6 Sep 2022


Signs of Psychological Trauma Affecting Parents

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Academic level: College

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Based on the information provided in this case study, i t is apparent that the Velasquez family has not gotten over the death of their daughter . A s a result, there are evident signs of psychological trauma affecting both parents. The fact that Irma tends to be overprotective of Henry does not inherently emanate from her love for the son but rather from the f ear that she might lose him just as she lost A ngel. The climax of such fears is felt when she tries to blame the husband for his low earnings and hence their unsafe living environment . On the other hand, the fact that Irma’s husband is not comfortable with being home is a clear indication that being at home reignites the memories of the conditions that led to his daughter’s death. Therefore, h e has resorted to employing escapism as a strategy for avoid ing confrontati on with his realities (Hutchison, 201 6 ). The behavior of the two parents is thus likely to weigh down on Henry’s psychological as well as cognitive development. Thus, t he Velasquez family is in need of both psychologica l and material support.

The Velasquez family requires psychological counseling to help the two parents to accept what happened and the fact that what happened to Angel can occur elsewhere, even in cases of extreme protection such as the one offered to Henry. Unfortunately, much of the psychological trauma affecting Irma and her husband is fuelled by the fact that they tend to believe that they could have done s omething to save their daughter. Owing to this , the two require a psychologist to confirm to them that stray bullets are accidents which may be inevitable in some conditions , including in safer , wealthy suburbs and even on the streets. Th is reassurance will help take away the harbored guilty feelings and will help them to heal . Moreover, so l ong as Irma and her husband continue living in the same house and locality where their daughter was killed , they might never forget Angel’s death. Hence, due to the ir poor financial condition, the family needs material support to relocate. For instance, Irma firmly believes that they live in a dangerous neighborhood, wh ich is also inhabited by drug peddlers and addicts. The magnitude of her conviction may not be easy to take away. H owever , moving out of their current residence will significantly help in their psychological healing.

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The present physical environment also has a limiting effect on Henry’s psychological development . T he cognitive and psychological development of growing children takes place within the first 1000 days . The subsequent growth is dependent on the foundational levels established during this period. It is also worth noting that this growth and development takes place through interaction s with the most immediate environment , which consists of the primary caregivers and any other person that the children interact with . Therefore, Henry could miss out on this crucial stage due to the extreme protection offered by his mother and continued confinement in his bedroom. Currently, as deduced from the case study , there is limited contact and interaction between Henry and the environment. Henry’s mother does not allow any other person to feed him , nor does she let him leave his bedroom. Th is confinement is thus likely to lead to delayed cognitive and psychological growth and development (Hutchison, 201 6 ).

The social environment , on the other hand , might result in selective psychological growth and development. Children develop certain aspects of personality such as attitude and temperament by learning from people they closely associate with (Hutchison, 2010) . For instance, w hen a child realizes that people around him or her dislike something, there are high chances that they might also grow up hating the same t h ing . This happens even when they are not given a reason for the hatred. Irma, for instance, hates the neighborhood and bears a grudge against it due to her daughter’s death Thus, t here are high chances that the same negative attitude towards the community and society as a whol e will be passed over to Henry , who currently knows nothing about Angel and the stray bullet. As a result , rather than exerc ising his free mind to learn and make decision s , Henry may be influenced to selectively develop a negative attitude and hatred towards the society even when he does not have a r eason for the same (Hutchison , 2010 ).

Although culture was not mentioned in this case, it plays a significant role in th e scenario, and thus exploration of cultural dimensions , in this case, might be an interesting perspective . For instance, the behavior and culture of the members of society can either be beneficial or detrimental (Hutchison, 201 0 ). It is due to this that Irma complains that they live in a dangerous neighborhood that serves as a hiding den for drug peddlers. The level of insecurity is justified by Angel’s death which occurs as a result of a confrontation between t wo rival and armed drug gangs. The cultural dimension , in this case, is the free usage of narcotics by the members of the immediate society, which is an indicator of moral decadence . While most world cultures prohibit illegal drug use, the vice is still rampant. The repercussions of this are brought out in this case study. Specifically, the case study indicates that i llicit drugs have effects on both the direct users and society in general. Th us, usage of drugs in the case study should be pursued as a cultural dimension due to its immense impact on the quality of life of the members of society. The growing fears of the Velasquez family are representative of what the community in the case study feels about the state of affairs in the neighborhood. Also, the gender roles as given in the case study present another important cultural aspect. For instance, Irma ’s view is that the husband is responsible for bringing food to the table and ensuring that the family lives comfortably and in a safe environment. The husband, on the other hand, reckons that Irma is responsible for the children’s welfare. These different roles contribute to the inability of the Velasquez family to come to terms with the death of their daughter as one unit. 


Hutchison, E. D. (2016). Essentials of human behavior: Integrating person, environment, and the life course . Sage Publications. 

Hutchison, E. D. (2010). Dimensions of human behavior: The changing life course . Sage. 

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