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Adolescent Interview for Behavior Change Report

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Updated: Jan 24th, 2021

Adolescent Interview: Revealing the Source of the Problem and Developing the Means to Address It. Teenagers and Abusive Parents

The following is the transcript of the interview with fifteen-year-old Pete from Big Spring, TX. Pete has recently got in trouble when trying to steal from a local shop.

Introduction

Interviewer: Hello, Pete. My name is Mary, and I am conducting research. Can I ask you to take part in it?

Pete: Uh… Okay.

Home

Interviewer: Who lives at home with you?

Pete: My sister Cathy. She’s 6. Also Mom and Dad. But they’re all about Cathy and don’t give an [censored] about me.

Interviewer: Do you think they can change?

Pete: I don’t care.

Education

Interviewer: What do you think about school? Do you like it?

Pete: School sucks. Teachers are morons; never tell anything worth listening to.

Drugs

Interviewer: Has anyone ever offered you drugs?

Pete: Yeah, one of my buddies.

Interviewer: Did you take them?

Pete: Do I look like an idiot?

Safety and Friends

Interviewer: What do you do when you hang out with your friends?

Pete: My friends are a lot of fun. We start fights and kick [censored]. We’re a Gang (makes a gesture obviously belonging to an underground culture). Note: The “gang” obviously influences Pete the wrong way.

Suicide

Interviewer: What do you do when you feel bad, really bad?

Pete: Like your best friend lets you down, or something?

(Continuation) Interviewer: Yes.

Pete: Go kick some [censored].

Sexuality

Interviewer: Would you mind answering a very personal question?

Pete: Shoot it.

(Continuation) Interviewer: Have you ever been in a relationship?

Pete: Like having sex, you mean? Sure. But I couldn’t bear her winning for more than a week, so we broke up.

Note: The interviewee turned red when answering; perhaps, he was lying. Anyway, unprotected sex does not seem to be an issue here.

Activities

Interviewer: Do you have any hobbies?

Pete: Do you know steampunk?

(Continuation) Interviewer: Sure.

Pete: I like anything steampunk. Have a ton of posters, comics, and so on. I even make something like that on my own once in a while.

Interviewer: That’s interesting. I lead a group in which people like you gather to share what they know about steampunk and even create things like steampunk flash drivers on their own. Would you like to join this group?

Pete: What’s that, a bunch of nerds?

(Continuation) Interviewer: Come and see yourself. It’s right next to the Water Billing Office.

Pete: Yeah, whatever. See you.

Interviewer: Bye.

Judging by the answers of the interviewee, he is willing to change. There are ways to help him solve the problems and, thus, continue his studies, pursuing his dream. Although the at-risk tree of the interviewed leaves much to be desired, especially concerning the “branches,” i.e., the company that Pete has recently joined, it can be expected that reconsidering his values, Pete will be able to drop out of his “gang” and join his more successful fellow students. Applying Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model (McWhirter, McWhirter, McWhirter & McWhirter, 2010) to Pete’s case, one must admit that, of all the systems that the young man exists in, the Microsystem (“Friends”) and the Macrosystem (“Poverty” and “Cultural Values”) leave much to be desired. That said, it is necessary to shape the intervention strategy so that it could help Pete filter the incoming information and withstand negative influences. The above-mentioned can be achieved by introducing Pete to a group of people with similar needs and problems and let a person in charge develop an interest in certain fields (e.g., computers, sports, etc.) in the members. Developing his interest, acquiring new skills, and making new friends, Pete will be able to cut the rotten branches off his at-risk tree and become a successful student and, in the nearest future, a nonetheless successful adult.

Reference List

McWhirter, J. J., McWhirter, B. T., McWhirter, E. H. & McWhirter, R. J. (2010). At-risk youth. Stanford, CT: Cengage.

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