Scenario: Daniela

Daniela is a 9 year old Hispanic female who is currently in the third grade. She is in her third school as she has moved a great deal in her childhood. Her mother Maria is a 29 year old woman who was recently diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. This diagnosis is impacting her ability to work consistently and money has become an issue. Maria was married at 19 to Manuel. Both Maria and Manuel came to the United States when they were young adolescents, but still maintain strong cultural traditions. Shortly after Daniela’s birth, Manuel abandoned the family and Maria met James. Daniela was 2 years old when Maria married James. Maria has tried to continue her cultural traditions, but sometimes James is not supportive of this. Maria has brought up Daniela telling her that James is her biological father. Maria’s marriage to James recently ended, and in a heated family argument, he told Daniela he wasn’t her biological father. Maria continued to tell Daniela he was, and that he was just upset when he said this. In school, Daniela is having a difficult time keeping up with her peers and is a grade level behind academically. She has an immature way of behaving with peers and adults, and does not have any true friends. Maria describes her as being an introverted child who from a young age has always been sensitive, moody, and not able to adjust easily to new circumstances.

  1. What role do you see culture playing with regard to Daniela’s development?
  2. Discuss Daniela’s development with regard to: contributions of nature, contributions of nurture, and the interaction of nature and nurture.
  3. As a human service professional, what are some specific environmental concerns, both related to her family and her school environment that you would have with this case, and how would you address them?
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