Smarter Decisions through Psychology
SCENARIO: Monica is a single mom who has a 16-year-old son named Jordan. Monica and Jordan were close at one point. As of late, Monica has been noticing that Jordan spends a lot of time focusing on what his friends think about him. Without his mother’s permission, Jordan recently crawled out of his bedroom window and went to a party when he was supposed to be studying for an exam. Upon his return home, Jordan reeked of alcohol and marijuana and was caught by his mother. Shocked and appalled by her son’s recent behavior, she grounded him for two weeks.
What advice would you give Monica about her son’s recent behavior?
Using what you have learned about the adolescent brain and social development, answer the questions in this case study assignment. Your goals are to help Monica understand why her son makes the choices he does and recommend some strategies that may help solve the problem.
For each question, you should write a paragraph-length response (5–7 sentences) to receive credit for this assignment. You may use your Sophia tutorials as a resource.
Question 1: What happens inside the brain of a teenager that makes it difficult for Jordan to weigh the risks and rewards of his behavior? Describe how the adolescent brain weighs risk and reward.
Question 2: Why does it appear that Jordan values the opinion of his peers more than the opinion of his mother? Explain the psychological concepts that may account for why Jordan places value on his peers’ opinions.
Question 3: What advice would you give Jordan’s mother, Monica, that would teach him how to make better choices and decisions? Discuss a specific strategy that Monica may implement to help her son make better decisions.
Question 4: If you were in Monica’s shoes, how would you feel? Explain why a better understanding of Monica’s perspective could result in more constructive advice.