Category Archives: Psychology

Research Question and Hypothesis

The null hypothesis (H0) refers to the common view held by individuals about a particular phenomenon. The researcher attempts to disprove or reject the null hypothesis while conducting the research. Thus, the null hypothesis is required because while conducting a study, the researcher aims at testing the null hypothesis rather than the research hypothesis. When drawing conclusions, the null hypothesis helps the researcher to form an opinion about whether there is a relationship between variables in a sample population or whether there is no relationship. For instance, is there a relationship between the death penalty in various states and high cost expenditures in the criminal justice system? The relationship of the hypothesis to the identified problem is that the hypothesis translates the identified problem into expected outcomes of the research. The hypothesis affirms that the death penalty is costly compared to placing prisoners on parole, which helps explain the research problem.

Available data indicates that the death penalty is more expensive compared to the cost of a life sentence (Alarcon & Mitchell, 2012). The hypothesis is feasible since it is both testable and falsifiable. Testability refers to the capability of the researcher to apply scientifically proven methods in examining whether the hypothesis is true or not. Falsifiable relates to the ability of the researcher to conclude whether the hypothesis is true or false through experimentation. The hypothesis is both testable and falsifiable since it is possible to conduct a scientific investigation to prove it as true or not. The hypothesis is measurable since it is possible to evaluate costs of the death penalty in various states by examining the budget costs for a specific period. The hypothesis is also testable since it is possible to determine whether it is accurate or inaccurate.


Alarcon, A, & Mitchell, P. (2012). Death Penalty Information Center, retrieved November

19, 2016, from:


Psychopathology and Criminality

      Should the death penalty still be used in the United States criminal justice system?

      Should the death penalty still be used in the United States criminal justice system?

What is the specific problem?

          The death penalty proposes many problems, number one being that it costs millions of

dollars compared to that of a sentence of life without parole. According to Equal Justice

USA, (2016), for the past 40 years the death penalty has been manipulated in attempts to

perfect the system, but to no avail it is still a corrupt system. This is just one of many issues

the use of the death penalty faces.

What is the evidence of the problem?

          The evidence of the problem is that it is proven that the cost of an execution versus the

 costs of life without parole is a huge difference. The cost of killing someone by death

penalty is significantly more than that of sentencing someone to life without parole. Cases

without the death penalty cost $740,000, while cases where the death penalty is sought cost

$1.26 million. Maintaining each death row prisoner costs taxpayers $90,000 more per year

than a prisoner in general population. There are 714 inmates on California’s death row,

according to Alarcon, A, and Mitchell, P., (2011), if the convicted criminals on death row in

the United States were converted to life without parole, it would save over an astonishing

$170 million dollars per year and over the next 20 years a savings of over $5 billion dollars.

This is just in the state of California alone. The other problem is that they spend millions of

dollars on convicted felons who are sentenced to death and then later they are found to be

innocent after they are already incurring costs on death row. Evidence is later found on many

of these convicted criminals, which proves their innocence. Some have been in prison for 30

years to later be found innocent.

      What do you suspect is causing the problem?

                What I suspect is the major problem with this system is sometimes the justice system

      works by stereotypes in categorizing their criminals, now allowing evidence later found

      proving the innocence of the convicted, not allowing a fifty-fifty spread of jurors to

      participate as jury members instead of only allowing people to become jurors who only

      believe in the death penalty. Corrupt attorneys who fall asleep during trials, arrive to a trial

      noticeably intoxicated as well as convicted criminals who do not have the money to afford

      the proper representation.

      Is the research question clearly expressed without being too general or too narrow?

          I believe that my research question is conveyed appropriately. I don’t think it is too

general because there are a lot of other subjects to discuss within this general area of

research, however, I choose to keep it in this area due to there being so many things wrong

with the costs and what each county pays in taxes as a result. I believe that a lot of people are

unaware of what the costs of the death penalty truly are, instead, they see it as justice for

themselves in the place of their loss.

      Does the question relate to the identified problem?

          The question I am looking for answers to relates to the problem at hand completely. I

would l like to know who honestly wants someone to die a quick death than suffer in a place

like prison for the rest of their lives? No matter what they do in prison, they will never get

out. Not by parole, not for good behavior, not for anything. They will have to live in a very

small shared space and never shower alone. Never get to eat what they want, never get to

wear what they want to, the only means of sex would be same sex and for some this is not an

option. They can never go to the mall, or to a grocery store and shop for what they want.

I have mentioned a lot of never will’s. Sure, they may qualify for educational programs, or

watch a little television or experience laughter every once in a while, but they will die there.

      Is the research, based on the research question, feasible?

                I believe the information in question is feasible because our country is in trillions of

      dollars’ in debt and we need to figure out a way to get out of this debt, instead of constantly

      adding to it. This would lead to a means for more research of the cost of more prisons to

      house prisoners, is the cost of housing prisoners less than that of the cost of the death

      penalty? Is the cost of keeping a prisoner in a prison less than that of the death penalty, yes

      this has been proven in our research. How do we get better representation for convicted

      felons on death row so that the innocent are not wrongfully accused of a crime they did not


      Will the research, based on the research question, add to the body of knowledge in the

      forensic psychology field?

                The research based quest will add to the body of knowledge which already exists

      because it is a well-known fact on many websites that the cost of the death penalty out-

      weighs the costs of death row, but what are they doing to fix this problem. If congress says

      there will be no more death penalty period in the United States, then that is how it will be.

      There would be more criminals sentenced to life without parole.


    Alarcon, A, and Mitchell, P., (2012), Death Penalty Information Center, retrieved November

19, 2016, from:

     Equal Justice USA, (2016), The Death Penalty in The United States, retrieved November 19,

           2016, from


Psychological Theory and Practice

Psychological Theory and Practice

Psychological Theory and Practice

Part A

Conducting an unstructured interview would be critical in obtaining detailed information concerning the client. During an interview, the psychological professional prepares the appropriate questions that will help provide as much information as possible. Unstructured interviews are a type of informal interviews whereby the researcher may not utilize an interview schedule (Weiner, 2003). Unstructured interviews comprise of open-ended questions that are asked without a specific order. The main advantage in applying unstructured interviews in this case is the fact that these kinds of interviews allow for flexibility since the researcher can alter the questions as the interview progresses. The psychological professional may change the interview questions depending on answers provided by the respondent, Adrianna. Since unstructured interviews utilize open-ended questions, the respondent has room to respond in much detail. This would help in establishing the sense of the respondent in understanding the case against her. Unstructured interviews will also allow for more probing in order to get a deeper understanding of issues raised by the respondent.

Unstructured interviews are valuable in obtaining information from individual with various forms of mental health problems. Unstructured interviews are similar to the free association method, which encourages individuals to provide details of their thought patterns or what they perceive in their mind (Weiner, 2003). Unstructured interviews are mainly client-centered. The key point is to allow the client to talk freely. As the psychology professional, the key role will be to reflect Adrianna’s statement back and to encourage her to talk more about her feelings and thoughts (Weiner, 2003). The open-ended approach has little guidance as to what or how much the client says. This will encourage Adrianna to open up about her thoughts and feelings. Nonetheless, I will still apply focused questions in order to guide the interview process and the course it takes. From the case study, there is need to conduct certain psychological assessments in order to evaluate the mental status of the client. The following assessments will help in reaching a diagnosis for the client.

The Mental Status Examination (MSE) is an important psychometric instrument used in clinical psychology to evaluate the functioning levels of a client with mental health issues. The MSE can help psychology professionals in determining whether a client requires treatment and in evaluating the efficacy of current treatment practices. MSE is critical while conducting the initial interview. The MSE enables the psychology professional to draw important conclusions through observation of the client and data provision by the client. The MSE bears several categories that can help the psychology professional to draw conclusions about the client. The following is an examination of the various categories with regard to client behavior.

Appearance. While conducting the MSE, the psychology professional begins by noting the physical appearance of the client (Haddox, 1999). This may include an evaluation of the dress code, tattoos, general neatness, and unusual marks on the body. It is also important to note whether the client is cooperative or not during the interview. Additional cues to look out for include consciousness levels, posture, apparent age, self-mutilation as evidenced by scars, eye contact, and among others. Posture can help indicate anxiety levels. Eye contact can indicate whether Adrianna is comfortable in answering the interview questions.

Substance use. It is important to establish whether Adrianna has alcohol dependency and drug related problems, which could exacerbate her current situation. People may slip into alcohol dependency in order to ease anxiety or depression. Most individuals with alcohol dependency will deny they have a problem or they do not realize they have an alcohol dependency problem. The psychology professional may apply the CAGE questions set that comprises of four questions about alcohol abuse. These questions include:

  1. Do you ever feel the need to cut down on your drinking?
  2. Do people criticize your drinking to the point that you feel annoyed?
  • Do you have any guilt feelings about your drinking?
  1. Have you ever drunk alcohol in the morning to calm you down? (Haddox, 1999).

From the vignette, Adrianna has started depending on alcohol as a way of getting sleep. This will most likely lead to addiction. When evaluating the history of drug use, the psychology professional must be aware of the terminology revolving around drug use. It is also important to be aware of the phenomenology relating to drug use. Adrianna is susceptible to drug abuse as a way of coping with her depression. It is possible she will start using hard drugs to ease her frustrations.

Suicidal ideation assessment. The risk of suicide may be high judging by the fact that Adrianna had a previous diagnosis of depression. The risk of suicide may occur when there is presence of affective disorders, personality disorders, and though disorders. Affective disorders include a range of psychiatric diseases such as depression, anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorders. Personality disorders include paranoid personality disorder, schizotypal disorder, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and among others. Suicidal thought patterns are common among individuals with personality issues. They can be more complex when personality issues arise from the need for revenge, punishment, and due to anger issues. In assessing the risk of suicide, the psychology professional may ask various questions. For instance, one may ask, “Have you ever thought of sleeping and never seeing another day?”

Available literature indicates that alcohol abuse increases suicidal behavior among individuals. Studies indicate that there is a high risk of suicide among alcoholics (Mackrill & Hesse, 2012). This risk is higher where an immediate family member has committed suicide. Further, studies indicate that suicide behavior may run in families. A genetic component may explain why suicide may run in families (Mackrill & Hesse, 2012). Since Adrianna’s brother committed suicide, this indicates she could also be at risk of committing suicide. There is also an increased risk of suicide since Adrianna comes from a drug-abusing family. Further, she is depending on alcohol to help her sleep. According to Albanese, Norr, Capron, Zvolensky, and Schmidt (2015), there is high suicide rate among individuals exposed to traumatic events during childhood. This puts Adrianna at high risk of committing suicide due to her traumatic childhood. Due to the above reasons, there is need for Adrianna to complete a suicidal ideation assessment to establish the risk of committing suicide.

It is critical to conduct psychological tests. Psychological testing is akin to medical testing where the major goal is to provide an accurate diagnosis of a particular condition. Similarly, psychological testing evaluates the client’s behavior in order to provide a diagnosis and guide the process of treatment. Psychological tests enable psychology professionals to identify the cause of a particular psychological condition and identify evidence-based practices of dealing with the problem. For instance, conducting psychological tests on Adrianna may help shed light on anger management issues, personality disorders, affective disorders, and other underlying concerns. Psychological tests will thus help in solving the problem or issue.

Certain formal assessment procedures may help in enhancing the understanding of problems and in directing the treatment plans. One of the assessment procedures is the 4-item Primary Care PTSD Screed for evaluating post-traumatic stress disorder. Another tool that can help in evaluating PTSD is the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale, which is a self-report PTSD instrument. Another important assessment procedure is the application of the DSM-IV and DSM-V in evaluating the case. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of mental disorders can help in classifying various mental health disorders.

Referrals may occur if the patient does not give a positive response within a period of three months. If the patient remains a threat to others or to self, there might be need for referral to a specialist. This may help in providing a specialist opinion. The referral question may relate to the nature of the metal health disorder affecting the client. Cultural issues may be present in this case study since Adrianna’s family comes from a different cultural background from that of the US. Culture plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s mental health. For instance in some cultures, men may be expected to cope with stress more than women should.

Part B

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV) is a multiaxial system for diagnosis of various psychological disorders. The DSM-IV manual addresses a person from multiple perspectives (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). The DSM-IV model provides a comprehensive overview by analyzing a complete picture of the entire set of factors relating to the mental health of an individual. The DSM-IV manual has five diagnostic axes that help in providing a comprehensive diagnosis. The following is an overview of the five axes with regard to the vignette.

Axis I: Clinical disorders

Axis I of the DSM-IV manual comprises of clinical disorders. This excludes personality disorders and intellectual disabilities since they are presumed to be stable (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). The various clinical disorders under Axis I include disorders diagnosed during infancy such as ADHD, mental retardation, autism, learning disorders, communication disorders, feeding and eating disorders during infancy, selective mutism, stereotypic movement disorder, and among others (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). The other category includes those not exclusive to children, such as mood disorders (bipolar disorders and depressive disorders), anxiety disorders (PTSD, specific phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia, acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and others), sleep disorders (parasomnias and dyssomnias), and eating disorders (bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa) (Mash & Wolfe, 2013).

Axis II: Includes personality disorders and mental retardation

This axis helps in giving prominence to the two disorders. Most of the intellectual disabilities are diagnosed during childhood. However, it may be difficult to diagnose personality disorders during childhood (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). These become prominent during adolescence or during early adulthood. Personality disorders are more stable in adulthood. However, there are attempts to diagnose personality disorders even in young children. The various personality disorders include borderline disorder, antisocial disorder, histrionic disorder, schizoid disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, narcissistic disorder, schizotypal disorder, avoidant disorder, and dependent disorder (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). Personality disorders share similar characteristics. One of these characteristics is a pervasive pattern of behavior that deviates from societal norms or values. Another characteristic is unusual though patterns and feelings, which contribute to significant distress upon an individual.

Axis III: General medical conditions

This axis requires the identification of related medical conditions. The evaluation of certain medical conditions present in the client may help in getting a clear understanding of the underlying mental health disorder (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). The general medical conditions may not have a sufficient link to the underlying mental disorder. Nonetheless, the general medical conditions may be important to the overall diagnosis and treatment. In addition, the medical condition may bear a direct relationship with the mental disorder in question.

Axis IV: The psychosocial and environmental problems

This axis involves the evaluation of psychosocial and environmental problems that may be contributing to the development of disorders in Axis I and Axis II. These problems include negative life experiences, family problems, major environmental disruptions, occupational problems such as unemployment, deficiencies, incarceration, poverty, and among others (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). This axis mainly focuses on current problems or those that have occurred within the past one year. However, the axis also takes into consideration past events that have contributed to the disorder.

Axis V: global assessment of functioning

This involves examining the overall level of functioning. This axis comprises of a rating scale that ranges from 1 to 100. The psychology professional uses this scale to give the observed level of functioning of the client (Mash & Wolfe, 2013). A lower score indicates that the client has significant mental health problems that call for attention. A higher score such as 100 indicates that there are no symptoms or problems.

The following is the DSM-IV-TR diagnosis and analysis of the axes relating to the vignette.

Axis I              Posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder

Axis II             Obsessive compulsive disorder

Axis III           Recurrent dreams of the ordeal she faced

Axis IV           Death of Adrianna’s family members including her mother and brother, seeing                              the pimp who killed her mother, abuse she ensured as a child (rape and physical                            abuse by her mother), and family stress (her broken family).

Axis V             GAF score of 10. This indicates that Adrianna poses a significant and persistent    risk of hurting self or others. Adrianna may commit suicide or hurt others unknowingly due the severity of her mental health condition. There is need for an      appropriate medical intervention to ensure that Adrianna does not pose a risk to         self and others.

The diagnosis made is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder. Posttraumatic stress disorder occurs to persons who have experienced severe trauma (Hyman, 2013). The diagnosis of PTSD occurs at least one month following the traumatic event. Adrianna has symptoms of PTSD. There are three major symptoms for PTSD. One of the key symptoms for individuals suffering from PTSD is re-experience of the traumatic event often through distressing recollections about the traumatic event (Hyman, 2013). This mainly occurs through nightmares and flashbacks. From the vignette, Adrianna has been having recurring dreams about the night she was sexually assaulted together with her mother, and her brother beaten. The second major symptom is avoidance of places that might rekindle memories of the trauma and emotional numbness (Hyman, 2013). Adrianna manifests these symptoms. First, she refused to go out of the house unless forced to do so by her foster parents. Second, she shot the man who supposedly killed her mother without any tinge of emotion.

Another important symptom under avoidance of places that that rekindle negative images is avoidance of routine or normal activities. Adrianna stopped attending classes after learning of her brother’s death. It was only after her psychiatrist’s intervention that she started attending classes. The third major symptom of PTSD is increased arousal, which may manifest itself in the form of inability to sleep, difficulty in concentration, and irritability (Hyman, 2013). The vignette indicates that Adrianna was unable to sleep, which made her result to taking alcohol in order to sleep. Another symptom indicating increased arousal is hypervigilance. For instance, Adrianna would check whether she locked all windows, doors, and check on her children severally. This occurred after she saw her mother’s former pimp while having dinner at a restaurant. Another symptom relating to increased arousal is reckless behavior. For instance, the shooting of the pimp can be interpreted as a reckless behavior. These symptoms clearly indicate that Adrianna was suffering from PTSD.

Adrianna seems to suffer from major depressive disorder. This means that she suffers from both PTSD and a major depression. Her case is not unique. According to Hyman (2013), major depression may result due to stressful life events. In addition, there is a close link between major depression and PTSD. This means that individuals suffering from PTSD may concurrently be diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Research by Hyman (2013) indicates that there is a co-occurrence level of 56 percent and 95 percent in a lifetime between PTSD and major depressive disorder. The high co-occurrence level of the two disorders indicates that this is not a matter of coincidence. Other possible reasons for the co-occurrence of PTSD and major depressive disorder are similar symptoms, resulting from a common reason, and sequential causation (Hyman, 2013). Sequential causation occurs when PTSD goes untreated for a long time, leading to major depressive disorder.

Adrianna shows symptoms of major depressive disorder. These symptoms include detachment, diminished interest, restricted range of affect, hopelessness, irritability, difficulty sleeping, loss of interest in various activities and hobbies, persistent sadness, and among others. It is worth noting that individuals suffering from major depressive disorder may not suffer from all of the aforementioned symptoms. Rather, they may show a few of these symptoms. Adrianna shows various symptoms. For instance, she has difficulty in sleeping. She also seems to be having episodes of sadness. She has diminished interest in attending classes. This occurred after learning about the death of her brother.

Differential diagnosis will certainly play a key role in making the final diagnosis relating to the patient’s mental health condition. Differential diagnosis involves weighing the possibility of over that of others. In the case of Adriana, she seems to be having PTSD and major depressive disorder. Available literature indicates that there is a high probability of co-occurrence of the two disorders. The rationale for diagnostic decisions involves the forensic psychologist examining the possible disorders and then making a decision about which disorder(s) to settle on. The forensic psychologist will diagnose the disorder (s) that best match the client’s symptoms. There are no significant cultural issues involved in this diagnosis. This is because there is no evidence detailing cultural influence in the development of PTSD and major depressive disorder.

Legal Theory and Application

As a psychology professional, one may explain the crime presented in the vignette through a psychological dimension. From a psychological perspective, the criminal offender is under the influence of social, biological, and psychological factors. The interplay of these factors may influence a person to commit crime. However, psychology theorists assert that even a single component could influence an individual to commit crime. The identification of the appropriate theory linking an individual to criminal behavior requires the careful examination of various factors such as the individual himself or herself, family, friends, neighborhood, school, life experiences, and among others. This section examines the vignette with regard to existing psychosocial theories. This is an attempt to explain the meaning of crime as presented in the vignette.

Several theories attempt to establish crime causation. Learning theories assert that individuals learn behaviors and gain ideas by interacting with others or from the environment. Once individuals learn new behaviors, they may engage in rule violations. Learning refers to the process of acquiring new habits and knowledge through experience (Vold, Bernard, Snipes, & Gerould, 2016). One of the popular learning theories is the differential association theory by Edwin H. Sutherland. This theory asserts that people acquire social behavior or criminal behavior through their social interactions with other people (Bartol & Bartol, 2012). The messages that people obtain by interacting with others has significant influence on behavior. If an individual receives too much negative messages there is a high possibility of acquiring negative behaviors. Sutherland identified nine key points that define the theory, among them the assertion that learning of negative behaviors occur in interpersonal groups.

Sutherland’s differential association theory can explain the criminal behavior of the three men who assaulted Adrianna’s family. The three men seem to have learned criminal behavior by coping each other, which is why they commit similar crimes and as a group. One of the key limitations of this theory is that fact that not all people who associate with criminal elements ends up acquiring criminal behavior. Moreover, arguments exist that it is possible that delinquent people will select those with similar behavioral traits or values as their friends (Vold et al., 2016). As such, the theory may fail to explain the criminal behavior of the three men. This is because there is a possibility that none of them acquired criminal behavior from another, but just a case of common interests bringing them together. Nonetheless, Sutherland’s differential association theory remains fundamental in understanding crime in the society.

Albert Bandura developed the social learning theory to explain crime. His theory is a refining of Sutherland’s differential association theory. Sutherland asserts that learning occurs in close interpersonal groups. Albert Bandura rejected this as a narrow view in social learning. He propounded the idea that learning can take place through observation of others (without developing interpersonal relationships), through interactions with the environment, and through operant conditioning (Vold et al., 2016). Other learning theorists also propound the idea that learning is not restricted to close social groups. Social learning theory can partly explain the criminal behavior of Adrianna. Sutherland’s differential association theory fails to explain Adrianna’s criminal behavior because it had nothing to do with her friends. According to social learning theory, Adrianna could have acquired the criminal behavior from the environment or through observation. This could have been from TV programs or she could have read somewhere. Learning from the environment gave her an idea of buying a gun.

A significant theory of crime is one propounded by Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi, known as a general theory of crime. This theory purports to evaluate all forms of crime that occur in the society. According to the duo, individuals perpetrate crime because of deficits in self-regulation or self-control (Bartol & Bartol, 2012). Social control is internal in nature to an individual. This theory asserts that early childhood experiences has significant impacts on the individual’s ability maintain self-control (Vold et al., 2016). Social control factors include those events in early childhood that has a significant impact to an individual’s later behavior. The theory asserts that social control among individuals becomes prominent at around 8 years of age. The duo argue that ordinary crimes are simply an attempt by the offender to seek “immediate gratification of desires” but with no lasting benefits (Vold et al., 2016, p. 227). Individuals committing ordinary crimes take little time to plan. In addition, they are often impulsive, shortsighted, and insensitive.

The general theory of crime seems to explain Adrianna’s criminal behavior in the most logical manner. The theory focuses on self-control. Adrianna’s childhood was marked by significant negative experiences. The negative experiences that Adrianna faced in her childhood influenced her self-control negatively. This means that currently, Adrianna has low self-control, which indicates increased tendency to engage in criminal behavior. Due to low self-control, Adrianna is likely to engage in ordinary crimes that offer immediate gratification and short-term thrill. People with low self-control will exude impulsivity and are generally insensitive. Adrianna shows symptoms of impulsivity. She shot the pimp who killed her mother and she appears to have lost her senses while shooting him. According to Vold et al. (2016), people with low self-control may engage in analogous behaviors. Such behaviors include drinking, smoking, drunk driving, skipping classes, and others. Adrianna was already skipping classes and drinking herself to sleep.

The general theory of crime holds that poor parenting techniques contribute to low self-control among individuals. A look at Adrianna’s situation reveals that her mother had poor parenting skills due to the stresses she went through. For instance, she used to take out her anger on Adrianna and was emotionally unavailable. One of the key limitations of this theory is that it is tautological. Another limitation is that the theory claims self-control to be constant from around age 8. This has been controversial with some theorists claiming that self-control is dynamic throughout the lifespan, just like the social factors.

Another key theoretical perspective is the psychoanalytical theory of human behavior proposed by Sigmund Freud. The psychoanalytical theory explains criminal behavior as a function of drives and motives in an individual (Videbeck, 2011). According to Freud, human behavior is the result of interactions of three key components: the id, ego, and the superego. Freud applies two models to explain behavior. These include the economic model and the topographic model. The economic model proposes the ideas that the id, ego, and the superego share a constant amount of psychic energy and that behavior is under the influence of instinctual demands. Under this model, the behavior of individuals is controlled by drives. Further, behavior helps in disposing of instinctual energies in an individual. The topographic model suggests that individuals have three consciousness levels, which include the conscious, the preconscious, and the unconscious.

The conscious are those things that are within an individual’s awareness. The preconscious is the things that are not conscious but that can come into awareness through some effort (Videbeck, 2011). The unconscious comprises of things that are not within an individual’s conscious realm. According to Freud, human behavior is motivated by the subconscious thoughts and feelings. This includes those in the preconscious and unconscious levels. Freud’s psychoanalytical theory can help in explaining Adrianna’s behavior. Adrianna’s behavior is the result of preconscious and unconscious thoughts and feelings (Videbeck, 2011). It is worth noting that a person represses traumatic events in his/her life into the subconscious. These subconscious thoughts continue to motivate the behavior of an individual. Freud’s theory faces a major limitation in that there is no empirical research evidence to support its claims about the subconscious memories.

Part B

Various psycholegal standards apply to the vignette including competence to stand trial, duty to warn, and insanity standards.

Competence to stand trial. Competence to stand trial refers to the ability of the defendant to understand or comprehend the nature of the accusations brought against him or her. Competency to stand trial involves the legal determination of an individual to go through a criminal adjudication process (Weiner, 2003). In other words, this is the ability to stand trial. During trial, the testimony regarding mental and physical illness of the defendant goes as far as its influence to the mental functioning of the defendant. There are three critical elements evaluated in competency to stand trial. The first element is the ability to understand charges, the court’s adversary system (the attorney), and the role of the criminal process. The second element is the ability to understand one’s role as a defendant in the justice process. Third, the defendant should be able to understand pertinent information concerning the facts relating to the case. Competency to stand trial is different from insanity defense in that it examines the defendant’s state of the mind during trial proceedings rather than at the time of committing crime (Bartol & Bartol, 2012). This is the key difference between the two.

A landmark U.S. case relating to competency to stand trial involves Dusky v. U.S., which occurred in 1960. The case involved the defendant, Milton Dusky, accused of rape and unlawfully transporting a woman (Mossman et al., 2007). During the pre-trial process, it psychologist professionals diagnosed dusky with schizophrenic reaction. Further, it became apparent that Dusky could not help the counsel in establishing the facts of the case since he seemed delusional. Despite this evidence, the trial court convicted Dusky of rape after deciding that he was competent to stand trial. The U.S. Supreme Court reversed this decision. In the landmark ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court observed that Dusky did not have sufficient mental capacity to engage with his lawyer and neither the rational understanding about the facts of the case (Mossman et al., 2007). The matter was referred back to the lower court to determine if Dusky was competent to stand trial. Forensic mental health professionals are interested in establishing whether an individual has the mental capacity to understand rationally the facts of the case during the trial period.

Duty to warn. Duty to warn concerns the risk of dangerousness. In the current legal environment, courts require mental health professionals to give their views about the defendant’s risk of causing harm to self or others (Bartol & Bartol, 2012). Nonetheless, it has been difficult for mental health professionals to predict the risk of dangerousness among individuals. It is worth noting that the mental health professional has the right to breach confidentiality of client information if he/she learns that the client intends to commit an offense or had earlier committed an offense. The mental health professional has a duty to learn if he/she learns about the client’s intent to cause harm to a third party.

A landmark case demonstrating the duty to warn involves Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California. In this case, Dr. Thomas Moore, a psychologist at the University of California, attended to a graduate student who confessed to him that he intended to kill his girlfriend (Sheppard, 2015). Dr. Thomas Moore took action by informing the campus police of his client’s intentions. The campus police interviewed the student about his intentions of killing his girlfriend, Tarasoff, and later released him on the promise that he would stay away from her. Dr. Thomas and the campus police did not inform Tarasoff about the threats. A few months later, the student fatally stabbed Tarasoff (Sheppard, 2015). Tarasoff’s parents brought a legal action against the regents of the University of California. The lower courts ruled in favour of the school. However, the Supreme Court of California reversed this decision, citing that Dr. Thomas Moore had a legal duty to warn the victim. Forensic mental health professionals are interested in establishing whether their client poses a danger to others.

Insanity. The insanity standard is about irrationality. The standard argues that the defendant should not be held legally accountable for his actions if the court determines that at the time of committing the offense the defendant had a serious mental issue that affected his/her judgment. This is encapsulated in M’Naghten Rule, which concludes that the defendant cannot be held legally responsible if he or she suffers from a severe mental illness that affects judgment (Bartol & Bartol, 2012). Insanity standards will only apply if there is proof that the defendant had mental incapacitation at the time of committing the crime. A popular landmark case on insanity is Durham v. United States (“Findlaw”, n.d). In this case, Durban was charged with housebreaking. However, the lower courts dismissed the insanity claim without conducting adequate tests for insanity. The Supreme Court recommended that adequate tests be conducted to evaluate whether Durham was of sound mind at the time of committing the offense.


Psychopathology and Criminality

Psychopathology and Criminality

Psychopathology and Criminality

Understanding the psychology of an individual has been found to be the key to understanding their criminal behaviors.  As a result, the police force and other crime-fighting agencies are heavily investing in technology and psychopathology to help profile the behavior and conduct of criminals as well as the cause of their aggressive behavior. According to science, psychopathology helps experts to understand the development of abnormal behavior, feelings, and thoughts in an individual which may trigger their criminal conduct (Stirling & Hellewell, 2017). The primary personality disorder that is often associated psychiatry and abnormal behavior in people is psychopathy. According to research, psychopathy can lead to increased risks for antisocial behavior, crime, and violence.  Further research shows that it is common to encounter such events in the field of criminal justice depending on the signs and symptoms of this personality disorder. Notably, psychopathology can be categorized into four major categories that include primary psychopathy, secondary psychopathy, controlled and inhibited group psychopathy. It is worth knowing that each category of psychopathology exhibits different signs and symptoms (Stanghellini & Rosfort, 2015). This assignment will focus on identifying the different ways through which psychopathology can enhance criminal and antisocial behavior in an individual.

Question 1: Explain the mental state of the offender and the two most likely mental illnesses that are affecting him.

For decades and centuries, the increased criminal behavior in most individuals has been associated with psychopathology disorders.  From the details of the case study provided, it is safe to say that the current behavior of Mr. Albondigas can be identified as psychopathy. The fact that he is holding two facility maintenance personal captive and threatens to kill them if they don’t help in sending away the aliens in the facility is a clear indication that he has a mental illness.  In a real sense, there are no aliens in the cell block despite the fact that Mr. Albondigas can hear them planning on how to attack him .  In the current mental state, the offender has lost contact with the reality, and this is the primary reason that he can see and hear voices that are not there and does not exist in the real world.  This means that he is living in another mental world where everything and anything are possible.



One of the possible mental illness that might be affecting his judgment and thinking is schizophrenia.  Schizophrenia can be identified as a chronic and severe mental illness that affects how an individual thinks, feels and behaves. According to research, schizophrenia is a devastating illness that fits under the broader category of psychosis and is characterized by loss of touch with the real world (Maisel, 2017). This mental illness can manifest itself in an individual in many ways, such as false beliefs that are widely known as delusions as well as the false perception widely known as hallucinations and irrational conduct and thinking.further research shows that only one percent of the entire global population suffers from this devastating mental illness. This illness is known to strike between the ages of 16 and 30 and men tend to show the signs and symptoms at a tender age compared to women. However, it is worth noting that this disorder does not choose between male and female and can strike any gender (Tsuang, Faraone, & Glatt, 2014).  Additionally, it is known to develop slowly to the extent that an individual may not be aware that he or she has schizophrenia. However, on other occasions, the infection can strike faster and develop quickly like in the case study provided.

Some of the major symptoms of this infection include:

  1. Delusions – patients are likely to display false beliefs where they may feel that others are trying to kill them, force them to do something or control them remotely.
  2. Hallucinations – this a stage where the patients hear voices, feel and smell things that are not there. However, people suffering from this disorder can have a wide range of hallucinations (Tsuang, Faraone, & Glatt, 2014).
  • Thought disorder – this is a stage where a patient lacks logical thinking and he or she may jump from one topic to another without any reason making it hard to follow their flow of thoughts.

Personality disorders

The second mental illness that might be affecting the thinking and behavior of the offender is personality disorders. The general definition of personality disorders shows that personality disorders lead to an enduring trend of inner experience and conduct that moves away from the expectations of a person’s culture.  Therefore, personality disorders can be said to cause pervasive and inflexible conduct that has an onset in adolescence or early adulthood. In other terms personality disorders can be described as that category of mental illness that causes a rigid and unhealthy pattern of thinking, functioning and behaving (Paris, 2010). Notably, patients suffering from this infection tend to have some trouble associating with the situation, events, and people. As a result, they have a major challenge in relationships, social activities, work or school.

Some of the major signs and symptoms of this infection include:

  1. Odd, eccentric thinking, and behavior such as pervasive mistrust and suspicion of others and their motives towards them.
  2. Unjustified beliefs that others are trying to harm them, deceive them, control them or even force them to do things that they do not want.
  3. The perception of innocent remarks or non-threatening events as personal insults and attacks (Paris, 2010).
  4. Hesitancy to confide in others as a result of unreasonable fears that other people around them will use the information against them.

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Question 2 Explain what types of medical personnel you would like to have at the scene, and why?

Having access to the right medical practitioner is important for the treatment of mental illnesses and disorders. As identified earlier on, personality disorders substantially affect individual thinking and behavior.  Therefore, to be in a possible to help Mr. Albondigas to calm down and release the hostages, I would seek the help of a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist can be defined as a medical professional who specializes in psychiatry, a branch of medicine that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illnesses. Notably, the psychiatrist must actively examine the patients to determine if the mental disorder of their patient is caused by physical illness, a mix of both physical and mental ailments or purely psychiatric (Widiger, 2016). The presence of a clinical psychiatrist in the cell block is paramount considering that he or she is in a position to analyze the offender’s mental health status by talking to him. This is crucial in understanding the best course of action and to ensure that Mr. Albondigas releases all the hostages unharmed. Given his or her professional background, a psychiatrist should be in a position to provide guidelines on how to deal with the offender. By understanding the mental health of the offender, it would be easy to convince him that he is safe and that there are no aliens in the facility and no one is trying to harm him. However, the guidelines provided by the psychiatrist must be followed to the letter to ensure that we do not escalate the situation and provoking the offender to harm the facility employees (Widiger, 2016).

On the other hand, it would be prudent to seek the services of a psychologist. Psychology can be defined as a field of science that focuses on understanding the behavior and the mind of an individual. Clinical psychologists can assess, examine and treat mental, emotional and behavioral disorders. Therefore, seeking the services of a clinical psychologist would help in examining the mental health status of the offender and provide a blueprint for how to deal with him based on the results of his or her examination (Ragusea, 2013). By understanding the mind of the offender, psychologist stands a better chance of predicting his next move which in turn helps to prepare in advance in the case that the situation escalates.

It is worth noting that most of the time psychologists and psychiatrist are often confused to have the same meaning. Despite the fact that both professional focuses on the study of the human brain, thoughts, emotions, and feelings, they are far much different. For example, a psychologist cannot write treatment prescription for their patients.  Instead, they recommend that the patients see a psychiatrist to get the prescriptions. On the other hand, a psychiatrist cannot offer counseling and mental health therapy, and thus, they are forced to refer them to psychologists and psychotherapists for counseling and therapy (Ragusea, 2013). However, it is advisable to have the professional advice of both professionals to get the best results.  Therefore, in this case, I would seek the services of both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. They are likely to give more accurate results and solution to the problem than when working with one of them.

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Question 3: Relate why you think that, if the deadline is reached without a solution, whether Mr. Albondigas will hurt the maintenance personnel or not. Explain your answer.

I think that if the deadline is reached without a solution, Mr. Albondigas will hurt the maintenance personnel.  Given their unpredictable behavior and conduct, it is fair to say that Mr. Albondigas will hurt the employees. As stated earlier, people with schizophrenia have beliefs in things that are not real and tend to hear voices that do not exist because they are all in their heads.  Having lost the contact with the real world and suffering from delusions and hallucination, Mr. Albondigas will hurt the employees.  According to research, violent behavior in patients suffering from a personality disorder and schizophrenia is comparatively rare.  However, in the event that a patient is suffering from psychosis as a result of hallucinations and delusions in their thinking, there is a high chance that they will exhibit violent behavior (McCarthy & Hay, 2015).  When the delusions are more influential in a patient than hallucinations, Mr. Albondigas will display dangerous and unpredictable conduct and may end up harming the two employees. Additionally, the fact that it is difficult to establish a logic conversation with the patient,  as they tend to jump from one subject to another, it may become difficult to convince him to let them free or in the worst case escalate the situation and end up harming them.  In general, I feel that Mr. Albondigas can harm the hostages if the deadline elapses with no solution.

Question 4: Articulate the persons whom you would like to bring to the scene for interviews to help with information that you can use to talk to Mr. Albondigas.

Crisis negotiation or what is largely referred to as hostage negotiation situation is important and critical process considering that the lives of the hostages often rests on the shoulders of the negotiator. It is worth noting that the slightest mistake by the negotiator can escalate the situation which in turn would lead to the death of the hostages.  Therefore, it is prudent to proceed with precision when dealing with kidnappers to ensure that they are not upset and develop the feeling that they are being manipulated or controlled.  Therefore, below are some of the individuals I would like to bring to the scene for interviews to help with information to use in these negotiations.

Mr. Albondigas’ family members

Despite the fact that Mr. Albondigas has been in the correctional facility, the correctional facility officials may fail to provide critical information regarding his past such as medical information and behaviors. For example, having his parents by my side would help me understand whether this is the first time that he has this mental illness.  If not, when was the last time he had such an episode and what they did to calm him down and have him listen to them?   Additionally, the presence of his wife would be critical to the success of this mission.  At times, it might be hard to open to parents on what is going on with his life, but easy to open up to his partner (Jones, n.d).  Therefore, their information can be crucial in understanding his past medical conditions and behaviors.  Notably, records can be used to predict the future as well as defining the best course of action to be used to solve the problem.

His friends

Additionally, his friends can provide vital information that can be used in this situation to find the best way out.  According to research, friends are one of the closest people to an individual who may know the secrets of a person that are not known by the parents and partners. On most occasions, mental disorder people have been found to hide the truth from their parents and friends but find it simple to open up to friends who can understand. Therefore, Mr. Albondigas’ friends may have important information regarding his behavior and conduct or medical conditions that he may hide from his parents and wife (Houghton, n.d). This information can be used to draft a plan on how to rescue the hostages without anyone getting injured. Friends have been found to be vital in a hostage rescue mission, considering that they can assist in solving the situation by talking to the kidnappers or provide information that can be used by the negotiator to solve the situation.

His doctor, if any

His doctor can also provide vital information that can solve the situation. Research shows that when mental disorder patients are ashamed of their mental conditions, they tend to take matters into their own hands and go to visit their doctors alone.  Therefore, Mr. Albondigas’ doctor can provide critical information regarding his behavioral patterns in the case that he had visited him or her in the past. Additionally, doctors tend to understand people with a mental health condition better than anyone else considering that this is their field of profession (Houghton, n.d). Therefore, the information provided by doctors can be helpful in the designing and implementing the next course of action.

Question 5: Explain your approach as the negotiator when speaking with Mr. Albondigas, and why you would take that approach.

Hostage negotiation is all about psychology and according to research, the most successful crisis negotiators are among the most successful practical psychologists in the world today. Notably, a typical hostage situation like that presented in the case study, lives are at imminent risk of violent and painful deaths in the hands of delusional mental patients (Maude, 2014).

Therefore, to be in a position to rescue the two correctional facility maintenance employees, I would take a holistic and psychological approach to this scenario. I would strive to customize my communication approach depending on the understanding of the behavior of the offender. The first step in this process that would determine the success of my process is by minimizing the background distractions. This can be done by ensuring that there is only one person who takes the lead to negotiate and that is me.  Additionally, I would ensure that only one person speaks at a time and there is no background radio or road noise.  Then the second step would focus on opening the dialogue with an introductory statement of purpose.  This statement is meant to establish myself to the offender and to ensure that he understands that I am there to help him and to ensure that no one gets hurt (Maude, 2014).  However, it is also prudent to keep the introduction simple and direct to the point to avoid distractions or misunderstanding. Below are some of the core skills I would use to ensure that nobody gets hurt in the process.

  1. Listen actively – active listening would be important in this process as it would give me an insight of what the offender wants and thinks that he can get. Active listening is characterized by the use of open-ended questions, emotional labeling, silencing, and paraphrasing. Active listening can give me an opportunity to gather important information from the offer while at the same time showing empathy and rapport (Baruch & Zarse, 2012).
  2. Show control – research shows that an individual in a crisis often feels that they have no control. However, by making the final decision with the help of the offender, it can make him feel in control. For example, Mr. Albondigas have to give a little for him to gain a little. By helping each other to arrive at a solution, we can arrive at a win-win situation.


From the above-detailed study, it is safe to state that hostage negotiation is important, but a critical process, especially in the event that the offender is suffering from mental illnesses.  In the case study, it is easy to see that Mr. Albondigas is suffering from a mental disorder, which makes it even harder to negotiate.  However, with the help of a qualified psychiatrist, psychologist, family members and friends, t is easy to gather information regarding his health status and then design and implement the best course of action.  However, to arrive at a win-win situation, I need to use a psychological approach to negotiate for the release of the two employees.


Baruch, M., & Zarse, N. (2012). Components in a Hostage Negotiation Training Curriculum. Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations, 12(1), 39-50. doi:10.1080/15332586.2012.641438

Houghton, D. P. (n.d.). Days of decision: the hostage rescue mission. US Foreign Policy and the Iran Hostage Crisis, 105-143. doi:10.1017/cbo9780511491399.006

Jones, F. D. (n.d.). Military psychiatry and hostage negotiation. PsycEXTRA Dataset. doi:10.1037/e629552011-018

Maisel, E. (2017). The future of mental health: Deconstructing the mental disorder paradigm.

Maude, B. (2014). Negotiator Selection and Training. International Business Negotiation, 129-154. doi:10.1007/978-1-137-27052-8_6

McCarthy, A., & Hay, S. (2015). Hostage Negotiation Perspective. Advanced Negotiation Techniques, 125-132. doi:10.1007/978-1-4842-0850-2_12

Paris, J. (2010). Editorial: Personality Disorders and Mood Disorders. Journal of Personality Disorders, 24(1), 1-2. doi:10.1521/pedi.2010.24.1.1

Ragusea, S. A. (2013). Creating a Professional Living will for Psychologists. Psychologists’ Desk Reference, 678-681. doi:10.1093/med:psych/9780199845491.003.0130

Stanghellini, G., & Rosfort, R. (2015). Disordered selves or persons with schizophrenia? Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 28(3), 256-263. doi:10.1097/yco.0000000000000155

Stirling, J., & Hellewell, J. E. (2017). Psychopathology. Taylor & Francis.

Tsuang, M. T., Faraone, S. V., & Glatt, S. J. (2014). Schizophrenia. Oxford: OUP Oxford.

Widiger, T. A. (2016). Editorial for personality disorders: Theory, research, and treatment. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7(1), 1-1. doi:10.1037/per0000167



Home for the Elderly Design

Home for the Elderly Design

There are various factors to consider while designing a nursing home. On most occasions, developers make the nursing home environment to resemble that in normal homes. Healthcare organizations often attempt to establish designs that replicate the former homes of the residents. Further, healthcare organizations must consider the dual purpose served by homes for the elderly, which include acting as a home to the elderly while still serving an institutional role. It is quite challenging to accord the elderly a homelike environment and still achieve high clinical outcomes. This is even more difficult in the face of certain health conditions such as dementia that call for high care dependency. This paper is a description of a living facility that would make a comfortable home for the elderly.

Landscaping is integral in establishing a living facility for the elderly. The living facility should comprise of flats located in a serene location. From the gate, the location should have well-manicured lawns and gardens. All walking paths should be lined with trees and well-manicured lawns. There should also be walking trails for the elderly to use for routine exercise during the day. The Walking trails should extend to the farthest location of the facility land. The walking paths and walking trails should support the use of a wheelchair. Fencing of the living facility should not block the view of the surrounding area. According to Robinson, Colin Reid, & Cooke, (2010), blocking the view of the surrounding area resulted in dissatisfaction among elderly residents. As such, solid fencing should not good.

Fig. 1.1: A walking path free of obstacles

A walking path free of obstacles
A walking path free of obstacles

The main building should be in a suitable location that enhances the view of the area. There should be rest centers or socialization centers just outside the main building. These are chairs and tables placed strategically around the main building and with access to the walking paths. The outdoor seating places can promote socialization and development of new relationships. They are also good for resting. The entrance to the main building should be spacious. The main corridor should have a slight inclination, change angles, as well as the direction. This design creates a homelike feel rather than an institutional feel. The internal circulation areas should have different color schemes and textures. This can help the elderly recall with ease where they are. Each of the rooms should have its own front door to create a feeling that one is in his or her own home.

Fig. 1.2: Outdoor resting

Outdoor resting
Outdoor resting

Each of the rooms should have personalized bedrooms, kitchen, and living areas. The kitchen should have ample space for meal preparation. There should also be a laundry facility. There should be a TV in the living room as well as a computer connected to the internet. Those who would prefer spending time on the internet or social networking may use the computers in the room. All the rooms should feature designs for wheelchair use. Generally, all the rooms should be spacious to allow easy movement of a wheelchair. The kitchen should feature special designs to allow for the use of the wheelchair. For instance, the kitchen should have wheelchair-height surfaces to allow the elderly to do their chores without having the leave the wheelchair. Underneath the kitchen sink, there should be enough space to allow for access using a wheelchair. Each housing unit should have a balcony where a person can take rest. In addition, large, low-set windows can help in enhancing the outside view.

Fig. 1.3: Kitchen designed for wheelchair use

Kitchen designed for wheelchair use
Kitchen designed for wheelchair use

Various physical and psychological changes affecting the elderly may influence the design of the facility. One of the physical changes is the weakening of bones, muscles, and joints (Navaratnarajah & Jackson, 2016). As people age, the bones shrink in size and reduce their density. The muscles lose flexibility as well as strength. Another physical change relates to the brain and the nervous system functionality (Navaratnarajah & Jackson, 2016). As individuals age, the brain may lose cells leading to slow reflexes, memory loss, and other changes. The third physical change is the accumulation of body fat. This occurs because of lower levels of physical activity and metabolism levels. Elderly people can reverse this through regular exercise.

A number of psychological changes will influence the design of the facility. One of the psychological changes in decline in mental functioning, which leads to the high prevalence of mental disorders such as dementia especially those above 85 years (Akman, n.d). Majority of those above 85 years show mental frailty. Another psychological change relates to declining cognitive processes. This relates to declining learning, processing speed, language functions, verbal abilities, and execution (Akman, n.d). The last psychological change involves adjustment and coping. This affects the emotional well-being of the elderly due to bereavement or loss of a loved one.

One theory of senescence is the continuity theory. The continuity theory propounds the idea that despite the permanent and fundamental shifts in health and behavior, a large number of adults maintain a pattern of stability with regard to living arrangements, thought patterns, relationships, and favorite activities (Humboldt, 2016). The continuity theory takes a life-course perspective in its assertions that behaviors, ideas, relationships, hobbies, and other life events tend to remain the same throughout the life of an individual (In Barney & In Perkinson, 2016). Further, the theory holds that individuals tend to make adjustments as they progress in age and as they come to terms with the ever-changing settings. According to Humboldt (2016), the theory assumes “that the aim was not to continue the same [for elderly adults] but to adapt enduring values to new circumstances (p. 34)”. Even though an individual tends to hold similar ideals or values, they still make efforts to align them with new ways of life.

The physical changes that will influence the design of the facility include weakening of bones, muscles, and joints, a decline in mental and nervous system functionality, and accumulation of body fat. The weakening of bones, muscles, and joints will make it difficult for residents to walk. In addition, the elderly are likely to experience fractures due to weak bones. The decline in mental and nervous system functionality will make coordination difficult. In such a case, an elderly is likely to experience falls. In addition, reflexes are affected. Accumulation of fat in the body leads to a host of health problems including heart diseases, hypertension, and mental health issues. The psychological changes include a decline in mental functioning, cognitive processes, and adjustment & coping, which may lead to anxiety. The decline in mental function is likely to lead to memory loss due to the onset of chronic conditions such as dementia. The decline in cognitive functioning may lead to memory loss, problems in learning, and slow processing of information. Inability to adjust and cope may lead to anxiety and depression.

The physical, psychological, and social environments significantly help to diminish the changes associated with aging. The design of the physical environment aims at easing movement and encouraging simple exercises such as brisk walking. Aging brings about the weakening of bones, muscles, and joints. The physical environment should be free from obstacles, steep edges, and uneven ground that might lead to falls. That is why there is a need for designated walking paths and trails free of obstacles and non-level ground. Walking paths and walking trails will encourage brisk walking, which is a good form of exercise especially for the elderly. This will help in countering the accumulation of fat due to reduced physical activity. Landscaping will help in developing a positive mental attitude of the living facility. This is critical in reducing anxiety and depression.

The psychological environment help in diminishing changes associated with aging. The internal circulation areas have different color schemes and textures. The different color schemes and textures will enable the elderly to remember with ease where they are. The rooms are spacious bearing in mind that the elderly have reduced coordination. This will reduce the number of falls. The rooms will be customized to create a homelike feel. Women will be able to continue doing their chores such as cooking, washing, and others. This is in line with the continuity theory, which takes a life-course perspective. According to Rijnaard et al. (2016), activities provide meaning to life. As such, it is critical to ensure that elderly continue with their daily activities such as cooking, washing, cleaning, and others.

The social environments are also critical in reducing changes related to aging. The social environment promotes interactions and development of new relationships. Robinson, Colin Reid, and Cooke (2010) identify relationships (whether between care providers and the elderly or amongst the elderly) as critical towards developing a homelike feel. The design of the social environment aims at improving social interactions. Rest areas will provide the elderly an opportunity to interact and develop social relationships. This will help in reducing loneliness and in coping.

In summary, the nursing home design should provide the elderly with a sense of being at home while still fulfilling the clinical requirement. The design should take into consideration the impacts of aging on the elderly such as weak bones, reduced mental and nervous functionality, and accumulation of fat.


Akman, J. S. (n.d). The developmental psychology of aged persons. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.

Humboldt. S. (2016). Conceptual and Methodological Issues on the Adjustment to Aging:            Perspectives on Aging Well. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands.

In Barney, K. F., & In Perkinson, M. A. (2016). Occupational therapy with aging adults: Promoting quality of life through collaborative practice. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier.

Navaratnarajah, A., & Jackson, S. (2016). The physiology of ageing. Elsevier. Retrieved from   

Rijnaard, M. D., van Hoof, J., & Janssen, B. M. et al. (2016). The Factors Influencing the Sense   of Home in Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review from the Perspective of Residents. Journal of Aging Research, doi:10.1155/2016/6143645

Robinson, C. A., Colin Reid, R., & Cooke, H. A. (2010). A home away from home: The meaning            of home according to families of residents with dementia. Dementia, 9(4), 490-508.             doi:10.1177/1471301210381679



Learning and Behavior Models

Maura is a 28-year-old female who is visiting a therapist because she is concerned about a repeating pattern of behavior that she has been engaging in during the past 10 years. Maura seems to get involved romantically with partners who have very stable careers but appear to be unable to make a romantic commitment to her. Maura will often date these partners for years. When she asks for a greater commitment, much drama and hurt feelings ensue. She reports that she does not remember much of what happens right after the relationship ends, and shortly after a break up, she finds herself dating someone new. The pattern repeats itself and all of the bad memories from the previous breakups come flooding back.
After reading the case, address the following issues:
Select two of the learning models you have studied thus far and compare/contrast them as you analyze the case of Maura. How does each explain the learning and behavior occurring? Which model do you find explains the behavior most fully and why?
Which model(s) explains why Maura does not remember the negative events until much time has passed?
Focusing on the model you feel best explains the behavior, design a basic modification program to help the client engage in more desirable behavior.
Describe the ethical considerations that should occur when designing your modification plan

Sample paper

Learning and Behavior Models

In most cases, individuals are at the risk of repeating their previous actions or behaviors willingly or unwillingly due to the psychology of habits.  The psychology of habits helps individuals to know the reasons behind their repeated behaviors over time. Psychology comprises of the study of behavior and mind appreciating and embracing all aspects, activities and actions of both the conscious and unconscious part of the human brain. To many therapists and psychologists, psychology is an academic discipline and part of applied science that aids in understanding persons and group of individuals through the establishment of general principles, rules and regulations that comprise of researching specific cases of human behavior. On the other hand, Psychology of habit is part and parcel of the larger and broader field of psychology that helps therapists and psychologists to analyze an individual behavior to establish patterns and trends in their actions, activities and mind. Thus, a habit forms a repeated pattern of behavior that can be conditioned and could be carried out for years. However, the longer a behavior lasts, the stronger the behavior becomes to an individual. This study seeks to provide detailed information about Maura’s case who is a 28- years old female who has a habit of dating and breaking up with partners who have a stable career for over ten years now.

Question 1

A human being can be explained and referred to as a learning being that learns different things and behaviors each and every single day through the surrounding environment, emotions and other people.  With time, psychologists have developed learning models that are used to explain the different methods and ways that an individual can use to learn different survival tactics and behaviors.  Learning models present a conceptual framework that helps in describing a systematic and chronological procedure and process in organizing learning experiences to attain and achieve various learning objectives (Wang, 2011).  Some of the most appropriate learning models that can be applied in Maura’s case include:

  1. Behaviorism
  2. Behaviorist learning theory is an approach adopted by psychologists and is widely based on the propositions that human behavior can be easily researched scientifically without recourse or causing any internal harm to mental states of the subjects. It is considered as one of the pillars of psychological treatment and therapy. Most of the psychologists who have adopted this approach state that free will are an illusion which does not exist in human behavior and as a result, all human behaviors can be associated and attributed to the environment surrounding an individual or an animal either through reinforcement or association. Psychologists believe that observation of an individual behavior is the best and most convenient method of investigating and studying psychological and mental processes of individuals. Behaviorism widely functions and operates on the principle and the rule of stimulus response. Thus every human action, activity, and behavior are not out of free will but rather as a reaction to a stimulus that is associated with the environment. As a result, it is easy to explain all human behaviors without the need of putting into consideration the internal mental states or consciousness. This model was developed by Ivan Pavlov and B. F. Skinner.
  • Operant conditioning

  1. Operant conditioning is a learning model that was developed by B. F. Skinner and is widely based on the paramount concept that all human and animal habits and behaviors that are triggered either by internal or external factor will tend to continue for longer periods of time than expected but behaviors that are constantly punished will definitely come to an end after some times. Operant conditioning is known to attempt to modify and influence behavior through the use of both positive and negative outcome. Thus, animals and individuals are able to associate a certain outcome to a certain behavior which can be taken and referred to as the stimulus. Individuals and animals are thus attracted to engage in behaviors and activities that will result in the positive outcome rather than activities and behaviors resulting in negative effects and outcome. The father of this learning model, skinner, believed that an individual should put more emphasis on the external observable causes of certain human behaviors.  The operant conditioning contains five basic processes that are vital in ensuring that an individual or the subject in that matter learns at the end of the process. These basic steps include: positive and negative reinforcement, punishment, response cost and extinction weaken behavior.

I find behaviorist learning as the most satisfying learning model that explains the conduction and situation at hand. In our case, Maura experiences a repeating pattern of getting involved romantically with individuals who have stable careers but at the end of the day do not make a commitment to her. According to behaviorist learning, free will is an illusion that does not exist and it is evident in this situation. Maura’s behavior of engaging with various partners is widely influenced by the stable career of the partners (Sallis, 2008). Her behavior of engaging from one man to another can be taken as the response to the previous relationships that do not end in her way. Thus, as a way to console her emotions and attempt to succeed in settling in a meaningful relationship, she has to jump from one man to another. Moreover, her behavior can be analyzed through observation even without making mental investigations considering that she has already formed a habit that immediately she breaks-up she finds a new partner without taking some time off. The desire to settle down and succeed triggers her behavior for the past ten years.

Question 2

In our case, the 28 years old Maura does not remember right what happens after each relationship and after sometimes she finds herself dating a new person. Surprisingly, the pattern repeats itself and all the bad memories from the previous breakups come flooding back at a later date. The best learning model to explain this condition and habit is operate conditioning that attempts to modify the behavior of the victim, in this case, Maura through the use of positive and negative reinforcements.  The bad memories that Maura experiences can be categorized as negative reinforces that are typically characterized by the removal of unpleasant results after the desired behavior. In our study, the desired behavior is more or less related to Maura’s behavior of hooking up with stable career partners immediately after breaking up forgetting all the bad memories and all the hurting she had to go through after the breakup.  The goal of the negative reinforcement is to increase the behavior of an individual. In additional, the operant conditioning has both the positive and negative punishments that result from an individual’s behavior. On the contrary, punishment occurs when there is an increase of undesirable events in an attempt to reduce or decrease the behavior that follows. Positive punishments are meant to weaken the response from the subject or an individual while a negative punishment occurs when a favorable event is totally removed after an undesirable behavior occurs.

The bad memories of the past breakups can be regarded as the positive punishment that is meant to weaken the behavior of the victim, in this case, Maura. Maura usually reacts to breakups through engaging in another relationship that usually do not end as per expectations and to console herself she immediately gets into another relationship. However, the bad memories occur at the end of every breakup in an attempt to reduce her behavior of getting involved in another relationship without taking some time to think about the repercussions of her behavior (Niggemann, 2012). Thus, it is correct to categories the occurrence of the bad memories far much later as a positive punishment that attempts to curb and reduce Maura’s behavior of getting into relationships.

 Question 3

Behavior modification process is one of the complex processes that can ever be created and developed by therapists and psychologists in the attempt to help victims to change their behaviors for better. For an individual to successfully develop an appropriate behavior modification program, he needs to start by describing the target behavior where he looks for patterns in the behavior by finding answers to questions such as where does the behavior occur and when the behavior occurs? Moreover, the individual needs to avoid mistakes such as confusing motivation and behavior when describing the behavior,  measure the behavior to get the precise data and finally, he needs to identify a baseline for the behavior. The paramount principle of behavior modification comprises of changing of the environmental events that are related to an individual’s behavior.

As a result, developing a basic modification program for Maura, a therapist needs to describe the target behavior which is constantly getting into a relationship with career stable partners who fails to commit to her. The therapist needs to identify where the engagement or rather the relationship occurs, in the workplace, in church or at home. Moreover, he needs to identify the intense of behavior and the frequency of the behavior (Sallis, 2008). Thus, the primary modification factor comprises of include reinforcing the desired behavior while at the same time ignoring the undesired results. Below is Maura’s behavior shaping process:


  1. Maura will Change her workplace.
  2. Maura will change her residential location.
  • Maura will change her work schedule to ensure that she is busy most of the times.
  1. Maura will try to change her inner friends who support her behavior.
  2. Maura will be seeing a therapist once a week for help.

As Maura masters each and every step, she should move to the next step of deciding to change by committing to the program and the process. For the modification to provide positive results, all significant parties need to put their efforts together, have particular and clear behavioral goals as well as have consideration of the total context of the behavior.

Question 4

Most of the human activities are widely influenced and guided by ethics. In most cases, ethics helps in giving reasons for acting in a particular manner or refraining an individual from acting the way they do, for approving or not approving various codes of conducts. Ethical issues and considerations are applicable to both individuals and groups in the society. Considering that a human being is a social being, activities of an individual can affect another person or the society at large and as a result, ethics are paramount in ensuring that individuals behave in a professional and acceptable manner.  Some of the most important ethical issues that would result in Maura’s modification plans include:

  1. Privacy – confidentiality of the information provided by the patient in this case Maura to her therapist is paramount. Maura has total belief and confidence in her therapist and as a result, the therapist should not disclose the patient information to other patients or another therapist of which is a basic requirement for all medical practitioners.
  2. Operant conditioning – operant conditioning g is one of the current trends in ethical considerations in behavior modification that is solely aimed at changing the behavior of individuals. Conditioning the patient to certain changes should be carefully evaluated to ensure that the conditioning does not have negative implications on the victims’ life and those around them(Niggemann, 2012). Personal life and other behaviors should not be affected by the operant conditioning.


In conclusion, after a detailed research, we can say that understanding an individual behavior right from the root causes is paramount in ensuring that there is a positive change.  Additionally, seeking psychological help can aid a victim from leaving his behavior for better and ensuring that there is a change in behavior. By following the above-created modification process Maura can change her behavior.


Niggemann, O. S. (2012). Learning Behavior Models for Hybrid Timed Systems. . In AAAI (Vol. 2, pp. 1083-1090).

Sallis, J. F. (2008). Ecological models of health behavior. . Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice, 4,, 465-486.

Wang, Y. Z. (2011). Combining building and behavior models for evacuation planning. . IEEE computer graphics and applications, 31(3),, 42-55.

Personality and Culture

social impact of disease-ARTHRITIS

social impact of disease-ARTHRITIS

Arthritis is one of the leading chronic diseases in the world today that causes not only great pain but also disability to patients suffering from the disease. Research shows that in the United States alone over 43 million adults 18 years and above have been diagnosed with different types of arthritis with another 23 million reporting symptoms related to arthritis (Andersson, 2008). Arthritis is considered to be the major cause of work-related disability that ranks second to heart disease and, therefore, leads to the deterioration of most lives. In addition to placing a burden on patients, the disease also strains the healthcare systems of the country whereby annually 44 million visits to the health centers recorded are due to arthritis (Andersson, 2008).

The psychosocial effect of this disease is substantial and can be highly recognized such as helplessness, anxiety and depression that further aggravates the pain. People living with arthritis often get difficulties in performing the normal daily basic activities such as dressing, shopping, eating, and getting involved in some other social activities. Considering the overall trend statistics shown by the character of this disease, it is important to take a deeper study of the disease. Therefore, this paper is going to focus on arthritis as diseases the social impact, means of treatment and preventions and also look at the epidemiological data and forecasting the state of the disease in the future.



Arthritis is a common term used by physician and patients for any notable painful joint condition. The term has frequently been used to accommodate a wide scope of musculoskeletal conditions that comprise disorders of muscles, bursae, tendons and ligaments. Therefore, arthritis is a term that defines a wide group of illnesses that are constantly painful resulting from different etiologies, it has been identified to have more than 100 different types of arthritis. The disease attacks both children and adults with the adults and especially the old being the most affected. It is estimated that in America statistics indicate that more than 300,000 children and 50 million adults have been diagnosed with some type of arthritis (Burton & Mihail, 2010). The disease is prevalent among women and occurs frequently as people get older, therefore, vindicating the statistics that shows the larger affected group to be adults.


There are common joint symptoms that are associated with arthritis, which include; stiffness, swelling, decreased range of motion and pain (Hunder, 2009). These symptoms can be mild especially at early stages, moderate or severe and may persist in the similar state for over a long period like many years but may later advance and relapse over time. When arthritis gets severe it can result in chronic pains, inability to perform common daily activities even the light ones like climbing stairs. It can lead to permanent joint changes including knobby finger joints, but often most of the effects can be visible on X-ray. Different other types of arthritis also affect the kidney, eyes, heart, skin and lungs as well as the joints concurrently (Hunder, 2009).


Types of arthritis.

The most frequent types of arthritis comprise Psoriatic Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis among many others. These are the prevalent ones and have diverse symptoms as well as causative methods. They are discussed below.



It is the prevalent type of arthritis in the world today above other forms. It occurs due to the wearing away of the cartilage that cushions the surface at the end of the bones hence leading to the bones rubbing against each other causing pain, swelling and stiffness. The joint may lose strength over time hence leading to chronic pain. It often occurs when the joints are overused or due to age factors but can as well result from joint injuries or obesity. Joints such as knees, hips, spine and feet are the most commonly affected with some mild pain felt in the affected areas. The people with this type of arthritis do not feel fatigued or sick as in other cases of arthritis.

Some disposing factors to this condition is being overweight, straining the joints when the joints cannot accommodate the weight of the body, this stress damages the cartilage hence forcing it wear out faster than usual. When the bones rub together a grating sound can be heard which is commonly accompanied with some painful bumps or spurs on the end of the bone commonly on the feet or the fingers.

Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease that means the body immune system has the ability to attack different parts of the body, particularly the joints. The attack contributes to inflammation that in turn causes critical joint damage when not treated in good time. Research has shown that out of every five people with Rheumatoid Arthritis at least one get lumps on their skin known as rheumatoid modules. The lumps are often formed over the joint areas that receive pressures like the elbows, knuckle or heels. The exact cause of this type of arthritis has not been explained exactly, but many speculate that it is due to attack by bacteria or viruses on the joint that eventually leads to the inflammation. The attack is triggered by a combination of environmental and genetic factors that may cause autoimmunity. One of the factors that can cause autoimmunity is a smoking that is classified as an environmental factor that predisposes an individual into contracting Rheumatoid Arthritis for people with specific genes.

The major body chemicals involved in causing the disease are the interleukin-1and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)  (Burton & Mihail, 2010). According to scientist, these chemicals activate other parts of the immune system in Rheumatoid Arthritis. In order to prevent further joint damage due to this disease, doctors often prefer the use of drugs that block the interleukin-1 TNF and interleukin-6. The symptoms of this arthritis is that it tends to indicate a symmetrical pattern i.e. when the knuckles of the right hand get inflamed the left hand will get inflamed too.

The symptoms of this disease can come gradually or at times can start suddenly but are often more severe than in osteoarthritis. Among the symptoms are stiffness and pain and swelling in the hands, wrists, shoulders, ankles, knees, feet, jaw and neck. The Rheumatoid Arthritis usually affects multiple joints, and when one joint gets attacked and not treated in good time, more joints will get affected. The other associated symptoms are getting fatigued losing of appetite and eventually losing weight.  The disease may also involve other organs including the lungs, eyes and heart.


Psoriatic Arthritis.

Psoriatic Arthritis often begins between ages 30 and 50 but can also start at an early childhood and usually common among men and women. It is distinguished by inflammation of the joint as well as the skin. Psoriasis is described as a skin illness that causes uneven, red, raised and white portions of skin inflammation having scales. Psoriasis strikes the ends of the knees and elbows, the navel, the scalp and skin around the anus or the genital areas. Researchers have shown that only 10% to 30% of the people with psoriasis infection may get Psoriatic Arthritis (Andersson, 2008).

The skin disease psoriasis often shows up first before other symptoms of this type of diseases are seen. Thereafter other symptoms like the swelling of the fingers and toes follow, often those who have the disease have their fingernails pitted or discolored. Unlike Rheumatoid arthritis Psoriatic Arthritis only affects one joint, for example, it could attack the knee only or the spine.



A definite means of prevention of the disease has not been identified, but there are various measure that are recommended to delay the onset of some symptoms of arthritis as well as maintain healthy joints. There are factors that could lead to inefficiency of the preventative measure used to limit the disease such as when one comes from a family with a history of arthritis it could be difficult to stay without the disease. The best method to prevent getting the disease is to modify the behaviors of an individual thereby stopping the risk of contracting such diseases.

Osteoarthritis is majorly caused by one having huge body weights thereby exerting pressure on the joints and hence disposing the individual to arthritis. The sure preventative measure, in this case, is making sure that one leads a healthy lifestyle maintaining healthy body weight. Rheumatoid arthritis is mainly caused by smoking and hence changing behavior to prevent the use of any drug smoked can help prevent the disease. Other preventative measures depend on how much a person takes great care during activities such as exercises, by using proper equipment to prevent injuries.


There is no particular drug that has been identified for treatment of the disease, and this is because of the varying types of the disease. These diseases demand different approaches in terms of treatment and hence causing the fluctuation. The doctors determine the method of treatment that is effective for a given patient before it is administered to them. The treatment method must also consider the severity and the impact of the disease on the person since in most cases they vary. The common treatment methods used today include orthopedic bracing, physical therapy, and medication.

Physical therapy

Exercise has been effective in most instances to treat arthritis. It is because the disease causes stiffness of the joint and hence frequent enhances the muscle strength, endurance, and flexibility. The type of physical exercise vary and help to solve different cases.

  1. Hydrotherapy- this is an exercise in a warm water pool. The water does the purpose of supporting the weight and hence minimizing the pressure on muscles and joints. At that point, the body is able to move and the joint get strengthened through frequent movement with less pain.
  2. Physiotherapy – this is an exercise that is administered by a professional to cater for the specific needs of a patient. The exercise at some point can be combined with pain relieving treatments like ice, massage or heat pack.
  3. Occupational therapy – this a practical everyday tasks management. The professional in charge provides one with proper advice on how to protect themselves at work to prevent further damage on the joints. Other important factors to consider is the selection of specialized equipment and also proper fatigue management to enhance a healthy lifestyle.


There is no single type of medication that is meant for the cure of arthritis. The medication treatment begins with the drug that has fewest side effects, and more medication is added in case the previous one is insufficiently effective. Another factor considered is the type of arthritis while ministering any medications, for example, the treatment for osteoarthritis is paracetamol for the early stages while non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is required for the treatment of inflammatory arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis uses a different category of medication known as disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug. An example of this drug is methotrexate that acts on the immune system and slows down the advancement of (RA). The reason for RA to get special medication is because it is autoimmune and, therefore, in addition to using anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medication it needs a special type of medication.



The advanced levels of arthritis cause severe damages to the affected joints. It can lead to a joint replacement operation when the damage caused denies one to perform various important duties of everyday life. The advancement in technology in the field of medicine has enabled this, and a number of similar activities are perfumed daily with replacements done on the knee, hip, shoulder and elbow joints. There are other pain relieving or reconstructive operations that are carried out on patients which are helpful for those suffering from arthritis.

Epidemiological data

From compiled report by the center for disease control and prevention (CDC), data taken from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) between the years 2010-2012. Overall 22.7% of the United States adults reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis that is represents 52.5 million people. The number of women is a little higher compared to men recording 23.9% against 18.6% for men (CDC, 2015). The prevalence of the disease was also found to increase with age and was prevalent amongst women than it was in men in every age group.

Future Arthritis Burden

The prevalence of the hospital diagnosed types of arthritis there is expectation of an increase in of the disease due to the aging population of the United States. It is projected that by the year 2030, approximately 67 million people that is close to 25% of the total projected adult population who are above the age of 18 years will have doctor –diagnosed. Similarly by 2030 an estimated 25 million adults will complain about an activity limitation related to the arthritis disease, this is close to 9.7% of the United States adult population. Figure 1 shows the projection for the future using the trend of the past years, it is also notable that two thirds of the number will be women

Figure 1. Projected Prevalence of Doctor Diagnosed Arthritis among U.S. Adult 2005-2030. (CDC, 2015)

Arthritis –Attribution Limitations

The effect of arthritis on people is significant and notable. Out of the 52.5 million adults diagnosed with arthritis 22.7 million report limitation in performing the usual daily activities due to the disease. The total number represents 43.2 percent of the total population diagnosed. In figure 2 the graph indicates activity limitation at 31 percent for the working age adults having any type of arthritis and report being restrained in work.

Figure 2 Arthritis relative to the activities.

Arthritis Prevalence Relative to Body Weight

From the research results, it is noted that the prevalence of arthritis increases with an increase in the body mass index ranging from 16.3 percent for the normal or underweight adult to 28.9 percent among the obese adults. The excess body weight contributes significantly in activity limitations, with 38.2 percent among normal or underweight adults compared to 44.8 percent among obese adults with arthritis. Doctors encourage the obese to lose a modest amount of weight i.e. 11pound which can help reduce the risk of getting arthritis and limit pain as well as improve the quality of life in case one is living with arthritis.


Figure 3. Arthritis prevalence relative to body mass Index

Figure 4. Arthritis Related Activity Limitation by Body mass index


Social impact of arthritis

Arthritis has a major social effect on the lives of people who live with the disease in many ways. Performing daily activities can be a big problem to carry out, and other activities that they cherished they get forced to give up i.e. participating in sports. Some social effects noticed in the people living with the disease includes stress, depression, helplessness, and pain coping (Madsen, 2011).



Various research findings indicate that people living with arthritis develop a sense of helplessness when facing daily changes. When they get infected with the disease, they get the fear that the nature of their condition may lead to a negative impact and less impact on those living with them and feel they may not have control over themselves.


People living with arthritis develop depression due to the state at which they feel secluded or burdensome to those who provides support to them. The feeling of failing to perform their normal work at their employment places and lacking the financial stability. Other sources of depression come when one fails to perform the activities that they valued most like sports. When experiencing high levels of pain due to the joints or inflations any people living with the disease get depressed.



Stress often comes to people living with arthritis due to the fact that they are not able to accept the conditions they find themselves in even when they were in a good state before .i.e. failing to move effectively. When people age out and have no one to look after them especially when they get themselves in a situation they cannot perform most of the activities by themselves. Simple activities such as climbing stairs become hectic for them making it a concern to them.


Pain coping

People living with arthritis in most cases tend to look for means to adapt to their conditions by learning the different ways to cope up with the conditions. When a time reaches that these individuals feel that they are burdening those who volunteer to support them during the time of pain they strain to achieve most things. It in turn impacts negatively on the individual social life since at every point a volunteer comes out to offer supporting they consider themselves to be a burden to the relatives or friends.


Future of Arthritis

The elimination of arthritis may not be possible, but the only way to improve the lives of millions of people’s living with arthritis should be given a higher priority. Some of the factors outlined as a strategy for the arthritis include;

The government agencies and other concerned organizations should provide increased access to self-management education and physical programs for the people living with arthritis to help reduce the symptoms. It is crucial for improving the quality of life through national as well as the state partners. The state should also strengthen the programs that promote the use of crucial environmental means that help people living with arthritis get more actively involved to improve their lives. Some measures such as promotions of walking as an effective, low-cost and pain relieving option for reducing the effects of arthritis.



The nature of arthritis as a disease makes it common due to the conditions that predispose a person. The varying number of types of the disease also means that very many people can get the disease even though they may be of different types. The disease can also lead to cases of disability when it is not properly handled at an early stage, it, therefore, requires that when an individual notices any little symptom of arthritis it should be reported to get a proper medication. It is possible to limit arthritis through healthy lifestyle, but the choice must always come from the people to choose to lead a healthy lifestyle. The government should, therefore, ensure that the measures to prevent and manage this disease are properly explained and taught to the people, this is because the number that is projected to have the disease in future is higher hence there is a need for public preparedness.


Andersson, G. (2008). The burden of musculoskeletal diseases in the United States: prevalence, societal and economic cost. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Burton, K., & Mihail, R. (2010). A data-driven approach to visualize the effects of rheumatoid arthritis on hands. Proceedings of CGAMES’2013 USA.

CDC. (2015, November 21). Arthritis. Retrieved from Centre for Disease Controland Prevention:

Hunder, G. (2009). Mayo Clinic on arthritis. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Clinic.

Madsen, M. (2011). Rheumatoid arthritis prevalence, risk factors, and health effects. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Nova Science Publishers.