fact that Iman is showing a sense of maturity and development is an indication that he will emerge a socially lucrative person in the society. Iman’s capacity to be empathetic and enthusiastic at the same time makes him to be loved by most of his friends. He has developed positive qualities that are essential in his academic and social performance. Iman is a typical example of the success of both Piaget and Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning. His life has taken the right cause and the mother is so proud of him. The only risk that might negative impact on the morale of Iman is the loss of his father. He at times feels demoralized especially when he comes across his friends enjoying moments with their fathers. Iman wishes that his dad could be alive to enable him have emotional attachment and relieve his mother from the struggles she goes though to provide for the family.
Critique of Theory
From the assessment of social and cognitive development of Iman, several theories of human development and social environment were considered. Of particular interest are Piaget’s theory of cognitive development, Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning and Bronfenbrenner theory. Iman had accomplished all the four stages of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development and at the time of this interview he was at the last stage of that theory (Newman & Newman, 2016). Piaget’s theory focused in the intellectual development of children. He argues that children moves from one stage of cognitive development to the other till the last fourth stage where they attain full intellectual maturity. The Kohlberg’s theory of moral reasoning was significant in this case study as it helped in the establishment of Iman’s level of reasoning in relation to the choices he makes in life, his ambitions and how he relates with family and friends. This theory helped Iman to make decisions in line with what is considered to be moral right or wrong. The Bronfenbrenner theory, also known as ecological systems theory gave us a broader perspective on the environmental systems that affected the development and behaviors of Iman. Some of the systems outlined in this theory include the micro system encompassing Iman’s immediate social context, the mesosystem that establishes relationship within the family and the exosystem where an individual could not be having active roles such as the church (Lesser & Pope, 2011).
Dale, O., & Smith, R. (2013). Human behavior and the social environment: Social systems theory. Boston: Pearson.
Hutchison, E. D. (2013). Essentials of human behavior: Integrating person, environment, and the life course. Los Angeles: SAGE.
Lesser, J. G., & Pope, D. S. (2011). Human behavior and the social environment: Theory and practice. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Newman, B. M., & Newman, P. R. (2016). Theories of human development