How do parental and peer behavior relate to adolescent self-esteem?

PSYU 324 Final Paper Project

Using the case study of Claudia Rios below, please address all of the following questions. In
an organized and well written 7-8 double-spaced page paper, fully discuss all relevant issues
as thoroughly and completely as possible. Be sure to provide citations and references in APA
format. The Final Project assignment is worth 100 points.

1. Describe how attachment (or lack thereof) has impacted Claudias life. Be sure to discuss
her attachment style as well as the attachment style of significant figures in her life. Be
thorough in your response.
2. Discuss the factors related to juvenile delinquency. Apply those factors to Claudias life
in terms of her prognosis for success and her risk for violence.
3. Explain Marcias theory of identity statuses and describe what each identity status is.
What type of identity status is Claudia in? Be sure to provide reasoning for your response.
4. How do parental and peer behavior relate to adolescent self-esteem? Describe Claudias
self-esteem. What factors led to her current self-esteem? How would you improve her selfesteem?
5. Describe the non-sexual motives that may be influencing Claudias sexual acting out.
What factors have led to young people having sex at earlier ages?
6. Discuss Claudias gender identity. What factors may have influenced her view of herself
as a young woman?
7. What peer status category would you place Claudia in and why?

Introduction to Case Study of Claudia Rios
Claudia Rios is a seventeen year old Hispanic female who is ordered by the Juvenile Court to
undergo an evaluation. She presents at the clinic alone for her initial intake. She appears quite
hostile and defiant initially, but soon calms down and seems depressed and anxious. You are
presented with the following information:
Prenatal History of Claudia Rios
Claudia was born to Jennifer Perez (16) and Richard Rios (17). Both Richard and Jennifer had
long histories of alcohol and marijuana abuse. They often had unprotected sex while “high.”
Jennifer stopped her drug use once she discovered she was pregnant. Jennifer had a difficult
pregnancy due to the extreme stress she experienced. She hid her pregnancy from her parents
for several months. She was afraid of their reaction because of their strong Catholic faith.
Richard, at first, agreed to marry her, but then backed out when she was six months pregnant.
Jennifer thought about abortion, but decided against it. Once her parents (Maria & Frank Perez)
found out about the pregnancy, they refused to speak to her for several months. Jennifer was
stressed and alone throughout her pregnancy. She denied using any drugs or alcohol while
pregnant, but there was some suspicion of abuse. Jennifer often did not eat and actually lost
weight during her pregnancy.
Claudia was born one month premature. She remained in the hospital for two weeks before
being allowed to go home. Both Maria and Frank, at this point, were communicating with their
daughter and being very supportive. Richard spent much time with Claudia and also gave
support to Jennifer. Claudia was a difficult child and it was very hard to put her on a schedule.
She often cried endlessly and did not like to be touched as a toddler. Claudias developmental
milestones were delayed. She began walking at sixteen months and said her first word at 2.5
years old. Jennifer was responsible and loving, but was also overwhelmed and stressed much of
the time. She dealt with the stress by “partying.” Claudia was raised mainly by Maria and
Jennifers older sister, Veronica. When Claudia was one year old, Richard enlisted in the United
States Army and moved to Georgia. He did not contact her for several years. Claudia was
inconsolable during the months following his departure.
Childhood History of Claudia Rios
Claudia had a difficult time as a child. Jennifer was gone much of the time and continued to
party and disappear for long periods of time. Finally, Maria and Frank kicked her out of the
house. Claudia remained with her grandparents. Jennifer eventually relocated to New Jersey
and began working for the state government. Claudia seemed unaffected by her mothers
absence. Claudia was often “hyper,” talkative, angry, and distant. When she became angry, she
would rage for over an hour. It also was not possible for her to forgive a transgression. She
often would wait and then “get her revenge.” Her grandparents responded to her behavior by
becoming aloof and frustrated. They allowed her to do whatever she wished. At school she had
difficulty keeping up in class. Claudia states that she had difficulty understanding the teacher
because mostly Spanish was spoken at home. She also had problems maintaining friendships at
school. She was very aggressive with her peers. She was mostly a loner. She was administered
an IQ test by the school psychologist and was found to be operating in mildly retarded range of
intellectual functioning. He also found her to be “psychotic.” Claudia denies ever experiencing
any auditory or visual hallucinations. She did disclose, however, that from ages 5 – 10, her
grandfather used to sneak into bed with her at night. She does not remember what happened,
but states that he stopped coming into her room when she started her period. She has always
had a fear of the dark, but does not know the reason.
When Claudia was twelve, Jennifer married Walter Wellington, a wealthy real estate developer
she met in New Jersey. Walter is Caucasian and fifteen years older than Jennifer (She is 29 and
he is 44). Walter has four older children from his previous two marriages: Walter, Jr. (25), Susan
(21), Lisa (16), and Roger (13). Jennifer is also six months pregnant with Walters child. They
have decided to have Claudia live with them. At age 13 Claudia relocates to New Jersey. She
feels angry and resentful about having to move. She states that she was not consulted about
moving and feels her life began to worsen at this point. Claudia and Walter did not relate well.
She often spoke Spanish while living with her grandparents, but Walter would not allow she or
Jennifer to speak in Spanish. He felt that they were conspiring against him. Jennifer relented
and also forbade Claudia to speak Spanish. Claudia was often spanked by Walter and disclosed
that he always left bruises. She was not allowed to go to school on these days.
Adolescence of Claudia Rios
Claudias school problems worsened in New Jersey. She was several grade levels below the
other students, but was still passed ahead. Claudia attended a private school and lamented the
fact that she was the only person of color. She developed early, however, and found that many
of the boys thought she was very attractive. Claudia states that she lost her virginity to Walter

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