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Telecommuting

Question

Background: Many people think of telecommuting from the perspective of how it might make
their lives easier. This perspective is an oversimplification of the work design option. In this
paper, you are asked to address each of the following issues to address the following:
You are a Human Resources (HR) manager. You have been tasked to work with a specific
internal department to provide both guidance and structure to the potential rollout of a
telecommuting option for that group. As such, you want to address the following specific issues
with that departments management team (NOTE: The associated point value for each
component is noted in bold):
1. Describe in detail some of the common components/considerations of a successful
telecommuting program. (Research is required outside of the course material) (50
points)
2. Explain in detail the issues encountered by other organizations in implementing a
telecommuting program. (Research is required outside of the course material) (50
points)
a. How are they commonly addressed in the rollout of an official program)
3. Describe how you can best determine the fit of the individual for a telecommuting
program. Focus on the course material covering: (50 points)
a. Values
b. Personality
c. Social Need of the individual
d. Career management issues
e. Any other items you feel are relevant
4. Since the use of work teams is growing in importance, describe in detail the relevant
factors to be considered in an effective telecommuting. Describe the potential limits
this may have for a rollout. Describe how some of these issues may be overcome. (50
points)
a. Include all relevant aspects of group dynamics covered within the course.
The rubric is contained within the four itemized components above.

Sample paper

Telecommuting

 

Table of Contents

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

Statement of Purpose………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

Common Components of a Successful Telecommuting Program……………………………………………………….4

Internet Connections…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…….4

Employee Management Software and Applications…………………………………………………………………………….5

Health Considerations………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5

Issues Encountered by Organizations in Implementing a Telecommuting Program………………….……….5

Suitability…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5

Management Challenges…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….6

Security……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….6

Cost Concerns……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….6

Separation from Work Culture………………………………………………………………………………………………….………….7

Feelings of Inadequacy and Low Motivation…………………………………………………………………………………………7

Determining the Fit of Individuals for a Telecommuting Program…………………………………………………….….7

Values……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………………….7

Personality…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7

Social Need of the Individual……………………………………………….……………………………………………………………….8

Career Management Issues………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….9

Willingness to Telecommute……………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….9

Relevant Factors and Limits in an Effective Telecommuting…………………………………………………………….9

Personal Factors……………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………..……….9

Nature of the Work…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….10

Compliance with Expected Workplace Standards……………………………………………………………………………….11

Rules and Policies……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….11

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….11

References……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….12

 

 

Abstract

Telecommuting is becoming increasingly common as organizations seek new ways of reducing operational costs. The recent advances in technology have facilitated the application of telecommuting programs in organizations at a rapid pace. Organizations are looking at telecommuting as an effective way for maintain a competitive advantage over the competitors. Despite the potential benefits for employees and management, serious challenges abound in implementing telecommuting programs. Telecommuting programs can have serious impacts to employee performance and generally an organization’s performance. In particular, telecommuting significantly affects the social bonds or ties among employees in the organization. This may have negative impacts to the organization. The other major challenge concerns the ability of the managers to maintain control over telecommuters who work from different geographical locations. This necessitates the application of software applications to help in monitoring employees. Such software applications may be costly to install.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this descriptive study is to explore in detail the components of telecommuting program, issues in implementing telecommuting, factors for consideration in effective telecommuting, and ways of establishing the fit of individuals for a telecommuting program.

Telecommuting

Common Components of a Successful Telecommuting Program

Internet Connections

A successful telecommuting program must have quality network infrastructure. The management may have to choose from a number of remote access technologies such as broadband internet service, dedicated private circuits, and among others. The major factors to consider in deciding on remote access technology are speed, cost, security of data, and mobility. Some access technologies such as use of cellular networks and cable modems can allow the telecommuter to work from different locations covered by the network. Wi-Fi hotspots and digital subscriber lines are suitable where the telecommuter works from a stationery location. Some network providers can establish a private IP environment between the telecommuter and the organization’s computer system. Such a system would be suitable where there is passing of sensitive data.

Virtual Private Network

This is another important component for a successful telecommuting program. Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network infrastructure that enables users to safely access private networks even from public networks (Pearce, 2008). A VPN is critical in facilitating telecommuter access to the organization’s network, which is private network. A VPN is a critical component of a successful telecommuting program since it acts as a gateway through which the telecommuter can access key corporate resources such as intranet portals, network shares, internal applications, and printers (Pearce, 2008). VPNs are a safe way of accessing key resources. VPNs provide adequate security to prevent various forms of cyberattacks to the organization’s computer systems.

Information Sharing

A successful telecommuting program must integrate file and content sharing technologies. Peer-to-peer file sharing is the most common (Pearce, 2008). The sharing of files occurs through a centralized file sharing server. Recent trends involve using a third party for file storage solutions. The telecommuters as well as regular employees can easily access such files from all the computers on the organization’s network (Pearce, 2008). Content sharing is also vital for a successful telecommuting program. The organization can facilitate content sharing by use of specialized content-sharing software or websites.  Use of blogs, portals, social bookmark sites, and wikis can facilitate content sharing (Pearce, 2008). File and content sharing technologies eliminate the need for telecommuters to have to move to the physical offices to present work or obtain new information.

Multiple Communication Channels

A successful telecommuting program should allow for multiple communication channels. Communication is an essential element of the telecommuting process. Communication allows the telecommuters to keep in touch with the supervisors or management in an effective manner. The communication channels should allow for passing or oral, written, and visual messages or information. Common communication methods include web conferencing, audio conferencing, and instant messaging. Web conferencing enables the passing of visual and audio messages over the organization’s network infrastructure. Audio conferencing enable individuals to pass voice messages over the internet or mobile networks. Instant messaging provides users with the ability to send or receive instant messages through the internet.

Employee Management Software and Applications

A successful telecommuting program must include a reliably way of monitoring the telecommuters. The management should be able to monitor the performance of employees at their different and far off locations. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help in tracking the working of employees. The management or supervisors can raise an issue in the CRM platform. The issue remains open until the particular employee resolves the issue. It can be difficult to manage employees working from remote locations. In a telecommuting environment, it is difficult to conduct supervisory roles to ensure that employees adhere to established policy.

Organizational leaders in charge on telecommuters must ensure they improve on performance measurement relating to telecommuters. Failure to ensure there are effective performance measurement tools may lead inefficiencies among the telecommuters. The management should make use performance-tracking software in order to ensure effective monitoring of telecommuters’ performance. Telecommuter management should also involve providing effective support. The management must ensure that telecommuters have adequate support in order to achieve their goals. For instance, the management should replace promptly faulty equipment and provide other forms of help desk support.

Health Considerations

Some researchers have focused on the risks posed by telecommuting to the health of individuals. In corporate workspaces, there are adequate health provisions to employees effectively minimizing various health risks (Allen, Golden, & Shockley, 2015). For instance, corporate workspaces have ambient ergonomically designed workstations that reduce the risk of injury. Employees have a regular schedule that involves going for breaks. Corporate workspaces have ambient lighting and are subject to inspection. Regular inspection ensures that such workspaces meets or exceeds health standards. On the other hand, telecommuters often have to set up workstations on their own and using limited resources (Allen, Golden, & Shockley, 2015). This increases the risk of injury since they may not follow outlined standards. Telecommuters may also fail to follow required safety standards when they work away from the office. A telecommuting program should not increase the risk of injuries to employees.

Issues Encountered by Organizations in Implementing a Telecommuting Program

Suitability

One of the issues encountered by organizations in implementing a telecommuting program is making a decision on the suitability of employees and various roles for telecommuting. It is difficult for the management to decide on the positions that are suitable to telecommuting. In addition, the management may face challenges in deciding on the employees best suited to work as telecommuters. Telecommuting is not suitable for all forms of jobs in the organization. The organization may face serious challenges if employees handle certain tasks from outside the office. For instance, jobs requiring face-to-face interactions with the customers may not be suitable for telecommuting. In addition to the challenges of selecting the suitable jobs for telecommuting, organizational leaders must make the decision on the employees they can allow to work as telecommuters. The suitable employees should have high self-drive and productivity. The suitable candidate should be one who can work with minimal supervision. It may not be easy for the management to select such employees.

Management Challenges

Management challenges are prevalent in organizations that implement telecommuting programs. It is difficult to manage employees in different physical locations. The telecommuters may take advantage of lack of direct supervision leading to slack in the level of output. According to Pearce (2009) noted that the separation from the physical workplace increases the tendency for telecommuters to underperform. Besides the inability to maintain an oversight role over the employees, the management may also lose the ability to assess employee performance. This may occur where the organization’s management lacks adequate resources to install modern employee monitoring technologies. The organization can only ensure effective monitoring of employees by basing compensation of units produced instead of the hours worked. Such remuneration system has major drawbacks including low quality of products due to the focus on quantity of final products.

Security

Security is another organizational issue encountered when implementing a telecommuting program. It is virtually impossible for the organization to guarantee the security of sensitive data when employees work outside the physical location. According to Pearce (2009), security of computer systems and information protection is a major threat facing telecommuting. Various breaches that may occur while working from outside the office include hacking, erroneous emails, and stolen laptops or other important equipment. In particular, hackers can use stolen laptops to gain access to sensitive information. Pearce (2009) identified various security issues facing telecommuters. One of the issues is vulnerability of broadband connections to malware attacks. The organization should install firewall and anti-virus programs to avert such attacks. Majority of telecommuters prefer using wireless connections, which are susceptible to eavesdropping. An organization wishing to prevent eavesdropping must invest more by installing encryption technologies.

Telecommuters often face security challenges involving their internet browser security. Hackers can use malicious software to steal information from a computer system (Pearce, 2009). Such an attack can occur through a weakness on one of the organization’s extended computer networks. It may be difficult for the management to ensure that all employees implement the appropriate computer safeguards while using their laptops. This leaves a window that hackers can exploit to gain access to the organization’s computer system. As mentioned above, it is also difficult to ensure the physical security of the extended computer network in telecommuting. Theft of computer from telecommuters’ home or other location could lead to leaking of sensitive data to the public.

Cost Concerns

Cost is another issue in implementing telecommuting programs. Beginning a telecommuting program requires substantial resources from the organization. This may have significant effect on the profitability of the organization. The organization may incur costs due to the need for upgrading the technology information systems to allow for secure remote access. In addition, the organization may find the need to install modern software and applications for employee monitoring. For instance, the organization may find the need to install Symposium, a system that uses VOIP to monitor calls in a call center (Pearce, 2009). Apart from costs relating to upgrading of the information systems, an organization is likely to incur costs involving relocation of office furniture, installation of advanced security systems, installation of internet, and other costs.

Separation from Work Culture

Corporate culture is critical in ensuring an organization’s productivity. A strong corporate culture helps in ensuring that employees work towards achieving common goals. Telecommuting brings about the issue of separation from the work culture (Chithambo, 2015). Telecommuters working from their homes rarely interact with employees working from the offices. This may lead to a fragmentation of the social fabric in the workplace and the subsequent loss of the workplace culture. Fragmentation of the corporate culture may lead to poor teamwork among employees (Pearce, 2009). Employees working from within the organization may also forge a unique culture from the telecommuters. This may result to tension between telecommuters and regular employees. Such tension may lead to reduced productivity in the organization since employees may tend to focus on unnecessary issues.

Feelings of Inadequacy and Low Motivation

Telecommuting can lead to feelings of inadequacy leading to low motivation. Telecommuting involves removing an employee from a social life and conditioning him/her to isolation. Most often, telecommuters work from home where their social circle becomes narrow. Such employees may experience lower motivation levels. Moreover, telecommuters often express fears of being disregarded for promotions and other opportunities that may emerge in the organization (Dahlstrom, 2013). This is because telecommuters work from outside the organization. They have limited chances of interacting with the managers, supervisors, and other employees. When promotional opportunities emerge, those working within the organization have the highest chances of getting the promotions. The notion that telecommuting will have a negative impact on a telecommuter’s career may lead to low motivation. In implementing telecommuting programs, the management must take measures to ensure that both telecommuters and regular employees receive fair promotion opportunities. The management may find it difficult to ensure a balance between the two.

Determining the Fit of Individuals for a Telecommuting Program

Values

Values can help in determining the suitability of an employee for a telecommuting program. Values relates to the standards of behavior relating to a particular individual. Employees should exhibit a number of values for them to be suitable for working in a telecommuting environment. One of the core values is accountability. This is the willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions. Another important value is self-discipline. A suitable employee for a telecommuting program should be able to plan for his/her work and remain committed towards achieving organizational goals. Another important value is self-motivation. A suitable employee should be able to work without supervision. Positive attitude is also critical in a telecommunication arrangement. Another important value is honesty and integrity. This is important in building trust. Another important aspect is professionalism. This involves learning all the integral aspects of the job and performing the task to the best of one’s ability at all times.

Personality

The personality of employees can offer the management a window of opportunity to determine whether a particular employee is fit for telecommuting. The Big Five personality typology can help in assessing whether an individual is fit for telecommuting. The Big Five personality typology categorizes the entire range of human personality into five types. These are openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and extraversion. According to Clark, Karau, and Michalisin (2012), the Big Five personality types are generalizable across cultures. As such, the Big Five personality types can enable the management to understand personality types and their fit in a telecommuting environment.

Individuals who have high openness tend to be creative, they seek variety, and they tend to seek intellectual stimulation. Individuals with openness are also likely to seek opportunities for learning. Employees who have high openness tend to be creative and seek opportunities for learning. Telecommuting requires that the employee adopts new methods of communication and gets used to working from a new environment (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). There exists a positive relationship between an employee’s openness and the ability to view telecommuting in a positive manner (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). According to Smith, Patmos, and Pitts (2018), having a positive attitude towards learning enables such individuals to become better telecommuters.

Individuals high in agreeableness tend to exude honesty, trustworthiness, cooperation, helpfulness, amicableness, and decency (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Employees high in agreeableness tend to be high performers especially in tasks involving high interpersonal interactions (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012; Smith, Patmos, & Pitts, 2018). Further, some researchers concluded that there is a strong positive relationship between agreeableness and job performance in telecommuting environments (Smith, Patmos, & Pitts, 2018). Employees high in conscientiousness tend to be self-disciplined, thorough, organized, responsible, hardworking, and careful (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Employees having high conscientiousness are better suited to work in a telecommuting environment. The characteristics relating to hard work and self-discipline are critical in ensuring success in a telecommuting environment.

Extraversion concerns the tendency to be highly sociable, talkative, assertive, and active. Extraverts prefer environments that promote social interactions and stimulation of the senses (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Due to the need for the highly stimulating environments, extraverts may not be fit for a telecommuting arrangement. Extraverts would prefer working in environments that promote social interactions. On the other hand, introverts may be more suited for a telecommuting arrangement since they prefer having less social contacts. Neuroticism relates to the emotional stability of individuals. According to Smith, Patmos, and Pitts (2018), people high in neuroticism tend to be anxious and depressed. Recent studies indicate that people with neuroticism prefer telecommuting since they are able to maintain total control over their work environment.

Social Need of the Individual

The social need of the individual may also help in determining his/her fit for a telecommuting program. Social needs refer to the need for affiliation. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory states that social needs are significant motivating factors for individuals (Furnham, 2012). Individuals have certain social needs such as the need to interact with others, to have friends, and the need for acceptance by others. Developing relations at work enables an employee to fulfil the social needs (Furnham, 2012). Further, organizations promote the development of cordial social relations by coming up with various events and activities such as office parties, sports days, fun competitions, and among others. Social needs are part of what Maslow identified as deficiency needs. Inability of an individual to fulfil these needs lead to stunted physical and psychological development.

Employees whose social needs are high may not be fit for a telecommuting program. It is possible to assess the social needs of an employee by measuring the task independence and interpersonal independence levels. Task independence refers to the ability of the employee to accomplish tasks with minimal supervision or help from others. An employee who is highly task independent can fit in a telecommuting environment. Interpersonal independence measures the employee’s level of need for establishing social interactions in the workplace. Employees having high interpersonal dependence may not feel comfortable working as telecommuters. According to Dahlstrom (2013), some employees may long for social interactions in the office when they are telecommuting. A solution for this may be telecommuting on part time basis.

Career Management Issues

Career management is critical in determining the fit of an individual for a telecommuting program. Career management involves planning of activities and job engagements mainly to facilitate growth. Career management lays the foundation for the progression of an employee across the organizational leadership structure. This largely depends on employee preferences, performance levels, and organizational objectives. Career management enables an employee to recognize viable career paths that they can follow for future success. Another need for career management is in setting career priorities and goals. Employees aiming at leadership positions at the organization may not find it suitable to work as telecommuters. According to Dahlstrom (2013), many employees fear engaging in telecommuting due to limited opportunities for growth or advancement.

Willingness to Telecommute

It is important for the management to take into consideration the employees’ preferences with regard to telecommuting. Employees who are in favor of the decision to work as telecommuters would best fit the program. The management should not force employees into working as telecommuters since this may lead to lower employee motivation. For instance, extraverts may not be able to handle isolation that presents in telecommuting environments (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Extraverts desire social interactions in order to feel complete. Some individuals may not find the home environment fit for office work. It is worth noting that a large share of individuals who engage in telecommuting prefer working from home. The home environment may reduce productivity or performance levels.

Relevant Factors and Limits in an Effective Telecommuting

Personal Factors

Personal factors are one of the relevant factors for consideration in effective telecommuting. Telecommuting is not suitable for all employees. Certain personality traits play a critical role in determining whether an individual will be effective as a telecommuter (Ye, 2012). An effective telecommuter should be highly dependable. It is possible to assess an employee’s dependability levels by looking at how he/she meets deadlines for tasks or assignments and punctuality in reporting. An employee who manages time effectively at the workplace is likely to continue the same even when telecommuting. Another personal factor is professionalism. An ideal telecommuter is an employee who handles assignments with professionalism, which is indicative of responsibility.

Communication is another important personal factor. An ideal telecommuter is one who has effective communication skills (Ye, 2012). Telecommuting involves working away from an organization’s physical location. This requires that telecommuters maintain frequent communication with the co-workers, supervisors, and managers in order to show their commitment to the job. Telecommuting may not be possible for persons who are poor communicators. For instance, employees who delay in responding to emails or answering calls may not be effective telecommuters. A good telecommuter should be resourceful. Telecommuting employees face often face challenging work situations alone since the supervisor or manager is not present to offer immediate solutions. A suitable telecommuting candidate should be able to apply problem-solving skills to various challenging situations. A suitable candidate would be an employee who has demonstrated sound problem-solving skills in resolving prior challenges.

Another relevant factor is the productivity level of employees. A suitable candidate should demonstrate productivity in the organization. There is a close link between productivity and possession of relevant job skills. Employees who lack adequate job skills or knowledge are not suitable candidates for telecommuting (Ye, 2012). Time management and good organization skills of the employee is also relevant. A suitable candidate should be a good time manager. The employee should possess organizational skills to be able to plan his/her work. The suitable candidate should be able to work with minimal supervision and can take steps to measure performance.

Nature of the Work

Nature of work is a relevant factor that management must consider in telecommuting. Not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting. The suitable jobs for telecommuting are those that involve engaging in independent tasks and where it is possible to measure performance based on the outcomes (Ye, 2012). Managers should be able to conduct an evaluation to determine whether work characteristics can permit telecommuting among employees. Managers should take interest in establishing whether the employee can perform the job functions independently, and at a location outside the organization. An employee should be able to conduct a job task just as efficiently as he/she would while inside the office. The job requirements should accommodate for working away from the organization. Some of the jobs suited for telecommuting include data processing, indirect customer services, writing tasks, sales, legal jobs, research and policy development, programming, and among others.

With regard to the nature of the work, security concerns may arise when some employees work from outside the office (Ye, 2012). Organizations may have security concerns especially where telecommuting involves bypassing the security barriers in place. Organizations use firewalls, virtual private networks, and Secure Socket Layer to enhance the security of the information systems. Telecommuting can pose certain risks to the organization especially if it involves remotely accessing the information systems. The managers must be able to ensure that there are adequate security considerations before giving telecommuters remote access to the organization’s computer systems. Tasks that do not require access to the computer systems may be safe for telecommuting.

Compliance with Expected Workplace Standards

Managers must ensure that telecommuting does not lead to non-compliance of workplace standards. An effective telecommuting program must take into consideration the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for work. OSHA standards outline the safety, health, and welfare requirements for those employed. A major concern by OSHA is workplace safety. Every employee should be able to work in a safe and healthy environment. With regard to this, the management should be in a position to provide the required safety gear to all employees. Generally, managers should ensure that the remote offices meet OSHA requirements. The management should visit all remote offices to ensure they meet the OSHA requirements. It is also important to ensure that remote offices do not compromise the integrity of an organization’s data security. The management should develop security policies guiding telecommuters. For instance, the management may prohibit employees from using public WIFI to prevent incidences of hacking.

Rules and Policies

The management should develop rules and policies that guide how employees under the telecommuting program will work. The management should communicate the rules and policies to employees before they make the decision to engage in telecommuting (Ye, 2012). Lack of a proper policy framework guiding telecommuters may lead to confusion and inefficiencies. The policy should designate clearly, the party to meet the various costs that the telecommuter may incur. For instance, the policy should be clear on whether the telecommuter or the company should pay for the internet access. The management should also make a decision on whether the telecommuter should purchase his/her own equipment or the organization should provide. The equipment may include laptop, filing cabinets, bookcases, desk, and among others. The management should make it clear that it is the role of employees to ensure they protect data and equipment from theft. The management should also develop a policy on sick days and leave for the employee. Generally, the criteria for leave and sick days should be the same as the one used in the office.

Conclusion

In summary, the advancements in technology have made it possible for employees handling certain job tasks to work from anywhere and at any time. Telecommuting enables individuals to work from homes or other locations of their choice. Although telecommuting is a revolutionary force, there are certain considerations that the management must ensure are in place for a successful telecommuting program. The considerations identified include internet connections, Virtual Private Network (VPN), information sharing facilities, multiple communication channels, employee management software and applications, and health considerations. Further, the organization may encounter various issues in implementing a telecommuting program.  The issues identified are suitability, management challenges, security, cost concerns, separation from work culture, and feelings of inadequacy and low motivation. The fit of the individual to telecommute depends on a number of personal factors. The various factors that the management should consider in an effective telecommuting are values, personality, social needs, and career management issues.

References

Allen, T. D., Golden, T. D., & Shockley, K. M. (2015). How effective is telecommuting? assessing the         status of our scientific findings. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16(2), 40-68.           10.1177/1529100615593273

Chithambo, L. M. (2015). Security concerns in telecommuting within the information technology                 industry. Academic Forum. Conference. Proceedings, , 53.

Clark, L. A., Karau, S. J., & Michalisin, M. D. (2012). Telecommuting attitudes and the ‘big five’ personality                 dimensions. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 13(3), 31.

Dahlstrom, T. R. (2013). Telecommuting and leadership style. Public Personnel Management, 42(3), 438- 451. 10.1177/0091026013495731

Dahlstrom, T. R. (2013). Telecommuting and leadership style. Public Personnel Management, 42(3), 438- 451. 10.1177/0091026013495731

Furnham, A. (2012). The psychology of behaviour at work: the individual in the organization. Psychology Press.

Pearce, j. A. (2009). Successful corporate telecommuting with technology considerations for late                 adopters. Organizational Dynamics, 38(1), 16-25. 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2008.10.002

Smith, S. A., Patmos, A., & Pitts, M. J. (2018;2015;). Communication and teleworking: A study of communication channel satisfaction, personality, and job satisfaction for teleworking       employees. International Journal of Business Communication, 55(1), 44-68.     10.1177/2329488415589101

Ye, L. R. (2012). Telecommuting: implementation for success. International Journal of Business and Social                 Science, 3(15): 20-26.

Coding and Decoding

Coding and Decoding

The message:

I am a rock star!!!

The encoding matrix is:

The phrase matrix is:

 

* =

The phrase as a single line is written as: 198/200 130/180/144 85 172 160/100 145 168 114 27 24 15

Discussion Questions

  1. Find the determinant of the encoding matrix
  2. Find the inverse of the decoding matrix
  • Decode the message
  1. How can this concept apply in sending messages over electronic devices such as phones?

Psychology of Prejudice Quiz

Question

Psychology of Prejudice Quiz

  1. T/F Allport (1954) originally argued that positivity towards ingroups necessarily implies negativity and hostility towards outgroups.
  2. T/F Group living as a fundamental survival strategy of humans has resulted in obligatory interdependence.
  3. T/F Ingroups can be defined as bounded communities of mutual trust and obligation that delimit mutual interdependence and cooperation.
  4. T/F Concentric loyalties allow for the loyalty to the smaller subgroup to be compatible with loyalties to a more inclusive superordinate group.
  5. T/F “Moral superiority” provides justification or legitimization for domination or active subjugation of outgroups.
  6. T/F “Shared values” can contribute to intergroup conflict.

Sample paper

Psychology of Prejudice Quiz

 

  1. T/F Allport (1954) originally argued that positivity towards ingroups necessarily implies negativity and hostility towards outgroups.

FALSE

 

  1. T/F Group living as a fundamental survival strategy of humans has resulted in obligatory interdependence.

TRUE

 

  1. T/F Ingroups can be defined as bounded communities of mutual trust and obligation that delimit mutual interdependence and cooperation.

TRUE

 

  1. T/F Concentric loyalties allow for the loyalty to the smaller subgroup to be compatible with loyalties to a more inclusive superordinate group.

TRUE

 

  1. T/F “Moral superiority” provides justification or legitimization for domination or active subjugation of outgroups.

TRUE

 

  1. T/F “Shared values” can contribute to intergroup conflict.

TRUE

 

References

Brewer, M. B. (1999). The Psychology of Prejudice: Ingroup Love and Outgroup Hate? Journal of Social Issues, 55(3), 429-444. doi:10.1111/0022-4537.00126

 

 

Case Vignette for Comprehensive Examination

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 cognitive 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?”

The Suicide Behaviors Questionnaire-Revised (SBQ-R) is an important scale that can help in assessing suicide risk in individuals. The SBQ-R scale comprises of 4 items each evaluating a particular aspect of suicidality (Farabaugh et al., 2015). Item 1 evaluates the lifetime suicide ideation of the client. Item 2 examines the frequency of suicide attempts over the last one year. Item 3 examines the general suicidality threat by the client. Item 4 provides an overview of future likelihood of suicide ideation. This item comprises of self-reporting of future likelihood. The SBQ-R is a reliable tool for examining the risk of suicide among clients. The scale is easy to answer and is quick to administer since it comprises of only a few items.

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 Screen 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 DSM-5 Disorder Matchesand 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

Part A

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 mind comprises of 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.

Research and Evaluation

Part A

Competency to stand trial. Competence to stand trial is a critical issue in the criminal justice system. Psychology professionals need to apply competence tests in order to determine whether the defendant understands the facts of the case. Competency tests should evaluate not only the defendant’s understanding of the facts of the case but also help in detecting feigning. A significant number of suspects may try to feign incompetence as a way of escaping trial and incarceration (Ragatz, Vitacco, & Tross, 2015;2014;). It is imperative to conduct competency tests in order to satisfy the requirements of the Daubert standard. In the case law involving Dusky v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the defendant must be able to understand the facts of the case and consult his/her attorney, failure to which the incompetency doctrine applies. The following is an examination of various tests that would help in analysing competency to stand trial.

The MacAuthur Competence Assessment Tool-Criminal Adjudication (MacCAT-CA) is one of the key tests applied in evaluating competency to stand trial. The MacCAT-CA comprises of 22 items. The 22 items fall into three scales, which include understanding scale with eight items, reasoning scale with eight items, and appreciation scale with six items (Ragatz, Vitacco, & Tross, 2015;2014;). Six of these items specifically evaluate the case. The MacCAT-CA test addresses the limitations found in the original competency test known as the Competency Assessment Test. The MacCAT-CA helps in measuring the defendant’s ability to understand concepts relating to adjudication or the criminal justice system (Ragatz, Vitacco, & Tross, 2015;2014;). The test also addresses the ability of the defendant to apply logic in the legal matters confronting him or her. The last items evaluate the ability of the defendant to understand the specific issues of the case. Experts recommend that the psychologist professional apply other measures in evaluating malingering behaviour of the defendant.

The MacCAT-CA test would give high results, probably a scale of 5. This is an indication that Adrianna is competent to stand trial. The information provided in the vignette indicates that Adrianna understood the consequences of her actions. Soon after she shot the pimp, Adrianna just stood there in amazement until the cops arrived. Previous history indicates that Adrianna was suffering PTSD and major depressive disorder. However, these disorders may not prevent her from understanding the facts of the case. Adrianna seems aware of what she has done, the reason she stood there until the cops arrived. However, her underlying psychological problems could be the ones that motivated her to commit the murder. This test may not provide details concerning whether there is an aspect of feigning by the defendant (Ragatz, Vitacco, & Tross, 2015;2014;). This calls for the application of other tests to detect malingering.

Another important test is the Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial-Revised (ECST-R). This test comprises of both competency scales and feigning scales (Ragatz, Vitacco, & Tross, 2015;2014;). The competency scales comprise of 19 items, which include consult with counsel, factual understanding of the facts of the case, and rational understanding of the facts of the case. The feigning scale employs Atypical Presentation. Most of the items on the scale are scored on a scale of five points. The results of this scale would be “questionable clinical significance”, which is the second level indicating competency to stand trial.

Risk of Dangerousness. Many instruments are available for measuring the risk of dangerousness. The common instruments include the Violence Risk Appraisal Guide (VRAG), the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), and the Historical-clinical-Risk-20 item scale (Jaber & Mahmoud, 2015). The most common instrument in prediction of violence is VRAG. This instrument has high violence prediction capabilities. The initial study was conducted using a sample of 618 men in an incarceration facility (Jaber & Mahmoud, 2015). The instrument comprise of 12 items that examine demographical details of the suspect, history of offending, and psychometric values. Two of the items examine developmental problems such presence of parents up to age 16 and adjustment in school. Four items examine offender details including age, sex, victim injury, and offence history (Jaber & Mahmoud, 2015). The rest examine the client’s personality disorders, alcohol abuse, marital status, and psychopathy.

The anticipated conclusions about Adrianna basing on the vignette is that she is at low risk of dangerousness. Adrianna has faced serious development issues in the past. First, she experienced separation from her mother before the age of 16 and had to live with foster parents. Another development issue is elementary school adjustment. Adrianna had poor elementary school adjustment. Although she successfully completed high school, the vignette indicates that she was unable to keep up with the rest of the students. In addition, her teacher constantly reprimanded her for being inattentive in class. With regard to the second category of items under the VRAG instrument, Adrianna’s score would still be high. Her age would give a factor of -1 since she is 32 years under the VRAG instrument. Adrianna did not have non-violent offenses prior to the major offense. The victim died during the incident, which makes the nature of the offense serious. In the recent past, Adrianna has had alcohol problems. She seems to have PTSD and major depressive disorder. It is worth noting that the shooting was not under the influence of alcohol consumption. Moreover, this was her first offense and that she did not have any prior convictions for minor offenses reduces her chances of committing the crime another time. This reduces her risk of dangerousness within the next 10 years to below 50 percent.

Insanity. The law can declare the defendant not guilty if it becomes evident that at the time of committing the crime, he/she was of unsound mind. This is known as ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’. Psychology professionals can apply several tests to determine whether the defendant takes the plea of insanity defence. The standard test is the Mode Penal Code test, also known as the American Law Institute Test (ALI). The ALI test states that the defendant is not guilty of his actions if at the time of committing the offense he/she could not tell the wrongfulness of the actions or could not be able to restrain himself from conducting the act and because of a mental impairment. The anticipated conclusions in this case is that Adrianna, although aware of the wrongfulness of her actions, was powerless in controlling her actions. Adrianna was aware of her actions during the shooting. She also understood that it was wrong to take the law in her hands. However, she could not control the urge to kill the pimp who murdered her mother and walked free.

Part B

The client suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. This disorder may have contributed to the development of major depressive disorder. The treatment plan that may be most effective for the client is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach and medications (Foa, Gillihan, & Bryant, 2013). CBT is a type of therapy that focuses on thinking patterns or the cognitive patterns of the client. The aim of the psychological professional in the application of CBT is to alter the cognitive patterns that contribute to mental enslavement with regard to the traumatic event. CBT focuses on the traumatic events with the aim of changing the patient’s cognitive patters. Evidence-based research indicates that CBT is effective in managing PTSD among veterans and other groups of people (Foa, Gillihan, & Bryant, 2013). Medications will be effective in managing depression and anxiety. Medications such as antidepressants can help in improving sleep and concentration. The following part examines the application of the two approaches in managing Adrianna’s condition.

As earlier mentioned, CBT aims at modifying erratic thought patterns that manifest themselves following exposure to a traumatic event. CBT adopts a collaborative approach between the therapist and the patient. The first step often involves informing the patient about CBT. Educating the patients enhances collaboration with the therapist (Foa, Gillihan, & Bryant, 2013). Treatment focuses on avoidant behaviours manifested by the patient. Treatment also focuses on irrational thought patterns exhibited by the patient. Irrational thought patterns and avoidant behaviour helps in maintaining PTSD in the patient. There are three core forms of CBT for treatment of PTSD. These include psychoeducation, exposure, and cognitive restructuring.

Psychoeducation involves providing educations to clients about cognitive behavioural approach in the treatment of PTSD. Psychoeducation enables individuals to have a clear understanding of the rationale being CBT for PTSD (Baddeley & Gros, 2013). This is significant in the therapeutic process because it enables patients to gain knowledge about CBT and thus make the correct decisions. The sharing of knowledge about CBT and PTSD also enhances the relationship between the therapist and the patient. This is critical since CBT builds upon collaboration between the therapist and the patient for the approach to be effective (Baddeley & Gros, 2013). The therapist should engage a persuasive rationale in trying to influence patients to changing their cognitive patterns. Maintaining collaborative relationships enables patients to go through difficulties as they try to overcome their fears.

The second form of treatment using the CBT approach involves exposure to various targets. Exposure aims at encouraging patients to confront their fears (Baddeley & Gros, 2013). For instance, it encourages patients to make contact with the stimuli that elicits fear in them. This ensures that they gradually shed their fear of the particular stimuli. While applying the exposure approach, the patient makes contact with the stimuli for lengthy periods in order to experience a decrease in negative thoughts. The therapist must plan for regularly repeating sessions of stimuli exposure in order to help in reducing fear. The therapist often applies two forms of exposure. In the first one, the patients may simply recount the trauma memories in their minds. The second one involves introducing the live stimuli whereby patients experience similar situations to those that led to trauma (Baddeley & Gros, 2013). Lastly, there is interceptive exposure whereby the psychological professional helps the patients in experiencing bodily sensations relating to the stimuli but in a controlled manner. This may be in concentrated form or in a gradual manner.

The other key element of CBT is cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring aims at helping trauma victims to modify irrational thoughts that may haunt them from time to time (Baddeley & Gros, 2013). The aim is to ensure that trauma victims can fight maladaptive thoughts any time they arise.  Cognitive restructuring also aims at teaching adaptive responses among trauma victims. Cognitive restructuring can enable patients deal with irrational thoughts that express themselves in form of magical thinking, magnification, splitting, emotional reasoning, and over-generalization. Trauma victims can apply various cognitive restructuring methods. For instance, leaning to identify cognitive distortions and focusing on these distortions. A trauma victim who identifies his/her cognitive distortions can then begin to evaluate different ways of thinking in order to avoid the distortions. It is also possible for trauma victims to learn about evaluating the evidence surrounding a particular thought.

Existing literature indicates that CBT is highly effecting for alleviating PTSD symptoms such as sleep disturbances and among others. However, there is little literature available over the treatment of depressive symptoms that often manifest with prolonged PTSD in a trauma victim. A meta-analytical review by Ronconi, Shiner, and Watts (2015) found that there are no established treatments for managing depressive symptoms caused by PTSD. Further, the study indicated that there was a strong correlation between measures that reduced PTSD symptoms and their influence in reducing depressive symptoms. The study concludes that the presence of comorbid depressive symptoms should not impede the choice of a treatment approach (Ronconi, Shiner, & Watts, 2015). Adrianna seems to have strong depressive symptoms. In order to manage these symptoms, medication will also be included as a treatment option. Antidepressants will help in easing the major depressive disorder.

The rationale for CBT lies in its efficacy in managing PTSD symptoms. Evidence from scholarly literature indicates that CBT is highly effective in eliminating PTSD symptoms and related depressive symptoms (Ronconi, Shiner, & Watts, 2015). The psychologist professional should identify the short-term and long-term goals involved in treatment. The following are the short-term goals directed at the client:

  • To go through all psychological tests relating to the symptoms for PTSD and depressive disorder.
  • Adrianna should be able to identify the actual symptoms of PTSD that lead to distress and illogical thoughts.
  • Explain the details of the traumatic events.
  • Relate the feelings she experienced during the traumatic event.
  • Adrianna should be able to tell how the symptoms of PTSD affect her social life and her relationship with her family.
  • Adrianna should be able to accept her alcohol dependence to gain sleep and commit to quitting alcohol dependence.
  • Adrianna should be aware of incidences where she has been unable to control her anger and impulses.
  • Adrianna should be aware of the in vivo stimuli that trigger the PTSD symptoms.

There are a few long-term goals for this form of treatment. The long-term goals mainly relate to elimination of the PTSD symptoms. The following are the long-term goals involved in this treatment plan.

  • The first goal is to reduce the impact of the traumatic event on the normal functioning and return the patient to the level of functioning before the traumatic event occurred.
  • Another goal is to help Adrianna recall the traumatic even without developing negative emotions.
  • The third long-term goal is to help her avoid destructive behaviours that help in promoting denial.
  • Another long-term goal is to equip Adrianna with adequate coping skills that can help her carry on with routine activities and avoid negative thoughts.

It is possible to measure the effectiveness of the treatment approaches using a scientific approach. The symptoms Checklist (SCL-90) is a 90-item scale that can assist clients in self-rating. This scale has a multidimensional profile rating examining a range of items. The client uses the scale to measure his/her mental health over a span of one week. The scale comprises of 90 items categorized into 9 diagnostic subscales and 3 on the general level (Hiltunen, Kocys, & Perrin-Wallqvist, 2013). The 9 subscales include depression, somatization, hostility, psychoticism, paranoid expression, phobic anxiety, obsessive compulsive, anxiety, and interpersonal sensitivity. The three general subscales include a General Severity Index, Positive Symptom Total, and Positive Symptom distress Index. This scale will help in scientifically examining the progress that Adrianna makes in managing the PTSD symptoms and in regaining her former functioning.

The anticipated effectiveness of the CBT approach is that it will bring change within short period. CBT is collaborative and relies mainly on the part of the client to bring about change. Under the CBT approach, there is less reliance on the psychological professional comparing to using other techniques such as psychodynamic therapy. CBT is more timesaving compared with other approaches. A normal session may last for 12-16 weeks, while other approaches may last for up to 6 months or even more. CBT is effective because it teaches clients to be adaptive. This is because it relies on the principle that irrational thoughts lead to criminal behaviour. The CBT approach will likely be effective because CBT therapies transcend beyond cultures. The emphasis of CBT is for clients to get better rather than feel better. CBT focuses on the root-causes of the problems and thus effective.

There may be some limitations in applying the CBT approach. Some people may not appreciate the approach by CBT since they may feel like it downplays their emotions while focusing on logical thought process. There is the problem of patients dropping out, especially those who may not be positively responding to treatment. The focus of CBT is on the client and their ability to bring changes in their thought patterns and in their life. Critics of this approach have argued that this focus is too narrow because it does not take into consideration the emotional problems, the personal histories, and the family life of the client.

There is large empirical support for CBT. The literature available on CBT indicates that this approach is highly effective in the treatment of PTSD. According to Ronconi, Shiner, and Watts (2015), CBT is effective in managing PTSD symptoms as well as depressive symptoms that are characteristic of PTSD. Hiltunen, Kocys, and Perrin-Wallqvist (2013) conclude that CBT is an effective treatment intervention for clients with moderate mental health issues. CBT may not be effective in the treatment of clients with severe mental health issues such as mental retardation. Margolies, Rybarczyk, Vrana, Leszczyszyn, and Lynch (2013) examined the efficacy of CBT and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy (IRT) intervention using 40 combat veterans with PTSD symptoms, lack of sleep and nightmares the findings indicate that those who participated in the CBT/IRT had improved results with reduction in PTSD symptoms and improved sleep. Other studies also indicate that CBT is effective in the treatment of PTSD (Baddeley & Gros, 2013; Foa, Gillihan, & Bryant, 2013; Ronconi, Shiner, & Watts, 2015). CBT is thus an effective intervention in the treatment of moderate mental health issues.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Part A

Ethnicity. It is important to consider the diversity factors in the treatment of PTSD. Due to increased immigration, therapists are facing an increasingly diverse patient population (Zayfert, 2008). This population comprises of asylum seekers, immigrants, and refugees from different ethnic backgrounds and nationalities. It is worth noting that most treatment interventions for PTSD were developed with regard to the industrialized cultures, yet they are increasingly applied to diverse populations. Cultural context plays a significant role in the understanding and treatment of PTSD (Zayfert, 2008). Various cultures have elaborate ways of dealing with stressful events. In addition, there are cultural expectations that greatly shape the way in which individuals react to problems in their life. For instance, some cultures expect men to be more tolerant towards stress compared to women.

The changing demographical landscape in the United States is challenging psychological professionals to develop new clinical methods for addressing a more culturally diverse population. As globalization continues, more cultures are coming together and exchanging ideologies more than ever. The increasing cultural diversity is forcing psychological professionals to rethink their treatment approaches. There is need for psychological professionals to understand the unique features of their client’s cultures before they choose a particular intervention. This will help in broadening the knowledge of the role of culture in psychosocial functioning. It is important for professional psychologists to develop awareness about the unique features of each cultural or racial group in order to determine the most suitable form of intervention. In the past, some researchers have examined value concepts and the way different cultures perceive them. Zayfert (2008) identifies six value concepts relating to Asians. These include conformity, family recognition, humility, collectivism, emotional control, and filial piety. These values have a significant impact to Asians in the U.S.

Cultural context is very important in the understanding of PTSD and other mental health disorders. One of the reasons why a cultural perspective is critical is that traumatic events are more linked to the specific cultures of the people. CBT that takes into consideration the cultural influences promotes distinctiveness in the treatment methods. For instance, Hwang (2006) established a manual for the treatment of PTSD among Chinese Americans (as cited in Zayfert, 2008). This manual was developed following the realization that the Chinese Americans communicate distress in a different way from Americans. The American Chinese are likely to exhibit passiveness or through bodily symptoms. This is in contrast to other ethnicity groups such as the Caucasianss who are likely to make reports about their emotional status.

Gender. Some researcher have sought to investigate the influence of gender in the rate of suicide among individuals with PTSD. Gradus, Street, Suvak, and Resick (2013) examine the influence of gender using a sample of 2,321 war veterans returning from Iraqi and Afghanistan. The literature indicates that the stressful events that these individuals experience increase their suicidal tendencies with time. The study shows that veterans with PTSD symptoms and have alcohol problems are more likely to attempt suicide. Further, the study shows that women are at a significantly higher risk of committing suicide than men. According to Gradus, Street, Suvak, and Resick (2013), women are up to three times likely to attempt suicide comparing with men. On the other hand, men are four times likely to commit suicide comparing with women. This conforms to the cultural scripts theory, which postulated that the behaviour to engage in suicide follows the gender values held by the society. The society holds suicidal behaviour as feminine while death is more attributed to masculinity.

Age. Available data indicates that age has a strong impact in the development of PTSD among individuals. Age is a strong predictor of PTSD. A study by Fu et al., (2013), indicates that individuals over the age of 12 are at increased risk of developing PTSD than a major depressive disorder following a traumatic event. Further, the study indicates that adolescents and children are at increased risk of developing PTSD compared to adults. In the study, PTSD was observed in 66.7 percent of adolescents compared with a rate of 10.3 percent of the population (Fu et al., 2013). The reason for increased risk of the disease among adolescents and children is that this group is emotionally vulnerable and still in the development period. Children and adolescents have a lower tolerance towards stress and traumatic events in general. Since Adrianna experienced the traumatic event at a relatively younger age, there was a high risk of developing PTSD. The research also indicates that certain post-stressor factors play a critical role in determining the severity of PTSD. These factors include treatment opportunities, recovery environment, and coping methods.

Presence of disability. The presence of disability may significantly affect the PTSD symptom management. Some studies assert that disability leads to self-compassion and an awareness of the pain that an individual is going through. Overall, this may lead to reduced PTSD symptoms. Self-compassion is key variable in lowering the number of negative affective states in an individual. Self-compassion helps veterans in coping with distress resulting from experiencing traumatic event. This may reduce the impact of the traumatic event upon an individual.

Religion. Religion plays a significant role in understanding of PTSD on the client’s side. The psychological professional must consider the role of religion in understanding of the traumatic event. Religion forms a global system of understanding events among millions of people worldwide (Anstasova, 2014). In other words, majority of people understand and interpret events around them from a religious perspective. Religious belief systems may be a fundamental aspect in the understanding of issues relating to a traumatic event. Religion can help the clients to alter their meaning about a stressful event. For instance, the client may lean on religion in order to see the positive aspects of a seemingly stressful situation (Anstasova, 2014). It can also help in making reattributions. However, studies indicate that there is no link between religion and improvement of PTSD symptoms. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference in terms of coping between the religious and non-religious groups.

Sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is a strong predictor of PTSD. Available studies indicate that there is higher prevalence rate of PTSD among young adult lesbians and gay men. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals are more likely to commit suicide that their heterosexual counterparts. The differences in the risk of committing suicide among the LGB is evident from the age of 22. Caska-Wallace, Katon, Lehavot,  McGinn, and Simpson (2016) examines the relationship between PTSD symptoms and the quality of relationships among lesbian veteran women. The results indicate that partner support is a significant factor in determining severity of the PTSD symptoms. Among the heterosexual group, there was a significantly lower risk of severe PTSD symptoms. This indicates that PTSD symptoms are more severe in minority groups possibly because of the high discrimination they face from the community.

Race. There exist significant statistical differences in the prevalence rate of PTSD across the racial divide in the U.S. There is also a significant difference in the lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among the races. According to Roberts, Gilman, Breslau, Breslau, and Koenen (2011), African Americans have the highest lifetime prevalence of the disorder, which stands at 8.7 percent. This indicates that African Americans are least likely to seek treatment when they develop the PTSD symptoms. Caucasianss have a lifetime prevalence rate of 7.4 percent, while the Hispanics have a prevalence rate of 7.0 percent. Asians have the lowest PTSD prevalence rates with 4.0 percent. On the other hand, Caucasianss are more likely than any other group to develop PTSD symptoms. These differences are significant in the understanding of PTSD in diverse populations such as the United States. Since Adrianna is Hispanic, she would be willing to participate in the therapy program. African Americans may be averse to seeking treatment due to various problems ranging from cultural beliefs to inadequate finances.

Leadership, Consultation, and Ethics

Part A

There is need for a professional team to look into the various problems affecting Adrianna. The vignette indicates that Adrianna has alcohol dependency problem. She suffers from depression and at one time, she received medication to control her depression. Further, the analysis of her symptoms reveals that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. The professional team will include three members. The first professional is a drug and substance abuse counsellor.  The second professional in the team would be a psychiatrist. The third professional in the team is a general practitioner. Each of the professional team members would have specific roles with regard to managing of various symptoms.

Drug and substance abuse counsellors are critical in helping addicted individuals. Drug and substance abuse counsellors listen to their client’s problems and establish the triggers or what causes the problems. From there, the counsellors work on developing a coping mechanism and implementing various treatment approaches such as the 12-step program. The 12-step program is a comprehensive recovery program for people suffering from alcohol-related problems such as addiction. Drug and substance abuse counsellors often try to adapt the treatment approaches to fit each client’s needs. This is because most clients are different. In addition, each client may have specific triggers that contribute towards the drug problem. Substance abuse counsellors act as their clients’ support system. Their role is to teach the client on ways to modify behaviour and recover from drug addiction. The program is also effective in helping clients recover from behavioural and compulsion problems. The counsellor establishes short-term and long-term goals regarding the client and implements various treatment plans.

Majority of substance abuse counsellors engage in on-going relationships with their clients. This is because the journey to full recovery is a long one for the client. Often, the client may relapse and thus seek the help of the substance abuse counsellor. Following treatment, the client may also need the services of the substance abuse counsellor to control any new behaviours that may replace the addition behaviour. Besides helping the client to quit drug and substance abuse, the counsellor may be of help in other areas. For instance, the substance abuse counsellor may assist the client in looking for a job. The substance abuse counsellor ensures that the client finds support groups, which are key in the recovery process. The counsellor arranges meetings with family members in order to provide guidance and help to resolve contentious issues among family members. The objective is to ensure that the client’s family supports the change. This is vital in the recovery process.

The second professional in the team is a psychiatrist. A psychiatrist is responsible for evaluation of mental health of individuals. The psychiatrist will help in diagnosis of the mental health conditions affecting the client. The psychiatrist can also recommend a treatment program or prescribe medications. Psychiatrists work in a variety of community settings including clinics, hospitals, their own private rooms, private consultation, and in other settings. Psychiatrists are critical in conducting teaching about mental health care to others. They are also responsible for research and in identifying evidence-based guidelines that improve the health outcomes of the clients. This can contribute to improvements in service delivery to clients. It is worth noting that psychiatrists evaluate all forms of mental illness ranging from episodic conditions, abnormal behaviour, emotional disturbances, and life-threatening medical conditions.

Psychiatrists are vital in conducting assessments and recommending appropriate treatment forms. The psychiatrist has critical skills required in conducting psychiatric assessment and providing accurate diagnosis of the mental health condition of the client. The psychiatrist also examines the interaction of the mental health condition and the physical aspects of the client (Oud, Schuling, Slooff, Groenier, Dekker, & Meyboom-de Jong, 2009). The psychiatrist develops the short-term and long-term care needs of the patient and implements them. The long-term care needs may involve psychotherapy sessions. Just like the substance abuse counsellors, the psychiatrist works with the client’s family in order to develop a comprehensive solution to the underlying mental health issue. The psychiatrist determines the various social-cultural factors that influence the client and how they relate with his/her mental health issue. The psychiatrist must listen carefully to the client’s inner feelings and thoughts in order to understand their underlying problems. Lastly, the psychiatrist works with the patient in order to identify the appropriate medications or psychotherapy program.

The professional team will also include a general practitioner. General practitioners can also help in the treatment of mental disorders. However, it is worth noting that they have limited ability to diagnose and provide treatment plans in patients with mental disorders. General practitioners can help in managing common mental disorders. This leaves out serious mental disorders where their knowledge and skills may be limited. Although the general practitioner may not be able to handle serious mental health disorders, they are critical in the treatment plan and recovery of the client. According to Oud et al. (2009), general practitioners provide mental care to about 75 percent of the clients. Majority of clients who have mental health problems manage their symptoms with the help of general practitioners. The psychiatrist may provide diagnosis and a treatment plan for a client, leaving the general practitioner to implement the plan and record progress of the treatment plan.

The general practitioner provides ongoing support to the client. This may occur through shared care, direct care, and even referring the client for specialized care depending on his/her condition. The general practitioner should have a good understanding of the condition affecting the client in order to provide ongoing health care. The mental health team that includes the psychiatrist relies heavily on the general practitioners for providing ongoing care for lengthy periods. For clients with serious mental health issues requiring hospitalization, it is important to engage the general practitioner in order to make the relevant plans involving discharge. The general practitioners are also important in providing case management services to clients in situations where there is no case manager.

Part B

Psychological professionals play various roles while providing their services in mental health. The American Psychological Association identifies these roles as diagnostics, researching, educating, consultation, social interventionism, administrative roles, supervision, expert witness, and among other roles. Psychological professionals are guided by ethical codes of conduct that define the way they ought to carry themselves as they conduct the various roles. While conducting these roles, psychological professionals may face various ethical and legal dilemmas.

One of the possible ethical dilemmas is competence. One of the general principles established under the APA guidelines is competence (“American Psychological Association (APA)”, n.d). This principle requires that therapist and other professionals recognize their potentials or skills level while engaging in practice. Therapists and other professionals should only provide services in areas they are fully competent. The therapist must be aware of the fact that there may be different levels of knowledge required to handle different clients owing to the complexities of their problems. Therapists must carefully weigh their judgment to ensure that the decision they with regard to the client is the best (“APA”, n.d). The ethical dilemma in this case concerns the making of the insanity decision. This analysis concludes that Adrianna is not guilty by reason of insanity. The argument is that although she knew the consequences of her actions, she could not control herself at the sight of the man who killed her mother. This decision may be disastrous especially if Adrianna commits another crime in future. This could occur if certain parameters were overlooked while assessing her mental status.

Another ethical dilemma involves concern over the welfare of others. Psychological professionals should always aim at improving the welfare of those they meet while providing their services. The professionals should learn to assess the welfare of their clients and in addition to their rights while conducting their duties. Conflicts may occur in their life of duty. When conflicts occur, psychological professionals must identify ways of resolving these conflicts in ways that satisfy all parties (“APA”, n.d). The ethical dilemma in this vignette concerns declaring Adrianna as dangerous to the society versus recommending that she may not be a danger to herself or anyone. While one may not wish to separate Adrianna from her family and judging by her history, there is need to ensure that she receives medical treatment. This will involve separating her from her family for a period. My immediate step in this case is to evaluate her dangerousness level and make an appropriate decision for the benefit of all parties.

An ethical and legal dilemma that may emerge while applying a treatment intervention is the risk of harm. There is a slight risk of harm from the medication and the CBT. Although the forensic psychologist may take all necessary action to prevent harm, a small risk of harm remains that may result from unforeseen circumstances (“APA”, n.d). The psychological professional avoids causing harm to the client, whether mental harm or physical harm, and whether intentional or unintentional. As the forensic psychologist, it is important to ensure that are codes of conduct are observed while providing service to a client. This ensures there is no harm resulting from negligence. The consequences of causing harm to the patient may include legal charges to losing the practice license.

Another ethical dilemma that may emerge from the vignette is barter. The APA code of conduct refrain psychological professionals from receiving goods or services from their clients as a war of compensation (“APA”, n.d). The professional psychologist can only receive monetary remuneration from the client. This helps to ensure that the relationship between the two remains professional. Accepting gifts in exchange for services may lead to exploitation and conflicts. This is the main consequence of barter. For instance, family members may use gifts as a way of enticing the psychological professional to write an insanity report or make other false claims that will in one way or another favour the client’s legal position.

The vignette introduced the issue of privacy and confidentiality. Psychological professionals have a legal responsibility to protect the information they obtain about the client (“APA”, n.d). It is the role of the professional to ensure the storing of information in a secure location free from intrusion by unauthorized parties. The psychological professional may take a number of steps to avoid a breach of privacy and confidentiality. First, the professional should discuss with the client or his/her legal representatives (in case of mental incapacitation of the client) about details concerning privacy and confidentiality (“APA”, n.d). Second, the psychological professional should inform the client about the intended uses of all the information that he/she acquires through the interaction. The consequences for failing to maintain privacy and confidentiality are dire. The psychological professional may face legal charges. A guilty verdict would attract heavy fines or jail term. There is also a risk of losing the practice license.

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Zayfert, C. (2008). Culturally competent treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder in clinical       practice: An ideographic, transcultural approach. Clinical Psychology: Science and        Practice, 15(1), 68-73. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2850.2008.00111.x

Chinese street food

Therefore, tasting the local cuisine of a city or a country is necessary to understanding the city’s and country’s identity, past and present. In most countries and cities, a traveler is likely to find restaurants that offer some typical foods, though if they are aimed at tourist; there is likely hood that the prices of these foods are a little bit higher than the normal prices. However, there is an alternative to these high prices and watered down flavors foods in restaurants, and that is street foods in every city or country. The street is where a city’s history collides with the modern day, where old tradition exists alongside newfangled developments as designer’s stores and fast food places. On the street is where the poor mingle freely with the well-off over a light lunch, where tourists can interact with the local people of all nature and often score the best food at dirt-cheap prices (Tse, Tse, Winfield, & Hom, 2016).  Therefore, it is on the street that an individual can get the best-tasting food in a country.  China is one of the few famous countries in the globe today that are famous for their foods as they are for their iconic sites, history, clothing, and traditions. However, most people especially the tourists are most certain that the Chinese food they enjoy back home is certainly different from what they can get in Chinese streets.  This study will focus on identifying the best Chinese foods in the streets of China considering that China is increasing becoming famous for its dishes and traditions.

Food establishments can be found almost everywhere in China and are particularly thriving in big cities such as Shanghai and Beijing. Street food is popular especially among the locals considering that it is diverse and relatively cheap compared to restaurants something that has caught the eye of the international community. Therefore, any tourist or individual who fancies trying authentic Chinese food but does not feel like stepping out of their comfort zone should try some of the following examples of food in the streets of China.

Chuan’r (Chinese Kebabs)

Chuan’r is one of the most popular Chinese street foods among the locals.  Chuan’r is also widely known as Chinese kebabs which consist of a piece of meat skewed onto thinly cut bamboo sticks. This dish originated from Xinjiang region in China and had been spread throughout the rest part of the country especially in Beijing. Chuan’r is small pieces of meat skewed on sticks roasted over charcoal or electric heat.  At times, this dish is cooked by deep frying in oil.  Originally, this dish was made out of lamb which is still common in most parts of the country despite the fact that this tradition is changing where other different kinds of meats are used to prepare it such as chicken, pork, beef and even various types of sea foods (Goodman, 2008). The meat is often coated with salt, dried chili flakes and ground cumin spice which is mixed before eventually barbecuing the marinated meat over charcoal. These ingredients help to add to the taste and flavor of the dish.

Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings)

Jiaozi is often described as Chinese dumplings common in China and other parts of Asia. This dish is most common during Chinese New Year where every family and community strives to make sure that they prepare it or have access to it. The dish comprises of ground meat and vegetables filling wrapped into a meagerly moved bit of mixture which is then fixed by squeezing the edges together or by creasing. History has it that the dish was invented during the era of Eastern Han by Zhang Zhongjing. Jiaozi is often shaped as ancient gold ingots which Chinese and other communities believe to bring luck to the community r the individual owning them. They can either be shallow or deep friend depending on the wish of whoever is preparing them.  Generally, Jiaozi is served a dip of soy-vinegar sauce for flavor. Jiaozi can be divided into various types based on how they are prepared.  Examples of these types of this dish include boiled, steamed and pan fried Jiaozi.

Jianbing (Chinese Crepes)

Jianbing is popular among the locals as it is the type of bing which is prepared and consumed for breakfast and is common especially among those who take street breakfast. Jianbing is often prepared from a batter of wheat and grain flour, eggs, and sauces and often topped with different fillings and sauces, chopped or diced mustard pickles and scallions depending on the tastes and preferences of the customer. This dish is believed to have originated from Northeast of China and has slowly spread all over the country (Yalof, 2016). Some of the characteristics that make this dish popular among most individuals are the fact that it is never pre-cooked and the fact that it can satisfy different tastes considering that it can be prepared with different ingredients. The dish is easily accessible owing to the fact that it can be found on street corners, outside of subway station and all tourists’ attraction sites.

Cifantuan or Ci Faan (Glutinous rice balls)

Cifantuan is believed to have originated from Shanghai before spreading to other parts of China. It can be prepared by wrapping a piece of dough popularly known as youtiao with glutinous rice. The dish is suitable for breakfast where it is served with sweetened or savory soy milk to add to the flavor of the customer. However, in recent years different people have revised the way Cifantuan to match the needs as demands of the customers. Today, it is available in two varieties the savory variety that is made of pickled vegetables, pork floss and tiny pieces of dough wrapped in the rice ball.  Additionally, there is the sweet variety which is prepared in a similar manner to that of savory variety. The only difference between the two varieties is the fact that the sweet variety adds sugar and sesame to the filling to make it even tastier.

You Xuan

To most individuals, You Xuan may seem like a very simple fried pancake that is rolled into a spiral shape, but the truth is that it is delicious and tasty. You Xuan are often prepared with flour, lard and spring onions which are put on a griddle before eventually being toasted nest to open fire. The final product is a salty coiled pancake, crispy and golden on the outside (Kraig & Sen, n.d).

Conclusion

From the above detailed research, it is correct to say that street foods are increasing becoming important to China both for the locals and tourist or any other traveler in the country.  Therefore, it is prudent for anyone willing to learn the Chinese culture and traditions especially food to try out some of the dishes mentioned earlier.

 

References

Goodman, P. (2008). Food in China. New York: PowerKids Press.

Kraig, B., & Sen, C. (n.d.). Street Food. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Food Issues. doi:10.4135/9781483346304.n404

Tse, H., Tse, L., Winfield, C., & Hom, K. (2016). A Chinese street food odyssey.

Yalof, I. L. (2016). Food and the city: New York’s professional chefs, restaurateurs, line cooks, street vendors, and purveyors talk about what they do and why they do it.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy

There are only two certainties in this world that are experienced by human being   that is change and death. Unfortunately, the main characters in the novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy experience both in the course of their lives together as they strive to survive. The man and the boy, who are the main characters in the novel, remain anonymous in the whole story as they travel in an unforgiving terrain of the southeastern of the United States in search of life as they attempt to survive after the catastrophe. The conditions they face in their journey is sickening, and the man tries to do all he can to protect his son.  The author attempts to show his audiences how love, patience, resilience and perseverance can push ones limits to higher heights. Some of the unforgiving things they see on the way include rotted corpse, terrain consumed by fire, abandoned towns, and homes.. The man and the boy struggle to find food and water as well as keeping themselves safe from other few living people who may be tempted to steal from them or even kill them to have the little they got (McCarthy and Stechschulte 69). As the journey continues, the man’s health gets worse and eventually dies in the wood next to his soon.  The author has used various themes to deliver his message across to the readers.  Some of the major themes in the novel that will be discussed in this assignment include the theme of parental love, death and resilient and survival.

Example of a theme that is widely evident in the novel is the theme of paternal love that exists between the man and his son. Before the mother of the boy in the novel committed suicide, she clearly stated that the boy was the only thing that stood between her and death (the road, 25). This statement clearly shows that the mother was striving and struggling to stay alive for the love of her son.  She wanted to be always there for him despite all the struggles and challenges that faced them at the time.  Additionally, the father has the undying desire and regenerated energy each and every single day to survive as he loved his son too much to give up. Despite knowing that his health is deteriorating each day, the man tries to assure his son that everything will be alright and soon he will feel better to seek life for the young boy (Lincoln 168). His love for the boy is too strong to the extent that he is ready to shoot anyone who dares to come in between them (THE ROAD, 65). On the other side, the boy genuinely loves his father and is concerned about his worsening health condition as he constantly asks if he will be okay. Notably, there is a similarity between the paternal love shown by the man to the son and that shown by Lord Montague and Lady Montague in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. These two parents demonstrate their love for their son in their concerns over his depression at the beginning of the play. As parents, they want the best for their son and to be in good health.

The other major theme in the novel is the theme of death. Death pervades the novel the road right from the word go as it is evident from the way the author describes the terrain, the struggles the man and the boy face for survival, the constant threats of murder and survival on the way as well as the suicide of the man’s wife ( The road, 49). From the catastrophe, the earth is already steeped in death and ashes, and there is no a single sign of life especially in towns and cities. Most of the living creatures and the plants had perished in the disaster that completely wiped out civilization. Additionally, as the man trudges on in search of a better life for his soon, it becomes quite clear that he will not make it as his health gets worse which eventually slows down their movement. On the other hand, the author of the novel the book Thief Markus Zusak utilizes death in a totally new context.  According to the author, passing has nothing to do with why individuals pass on, but instead death exists since individuals kick the bucket.  In this case, the author gives the death human ability to enable it to separate the soul of the dead from the bodies and carrying these souls away (Adams 160). The novel is a tragic story that is set during world war two where the reader witnesses mass killing of innocent people.

The novel the road has major themes that can be easily be pinpointed as they affected people in the real world and they largely affected the characters in the novel. The theme of resilience and survival is widely demonstrated throughout the novel. The author has paid a strong attention to the practical aspect of human survival and what resilient individuals can do to ensure that they survive regardless of the situation and circumstances crowding their way. For the largest part of the novel, the author shows the resilience in the man as he tries to develop methods on how he can use natural resources at his disposal as well as trashed items to ensure their survival (the road, 24). Notably, one of the methods used by the author to show this resilience is the use of cannibalism by some of the survivors a behavior that may seem crazy in another context but perfectly suits the content of the novel as these people find ways to stay alive (“Further Reading” 99). On the other hand, the author tries to show that survival is not the only option and only the resilient individuals can survive. The man’s wife takes her life in an attempt to escape rape and murder (the road 49). The fear of the unknown and lack of resilient and faith drive her to commit suicide. Notably, there is a great difference in the context between which the theme of survival and resilience is presented in the novel the road compared to the theme of resilience and survival in the novel Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Laura uses resilience to show the adversity in Louie’s pre-war life. He was born poor but his defiance and thirst to excel pushed him to rebel against the limitations he saw around him by acting delinquently and stealing from neighbors and local business to survive. His resilience allowed him to survive the war.

As the reader, there are some questions that I might be tempted since the novel was not that revealing.  The first question I would be tempted would focus on the catastrophe that had wiped all humanity and civilization in the novel.  Additionally, the question of the names of the main protagonist in the novel would also arise in the processes of analyzing the novel.  Finally, I would also have loved to know what happened to the son after joining the new family at the end of the novel and what happened to the body of his father.

Works Cited

Adams, Jenni. “‘Into Eternity’s Certain Breadth’: Ambivalent Escape in Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief.” Magic Realism in Holocaust Literature, 2011, pp. 144-172.

“Further Reading.” Cormac McCarthy : All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road,

Lincoln, Kenneth. “The Final Story: The Road.” Cormac McCarthy, 2009, pp. 163-173.

McCarthy, Cormac, and Tom Stechschulte. The Road. Brilliance Audio, 2015.

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Literary devices

Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment

Ms Lawson, a Math teacher at the Greenstown High School, a racially and economically diverse school. She was previously teaching at predominantly white schools where only a few students received free or reduced-price lunches. She has a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree, where she did a course on diversity, and therefore expectations are high that she does well teaching in a more racially and culturally diverse environment (Thomas, 2005).

Hardly had she settled in her new job than she encounters a highly sensitive incidence in her class. Note that Ms Lawson has committed to ensuring that there is racial equity in all her classes, and the response thus far has been satisfactory. She had even hung Diversity in Mathematics posters in her class, and the students of colour had responded well, as they learnt about historically important mathematicians of colour from all over the world (Thomas, 2005).

Sadly, and unexpected of her, she overhears one of her students, the same students she has been teaching on the need to embrace people that seem different from them, from a racial perspective, jokingly call another the n-word. Antony is a white student who, going by his explanation, calls Reggie who is an African American student the racial slur n-word as a joke. In her shock, she approaches and abruptly addresses the students while handling the whole situation with dissatisfaction. The whole scenario ends up a missed opportunity to teach the young kids on how to embrace diversity not only in school but outside the confines of the school. As the case study reports, she knows pretty well she should have handled the situation differently, her tone is one of a defeated soul.

I am of the opinion that there is no explanation enough that would vindicate the use of the n-word. None. Be it used as a joke on a friend or use out of ignorance, none would. Explaining the use of the word does by Antony does not make it less of a problem because the damage had already been done. The N-word has a history that is hard to replace by explaining. Let us look into the history of the N-word first.

Presently in the English language, the n-word is an ethnic slur, which is more often than not, directed at the black people. The word initially began as a neutral term referring to people with black skin, a variation of the n-word of the Spanish and Portuguese origin, and later adopted in the Latin world. It was often a derogatory word, which by the mid-twentieth century, more so in the United States, its use became unambiguously a pejorative, a racist insult. Due to its extremely offensive consideration, in print media, the word is usually published in euphemism, the n-word. The n-word is the ultimate insult which has tormented African-American generations for years (Roman, 2001).

With the explanation of the origin of the n-word, I vehemently oppose the use of the n-word under any circumstances. Under no circumstance would I vouch for the use of the n-word, and more especially in a school environment. Reason being that knowledge ingrained in the minds of young girls and boys would be hard to do away with, and so they would feel comfortable using other derogatory slurs even in the future. This gives a bad precedent for the future generations. In the future, children and students who grew up feeling that the use of the n-word is cool would still feel comfortable using the same word which is quite derogatory and offensive as far as I am concerned.

Apparently, a few students, especially those of the African decent would have felt hurt that Antony took it overly well to refer to Reggie by the n-word. The main reason the likes of Keisha couldn’t sit pretty at the blatant mention of the word. In my opinion, she had all the reason to seem to defend her ‘brother’. She appears to have taken it upon herself to tackle an injustice which in my view she thought that the teacher was too lenient in handling. That was the reason she used such strong words in her interjectory statement, “That’s no term of endearment, you idiot. It’s racist. And you’re lucky you’re not getting a beatdown right now for saying it.”.

The manner in which the teacher handled the tricky situation was somewhat wanting. The tension was building, and the teacher had other ways of calming the class down other than shouting Keisha down. Some students could react strongly whereas others are more apathetic like Reggie. Those who have a likelihood of being offended in a big way, like Keisha, in this case, do not deserve chastising but rather politeness. As an immediate remedy for the feelings of Keisha and any other student who would have felt so much offended by the words of Antony, a mother like approach and not a professional approach would have sufficed. Ms Lawson, in my assessment, should have used a more soothing word like, “Hey Keith, Antony was wrong and so has explained himself, but you too are wrong in calling him an idiot and two wrongs don’t make a right. Please take your seat as I handle this.” She shouldn’t have looked like she is defending the mistake of Antony or looking like the class is getting out of control and so she has to assert her authority. With the tensions cooled, she would then have re-established school-wide norms of respect and good citizenship. In the same breath, she would have explained to Antony, and indeed the class, that what one sees is right might not be the right thing to the other person or a group of individuals, and so rights should not be abused. This way no group of students, be it Whites, Hispanic or Blacks would have felt hard done since the teacher would have taken a neutral ground and followed that up with educating the young students on what’s right and what’s wrong in an emotional situation (Khalifa & Briscoe, 2015).

Seemingly, Reggie was dumbfounded by the fact that the teacher, who should have been his last line of defence decided to call him out in front of the rest of the class. I think the taunting of Reggie must have caused him a lot of trauma and some degree of depression. Such people deserve someone they can confide to, and not a group. I, therefore, suggest that the best thing that Ms Lawson should have done was to call Reggie privately in her office and let the young boy express her feelings to her. The open request for Reggie’s feeling wasn’t going to be the best method for Reggie to express his otherwise deep-seated feelings about the name calling by his supposed friend Antony (Kohli, 2009). Reggie looks like the kind of a person who reacts from the inside, and these are the kind who are highly affected by such actions, and so a better environment was required for the meeting between Reggie and his teacher and not the classroom before the eyes and the ears of the rest of the class. Indeed, Reggie would have responded in a better manner and consequently expressed his true feelings had the teacher been more concerned about the privacy that the situation required.

Had I been the teacher, I would have grabbed the opportunity and perfected the art of turning a sour, bitter situation sweet. It would have been a learning opportunity for all of us, myself as the teacher included (Chapman, 2013). Not looking down upon the efforts made by Ms Lawson in her case, because I understand how tough sometimes it is reacting under pressure, I would have tried to free the class up, if possible move the students outside the classroom, because the environment had already conceived tension. I wouldn’t have wanted to deal with this issue in an atmosphere which is literary contaminated already. I would even have requested for a local arrangement with the teacher coming immediately after me to deal with an emergency. Not trying to look like I am making a hill out of an anthill, we would, together with my students, have gone for a life skills lessons under a warm shade or in the field. There we would first have fun so that I first clear the tension in the air or else I make the situation worse. After all play and fun, I would then go ahead to teach the students the significance of respect as well as reminding the students the policies and expectations regarding student behaviour. I would there after call particular students, one by one to my office just to know what each felt and thought about the lessons learned about racism. First in the line would be the affected students like Antony, Reggie, Adolfo, and Keisha. I would also want to hear what other certain students thought about the whole scenario and whether there had been such in the past. Having given my input to the best of my knowledge, I would after that call upon the school councillors to talk to the students, giving particular importance to the topic of racism. I would as well report the scenario to the school administration so that I do not look like a lone ranger who tries to fight a vice by myself. Such efforts bear little fruits if any. I would request that the administration looks at creating a whole school awareness on such that it is not treated as a one-off incidence and forgotten thereafter. The school wide efforts who among others include holding TED shows, having motivational speakers address our students and having open forums to discuss such. Finally, I would hold a discussion with my faculty members just to look into how one of us would address such an incident if it occurs again in the future. These acts would, although not able to do away with racism in schools in an instant; they are good in converting the mindsets of students in a gradual manner (Chapman, 2013).

References

Chapman, T. K. (2013). You can’t erase race! Using CRT to explain the presence of race and racism in majority white suburban schools. Discourse: Studies In The Cultural Politics Of Education, 34(4), 611-627.

Khalifa, M. A., & Briscoe, F. (2015). A Counternarrative Autoethnography Exploring School Districts’ Role in Reproducing Racism: Willful Blindness to Racial Inequities. Teachers College Record, 117(8), 1-34.

Kohli, R. (2009). Unpacking internalized racism: teachers of color striving for racially just classrooms. Race Ethnicity And Education, 17(3), 367-387.

Roman, M. (2001). Race, politics and US students in 1930s Soviet Russia. Race & Class, 53(2), 58-76.

Thomas, M. E. (2005). ‘I think it’s just natural’: the spatiality of racial segregation at a US high school. Environment & Planning A, 37(7), 1233-1248.

Leadership Approaches

Question

Choose a leader from history whom you admire. Similarly, to the Barnes, Humphreys, Oyler, Pane Haden, and Novicevic

(2013) article that profiles Jerry Garcia, discuss which leadership style

was employed by your admired leader. Begin with a summary of the approaches and theories discussed.

Be sure to include the following in your essay:

Summarize Bass’ leadership approaches.

Summarize the follower-focused leadership theories: servant leadership, authentic leadership, and leader- member exchange (LMX).

Discuss the concept of leadership and the importance of leadership, and explain why you selected the style you  chose for your leader.

 Discuss the appropriateness or inappropriateness of the style exhibited by the leader you selected.

Sample paper

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela can be described as one of the all-time greatest leaders in the globe today.  Born in 1918, Mandela played an important role in the eradication of apartheid in South Africa as well as playing a central role in the liberation of several African countries from the harsh and oppressive colonial rule. Mandela can be described as a revolutionary, politician and a philanthropist who served as the South Africa first black African president between 1994 until 1994. During his reign, Mandela fought hard to eliminate apartheid in the country by addressing institutionalized racism in the country as well as promoting racial recognition between the whites and the blacks in the country (Mandela, 2013). However, it is worth noting that his leadership is recognized way back in his younger tears when he was sentenced to life prison in 1961. He was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island, but this did not prevent him from influence the politics of the country and most of his countrymen viewed him as a true leader. Upon his release in 1990, he became the president of the African National Congress, which gave him an ideal platform to spread his socialist ideas and concepts.

In the largest part of his life, Mandela can be said to have employed a transformational leadership style. A transformational or a revolutionary leader is that leader who has the abilities and powers to transform the life of followers by changing their perceptions, aspirations, expectations and values. Being an influential leader since his youthful years, Mandela led his country and people to nearly-liberated prejudice. Moreover, he elevated most of his followers and countrymen by appealing to their value and consciousness by urging them to not despise themselves based on their skin color (Beresford, 2014). As a leader, he encouraged and appealed to his followers to educate themselves and their children so that they could compete fairly with the whites and because education is the key to success and would bring the much needed political, social and economic changes in the country.

Transformational leaders have their unique style that brings positive changes, that creates a vision for the followers as well as inspiring the followers to meet the challenges that stand on their way to their dreams and vision. The appropriateness of this leadership style can be manifested through traits such as:

  1. Individual consideration – in this leadership approach, the leader puts more emphasis on what his followers need and embark on a journey to lead them to their dreams. Often, the leader acts as the role model, facilitator, and a teacher to motivate the followers to perform certain tasks that are necessary to the realization of their dreams(Antonakis, 2014).
  2. Idealized influence – the transformational leader becomes a full-fledged role model and has to act and display ideal traits of honesty, trust, and enthusiasm.
  3. Inspiration – the leader is a source of inspiration regarding challenges to the prevailing tasks and individuals as he encourages participation from the followers.

Leadership plays a crucial part in the development of a country or an organization.  Some of the reasons as to why leaders are important to include:

  1. Transformational leaders help to initiate actions in their areas of jurisdiction by communicating policies and plans to his followers to get them on board.
  2. Creates confidence – a true leader should always be at the forefront or at the center of every activity and action taken by his followers to boost their confidence considering that confidence is an important factor in the achievement of their dreams.

References

Antonakis, J. &. (2014). Instrumental leadership: Measurement and extension of transformational–transactional leadership theory. . The Leadership Quarterly, 25(4), , 746-771.

Beresford, A. (. (2014). Nelson Mandela and the politics of South Africa’s unfinished liberation. Review of African Political Economy, 41(140),, 297-305.

Mandela, N. D. (2013). Nelson Mandela. Learn out loud.

Cultural Conflicts

Cultural Conflicts

Cultural conflicts are a common issue in the American society. Cultural conflicts occur because of a clash in the values and beliefs held by individuals and often from different cultural groups. Cultural conflicts have become part of the American society due to the migration trends in the region. The United States is currently home to people from all across the world. The mix of different cultures may create tension among individuals leading to conflicts. Immigrants living and working in the U.S. are more likely to face cultural conflicts. It is often difficult for such immigrants to assimilate the American culture. Further, their children are likely to develop conflicting values, beliefs, and thought patterns due to the conflict cultures between their parents and the greater U.S. culture. This paper is an evaluation of how Amy Tan and Jhumpa Lahiri integrate the theme of cultural conflicts in their stories “Two Kinds” and “Hell-Heaven” respectively.

In her essay “Two Kinds”, Amy Tan highlights the cultural division between Asian-American parents and their American-born children. Jing-Mei’s mother believes that her daughter can become anything she wishes to be in America, including being a prodigy. Her mother affirmed this while she was only nine, “Of course, you can be a prodigy too” (222). This indicates living the American dream that defined by capitalistic tendencies. Under the American dream, one can become anything, provided he/she works hard to accomplish the dreams. Jing-Mei’s mother believes that her daughter can become anything she wants in life if she puts efforts in something. Here, Jing-Mei’s mother seems quite influenced by Asian culture, where the parents normally decide their children’s career path. Jing-Mei’s mother attempts to influence her daughter into becoming a prodigy by selecting different forms of prodigy. In one of the selections, Jing-Mei’s mother tries to influence her into becoming Chinese Shirley Temple. Jing-Mei is unable to fit the character.

Jing-Mei feels that her mother is forcing the Chinese culture down her throat. Jing-Mei is adamant about her mother’s push to become a prodigy. Jing-Mei is of the opinion that since she is in America, she does not have to do what her mother says. After her mother requested that she turns of the TV and attend to her piano lessons, Jing-Mei thought, “I didn’t have to do what mother said anymore. … This wasn’t China” (227). This statement shows a feeling of emancipation from the Chinese culture. Jing-Mei is no longer feeling bound by the Chinese culture. Her appreciation of the American culture seems higher and is willing to follow her dream, although she is not sure of what she wants in life.

Jing-Mei’s mother seems quite fascinated by the American dream. Jing-Mei’s mother strongly believes that with hard work and possibly luck, her daughter will accomplish anything she wishes. As such, Jing-Mei will not have to endure the hardships that her mother has gone through. When Jing-Mei’s mother sees on TV a little girl playing the piano, she is fascinated and is convinced that this will be the best thing for her daughter. Jing-Mei’s mother was “entranced by the music, a frenzied little piano with mesmerizing quality…” (224). Despite not owning a piano and being out of their reach, Jing-Mei’s mother was able to purchase a second hand piano, much to Jing-Mei’s surprise.

The story “Hell-Heaven” by Jhumpa Lahiri examines how cultural conflicts play a critical role in immigrants’ lives. Specifically, the story explores the struggle that Bengalis face as immigrants living in the United States. Pranab Kaku is a young Bengali who got a chance to study engineering at the MIT. He experiences cultural shock to the point that he resolves to go back home. As Usha (the narrator) says, Pranab Kaku “had packed his bags and gone to Logan, prepared to abandon the opportunity he’d worked toward all his life” (2). Back at Calcutta, his birthplace, Pranab Kaku had led a luxurious life. He came from a wealthy background and was accustomed to having everything done for him. Pranab Kaku was prepared to go back home, only that he met Shyamal’s family. This helped him a lot in overcoming the cultural conflicts.

It is difficult for American-born Asians to forge an identity. This is because they feel torn between their own culture and the American culture. Children born of migrant parents must choose at one point between the American culture and their parent’s culture. Before the narrator left the house for the Thanksgiving ceremony, her parents made her “to wear a shalwar kameeza”, a long dress worn by Indian women (14). The narrator feels conflict between her culture and the American culture in the way of dressing. Her mother expected her to dress strictly as per the Bengalis traditions. On the other hand, the narrator felt drawn to the American style. During the Thanksgiving, Matty invites the narrator for walk. The narrator felt shy as she wore inappropriate clothes. Soon after, she borrows a pair of jeans, sweater, and sneakers. Her mother is surprised to see her daughter but does not utter a word. This signifies a cultural shift towards the American culture.

Marriage is the greatest source of cultural conflicts among the immigrants. In most immigrant families, children feel torn over whether to marry from their own cultures or to embrace intermarriages. The narrator experiences these conflicts from a tender age, even when marriage did not have meaning to her. As the narrator recounts, her mother would give her verbal warnings about dating an American, “Don’t think you’ll get away with marrying an American,…” (12). This resulted into conflicts. Pranab Kaku faces pressure from his parents over his decision to marry an American, Deborah. His parents call Shymal’s family expressing their disappointment over their son’s decision to marry an American. Kaku’s parents insist that they had arranged for him to marry a girl from his village. Pranab Kaku feels nervous over the thought of breaking the news to his parents about his girlfriend.

Even with Pranab Kaku marrying his American girlfriend, cultural conflicts persist between the two families. Pranab Kaku’s parents were categorical that they would not approve of their son’s decision to marry an American. There is evidence of cultural tension during Pranab Kaku’s wedding. Usha’s parents do not join the others when the dancing starts, instead opting to stay at the table. After a few songs, they resolved to go home, much to Usha’s disapproval. During the Thanksgiving, Pranab Kaku suggests that they all take a walk down the beach. While Deborah’s family “agreed that that was an excellent idea”, the Bengalis were adamant to go to the beach (15). The narrator indicates that the Bengalis began speaking freely “after the forced chitchat with the Americans” ended (15). This clearly indicates the cultural tension between the Bengalis and the Americans.

Works Cited

Lahiri, Jhumpa, “Hell-Heaven (Short Story).” New Yorker 80.13 (2004): 72-81. Literary Reference Center. Web. 9 Oct. 2017.

Tan, Amy. “Two Kinds” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Roberts, Edgar            V., and Henry E. Jacobs. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2012. 222-228. Print. er

Organizational Culture and Quality Performance

Question

The CEO of your firm has heard from several of his peers in town that major new quality initiatives almost always require some kind of culture change.Discuss how a company’s culture can affect its quality performance from both a positive and negative manner.

Sample paper

Organizational Culture and Quality Performance

The company’s culture may have positive or negative impacts on quality performance depending on the nature of the culture. A strong organizational culture is key in ensuring success. A positive organizational culture may serve as a motivation aspect for employees. Employees who have high motivation levels are more likely to produce work of high quality and in an effective manner. The organizational culture can improve quality performance by encouraging innovativeness among employees. Some organizations have positive cultures that encourage employees to develop solutions to various organizational challenges. In such organizations, employees are likely to drive innovation as they develop unique solutions to various organizational challenges. A positive culture improves how employees perform their jobs in terms of quality and speed. As such, a strong culture may lead to less mistakes among employees when performing their tasks. An example is whereby the organization gives employees the employees a higher degree of freedom to make their own decisions. In such organizations, the employee is likely to react immediately to new problems rather than going through the management.

A negative culture can detrimentally affect an organization’s quality performance. Culture has a strong influence in the way the organization develops its products and how it provides services to its customers. In addition, the organizational culture significantly shapes employee behavior including how they interact with customers. If the organizational culture is negative, there will be a consequent negative impact on quality performance as well. The top leadership plays a critical role in shaping the overall organizational culture. If the top leadership sets a bad precedence, the employees will likely follow suit. This has a negative impact of quality performance. An example of this is in the manufacturing sector. While the major goal during manufacturing is to ensure the production of quality products, the quality control manager may opt to increase the speed of production at the expense of quality tolerance levels. This may encourage slack among employees leading to production of a large number of low quality products.