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Risk and Protective Factors, Essay Example

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Abstract

Risk and protective factors transcend cultures, age groups as well as generations. Psychologically, they affect relationships and instigate establishment of legislations aimed at protecting people of all cultures from eminent catastrophes. These range from accidents towards, toxic substances/ interactions; environments so labeled, people displaying tendencies that will jeopardize the life of others as well as health conditions. In the novel, “There are no children here’ Alex Kotlowitz (1991) relates the risk of being exposed to injustice by a system designed to protect citizens from risky environments. Can protective factors in themselves place one at risk?

Child Risk Factors

According to Davies (2010) a child is at risk even before birth. (Davies, 2010). InAlex Kotlowitz’s (1991) “There are no children here’ Lafeyette and Pharoah, 11 and 9 years old, respectively, after surviving the trauma of birth, toddler and preschool years, have found themselves at severe risks of their social environment. They have been socialized into a psychology of welfare residing in a gang oriented, drug infested project culture neighborhood (Kotlowitz, 1991)

Child Protective factors

Davies (2010) emphasizes that the first attempts at protecting a child is through proper prenatal care and placing the mother in a socially acceptable environment to ensure safety (Davies, 2010). In the case ofLafeyette and Pharoah, 11 and 9 years of age, the only reasonably protection which could have been afforded them at that time was closing their minds to the vices within thesurrounding social structure.

Family Risk factors

The obvious family risk factors in this story, ‘There are no Children here’ lay in the family structure in itself as well as the solo-economic status of the family. There is a single parent mother who cannot earn enough to provide for her children. Besides, one of the eight already turns to prostitution to support her drug addiction. This increases the risk of the more productive children teaming up with others who commit crimes in terms of peer group associations (Davies’ 2010).

Family Protective factors

Davies (2010) points towards the strength in a family structure as a basis of psychological well being (Davies, 2010). In nuclear families where there are both parents, the structure tends to be more stabled than a single parent woman with eight children and a visiting partner. Even an extended unit including grandparents; aunts, uncles is stronger compared to the conditions of 11 and 9 year oldLafeyette and Pharoah(Kotlowitz, 1991).

Social Environmental risk factors

Alex Kotlowitz (1991) “There are no children here’ unfolds the novel sensitizing  readers towards the social environmentof 11 and 9 year old Lafeyette and Pharoah; their siblings inclusive of the triplets only four when the books opensand single parent mother, Lajoe. At the onset the audience is alerted to the fears ofLafeyette and Pharoah the more productive offsprings.

They live in the projects where there are numerous risk factors including gangs; drug usage; drug trading, prostitution, crimes and very few positive examples. Form Davies (2010) psychology of childhood development as it pertains to environmental risk factors, this increases the possibility ofLafeyette and Pharoah immersing into this environmental culture despite their alternative view of life( Davies 2010).

Social environmental protective factors

It can be concluded from the squeal of events in this novel that Lafeyette and Pharoah regardless of the environment took advantage of opportunities that would foster a life style inconsistent with which they were socialized or forced into conformity.This in itself served as a social environmental protective factor designed for by them for their ultimate good.

In reality Kotlowitz (1991) highlighted that while Davies’ (2010) analysis of childhood development is aligned to the outcome inLafeyette and Pharaoh’s circumstances; social structure politics, insidiously can become so corrupt to stagnate these outcomes and retard positive growth. Precisely, social structure politics was supposed to offer protection for these very risk factors.

References

Davies Douglas (2010).Childhood Development (3rd ed) New York:  The Guilford Press.

Kotlowitz Alex (1991). There are no children here. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

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