Megan Griffiths is a 27 year old single parent who has 4 children. She has had four different boyfriends since she was aged 13 and has been living on her own since she was 16 years old. Megan’s first daughter, Jane was in foster care from birth until the time her mom reached the age of 16.
Understanding the situation Megan is in may be easier with some knowledge of the developmental stages that occur during adolescence. It seems that, because her first pregnancies occurred during her teen-age years, one must first have a solid understanding of the state she was in at that time. Along with looking at the actual information provided by Megan herself, the literature can provide a good framework for case planning.
Pierno (1995, p-1) has provided some excellent information in her work on adolescent pregnancy. She points out that Freud’s concept of adolescence as a time “fraught with struggle…a time when the ego is torn between the strong impulses of the id and the restrictions of the super ego. This conflict makes adolescence a time of tremendous stress and turmoil. She goes on to contrast Freud’s theories of psychosexual development to Erik Erikson’s Psychosocial Theory which takes a broader view of the factors impacting human development.
Erikson proposes that all people face a series of developmental tasks but he does not see individuals getting ‘stuck’ in a phase, as Freud believed. Erikson’s theory is that people will rework old issues in the context of certain tasks and then move on. ...