Beautiful Boy Application Essay

He kept experimenting with more drugs and finally Crystal Meth. To be honest I think that he may have never developed the full capacity for formal reasoning. He also had a lot of different environmental and cultural influences that had a huge impact on him. Certain things would lead him towards the path of drugs, and he couldn’t reason to himself differently. “Now I am in my own program to recover from my addiction to [Nic’s addiction]” (p. 305). I feel like that is a good example of how “logical” his reasoning really is.


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Apply the concepts of Erikson Theory to Nic’s Development. At age 4 Nic’s parents got divorced. That was during the Preschool stage, where the conflict is Initiative vs. Guilt. In this stage children need to begin asserting control and power over their environment. Nic was doing well in this stage and the school age stage as well. His grades well good, he had friends and was active and involved in sports.

His father thought that Nic was coping well because he was doing so well in school and playing sports. “Nic was excelling in school and I could have been happier. (30) However related to Preschool stage – Nic was able to control his grades, and his activities therefore he was about to successfully show his power. However, at age 12 Nic’s father found pot in Nic’s back pack. This is the adolescence stage where the conflict is Identity vs. Role Confusion. This is where teens need to develop a sense of self and personal identity. Success leads to an ability to stay true to yourself, while failure leads to role confusion and a weak sense of self. Well Nic was not successful and true to himself because by the age 18 he had experimented with many other drugs and was on looking towards Crystal Meth.

At this point, he has lost his true identity and is going off track. Going into his Young Adulthood he was already strong on Meth. He became more and more into the drug; everyday losing more of himself and hurting his family. The vicious cycle never seemed to end. 3. Apply Family Systems theory to the Sheff family. What concepts are evident in their interactions? “We are dysfunctional…I’m not sure if I know any ‘functional’ families, if functional means a family without difficult times and members who don’t have a full range of problems. (14) The Sheff family was dysfunctional, but also considering all the challenged and obstacles they went through with Nic that can cause a strain, which would certainly not result in normal functional family. And I would have to agree with David – I don’t know if I know any “functional families. ” Nic certainly was the most difficult member in the family. Calls to the hospitals and long nights wondering if Nic was OK are things his dad became very familiar with. When Nic was on the street, his dad would drive around looking for him, hoping to find him and get him help. That would cause strain on any family.

His father tried to instill family roles and family rules and boundaries; however Nic would always end up on his own path –Crystal Meth. The family roles were very unclear. Did anybody even really know the real Nic? (probably not) Also, there was really never any consistency in the family. I mean the father would try his best but things always would get off track when it came to Nic and Meth. What was consistent was the “typical behaviors” and “the way it is” that the family became accustom too. Nic’s lie, stealing, and using. To me it seemed like the family was slowly disconnecting. Families are systems of interconnected and interdependent individuals; none can be understood when isolated from the family. “(pp) 4. What characteristics of resilience do you see in Nic? * He valued learning and he had excelled at writing. * I believe that he did have positive relationships with caring adults when he was in the right state of mind. * He also did have problem solving skills. “Now I am in my own program to recover from my addiction to [Nic’s addiction]” (p. 305). He did not always make the best choice but when not on meth he could. * He did like to help others – especially his family when he was on the right path.

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