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Case Study Analysis: Adolescence to Emerging Adulthood

Case Study Analysis: Adolescence to Emerging Adulthood

For this assignment, you will complete an analysis of a case study that deals with one of the following stages of lifespan development: adolescence or emerging adulthood.

Select one of the following case studies from your Broderick and Blewitt textbook to complete an analysis of the developmental and contextual issues related to the selected case:

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  • Dean, page 365.
  • Angela, page 436.

Each of the case studies includes a set of questions that can guide your analysis of the pertinent issues for the particular case.


Address the following in your case study analysis:

  • Analyze lifespan development theories to determine the most appropriate theory or theories to apply to the case study.
  • Apply the appropriate lifespan development theory to support an identified intervention process.
  • Describe the potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development for the current age and context described in the case study.
  • Write in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and consistent with expectations for graduate-level composition and expression.


The case study analysis should be a maximum of 5 pages in length, including the introduction and conclusion, each of which should be approximately one half-page in length. The body of the paper should not exceed 4 pages.

Provide the following content in your paper:

  • An introduction that includes an overview of the paper contents, including a brief summary and background information regarding the case study.
  • The body of the case study, including: 
    • The presenting challenge or challenges and primary issue or issues.
    • The appropriate lifespan development theory and research-based alternatives that explain the presenting challenges.
    • The potential impact of individual and cultural differences on development for the current age and context described in the case study.
    • Evidence-based support from lifespan development theory and current scholarly research to support appropriate interventions.
  • A conclusion that summarizes what was introduced in the body of the paper, with respect to the case study context, challenges, and interventions.


Submit a professional document, in APA style, that includes the following required elements identified with headings and subheadings:

  • Title page.
  • Introduction (half page).
  • Case study analysis (4 pages).
  • Conclusion (half page).
  • Reference page: Include a minimum of 5 scholarly resources from current peer-reviewed journals as references, in addition to referencing the textbook in which the case study is embedded.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.


Dean is a White 16-year-old. He is a sophomore at George Washington Carver High School. He lives with his father and his stepmother in a semirural community in the South. His father and mother divorced when Dean was 8 years old, and both parents remarried shortly after the breakup. Dean’s mother moved to another state, and, although she calls him from time to time, the two have little contact. Dean gets along well with his father and stepmother. He is also a good “older brother” to his 5-year-old stepbrother, Jesse.

Dean’s father owns and operates an auto-repair shop in town. His wife works part time, managing the accounts for the business. She is also an active contributor to many community projects in her neighborhood. She regularly works as a parent volunteer in the elementary school library and is a member of her church’s executive council. Both parents try hard to make a good life for their children.

Dean has always been a somewhat lackluster student. His grades fell precipitously during third grade, when his parents divorced. However, things stabilized for Dean over the next few years, and he has been able to maintain a C average. Neither Dean nor his father take his less-than-stellar grades too seriously. In middle school, his father encouraged him to try out for football. He played for a few seasons but dropped out in high school. Dean has a few close friends who like him for his easygoing nature and his sense of humor. Dean’s father has told him many times that he can work in the family business after graduation. At his father’s urging, Dean is pursuing a course of study in automobile repair at the regional vo-tech school.

Now in his sophomore year, Dean’s circle of friends includes mostly other vo-tech students. He doesn’t see many of his former friends, who are taking college preparatory courses. Kids in his class are beginning to drive, enabling them to go to places on weekends that had formerly been off-limits. He knows many kids who are having sex and drinking at parties. He has been friendly with several girls over the years, but these relationships have been casual and platonic. Dean wishes he would meet someone with whom he could talk about his feelings and share his thoughts.

Although he is already quite accustomed to the lewd conversations and sexual jokes that circulate around the locker room, he participates only halfheartedly in the banter. He has listened for years to friends who brag about their sexual exploits. He wonders with increasing frequency why he is not attracted to the same things that seem so important to his friends. The thought that he might be gay has crossed his mind, largely because of the scathing comments made by his peers about boys who show no interest in girls. This terrifies him, and he usually manages to distract himself by reasoning that he will develop sexual feeling “when the right girl comes along.”

As time passes, however, he becomes more and more morose. His attention is diverted even more from his classwork. He finds it more difficult to be around the kids at school. Dean starts to drink heavily and is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. He is sentenced to a 6-week drug education program and is assigned community service. His parents are disappointed in him because of this incident, but they believe he has learned his lesson and will not repeat his mistake. Dean’s father believes that his son will be fine as soon as he finds a girlfriend to “turn him around.”

Discussion Questions


What are the issues facing Dean at this point in his development?


Enumerate the risks and the protective factors that are present in his life.


How would you, as his counselor, assess Dean’s situation? What approaches could you take with this adolescent? What kinds of psycho-educational interventions might you consider within the school setting?

(Broderick 365-366)

Broderick, Patricia C., Pamela Blewitt. Life Span, The: Human Development for Helping Professionals, 4th Edition. Pearson Learning Solutions, 01/2014. VitalBook file.

The post Case Study Analysis: Adolescence to Emerging Adulthood appeared first on Smart Essays.

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