Get Jack Back on Track

Portrait of an angry boy crying

From the given description of Jack, it seems as if he is a mostly normal 9-year old boy with some behavioral problems. Risk factors for aggressive behavior that appear are the substance abuse problem of his mother, the fact that his mother is a single mom and has four other children to take care of, and the low socioeconomic status of the family (considering that the mom must rely on the grandmother for financial support). Protective factors are the clean toxicology screening at birth, the presence of the grandmother as a second caregiver, the normal IQ, and Jack’s general academic success.

In a biopsychosocial framework, the biology of his aggression seems relatively okay, as his mother claims she didn’t use drugs or drink during her pregnancy, although possible aggressive behavior of the father may have genetically predisposed Jack to be more aggressive. From a psychological perspective, he may feel that he doesn’t get that much attention as there are 4 other children in the home, leading him to act out. Finally, from a social perspective, there are many sociological risk factors stemming from low socioeconomic status that may lead to aggressive behavior because of chronic stress in the home.

Given that Jack is an otherwise normal boy who seems to act out to get attention, an appropriate behavior management technique would be parental management therapy, where the mom/grandmother would ignore aggressive/disruptive behaviors and reward good behaviors with attention, praise, and material or privilege reinforcers.

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