Use Trinity as a guide to answering the following questions:
- Discuss the specific biological (i.e neurological), psychological (i.e. core beliefs), and social (i.e. environmental) risk and protective factors present in Trinity’s life. (please note: these sources can be inferred if they were not identified directly in the reading).
- What in your opinion were the sources of Trinity’s resilience?
- How do the risk factors experienced by Trinity impact the developing brain?
Social Work and Human Services
- Discuss The Specific Biological (i.e., neurological), Psychological (i.e., Core Beliefs), and Social (i.e., Environmental) Risk and Protective Factors Present in Trinity’s Life. (Please Note: These Sources Can Be Inferred if They Were Not Identified Directly in the Reading).
Biological factors, in this case, are evident, considering that Trinity’s parents were heroin addicts. The drugs affected their nervous systems; hence, they lost concern for their children. The more drugs they took, the more addicted they became. As a result, they could not remember to take care of their children, as they were more concerned in themselves, not their children’s welfare. Besides, the parents never cared for the children or showed love during critical developmental stages. The earlier stages of development are crucial in a child’s life, showing them love and care will determine how they will be in the future. The psychological factors may reveal that children born of drug abusers might take drugs at some point in life (Szalavitz & Perry, n.d). Although the teacher made this claim, Trinity refuted it and maintained that it was not necessarily true.
Social factors may include growing up without care from the parents. For instance, Trinity experienced abuse from the foster father and could not access decent housing. How the children relate with their parents will affect their social life. If the parents and the children do not have a good relationship, they might have an alarming social life. For example, Trinity’s siblings have had some run-ins with the law, although none of them had committed any serious crime (Szalavitz & Perry, n.d). However, trinity was willing to hold their hands and walk with them, since she knew and understood that their social life was shattered from when they were young. Some of them become so rough on others since they are always trying to get attention from people.
Risk and protective factors in Trinity’s life include having a positive attitude towards life and high self-esteem. Although Trinity went through a tough childhood, she knew that someday will come and everything will be better. She kept fighting and taking care of her siblings. When the teacher insisted that the statistics said that those children whose parents take drugs would end up taking drugs, Trinity said that she is not a statistics, she is herself (Szalavitz & Perry, n.d). Her courage was outstanding, and this shows that she was very optimistic and positive in life. She wanted to change the statistics, and show the world that one can be better, even after being brought up by drug addicts. Trinity had very high self-esteem. Most children who have a rough childhood have low self-esteem because they feel that they are not good enough. Parents and caregivers are the people who are more close to these children, so if the children think that they are not being taken care of well, then they tend to withdraw and feel incomplete. However, Trinity was different. She was very courageous, and her high self-esteem helped her to reach out to her goals. She knew that she is in a position to achieve her dreams despite her rough childhood. True to it, she completed her goals and ended up becoming a children’s advocate. At least now had a voice, and she could help other children in a similar state as she was a few years ago. She could now spread love and care to many people since she knew that love would go a long way and help a person to heal from their wounds.
- What is Your Opinion Were the Sources of Trinity’s Resilience?
The hardships that Trinity faced may have enhanced her resilience. She was raised in a very stressful environment, but she kept her hopes high that things would get better one day. When her father got high on drugs, he would become violent, impatient with the children, and regularly threaten them. Besides, the lack of parental love from her parents might have contributed significantly to her resilience. After her mother broke up with their father, her adoptive father would also beat them up regularly. The girls were beaten with rubber strips, causing severe and painful bruises. Rex even cut the girl’s hair because Cassandra took so much time trying to make and style their hair (Szalavitz & Perry, n.d). Rex did not care how the girls’ self-image would be affected out there. Some would get teased at school, but he did not care or consider how his actions will affect their self-image. Notably, Trinity was the second mother to her brothers and sisters since their mother barely cared for them. Based on such experience, she loved her siblings and was determined to give them a better life, full of motherly love. When her brothers and sisters rubbed shoulder with the law, her friends told her to leave them alone and let them be. But Trinity never agreed to this. She knew what her siblings had gone through in life, and all they needed was love. She said that she would help and show them the love that they need since they did not experience it when they were young. She felt that the siblings needed love, and since her parents were not there to show love, she had to step up and be there for them.
- How Do The Risk Factors Experienced by Trinity Impact the Developing Brain?
Trinity was exposed to stress and trauma from a young age. She was abused, neglected, and was not offered parental love that every child yearns for (Szalavitz & Perry, n.d.). However, all these experiences made her exceptionally compassionate, especially towards children. Her brain developed a sense of care and love. She also became very self-protective and vigilant; hence, protecting and fighting for the children’s rights. Since her brain could detect the signals of abuse, she was able to avoid such instances. Overall, her experience made her more observant and watchful and could sense what others were about to do or say.
Trinity says that the best thing that her parents taught her was how she did not want to be when she grew up. Seeing the life that her parents lived, she was sure that that is not what she wanted for herself in future. She did not want to stress or even cause any trauma to her children. The risk factors helped her to think differently, and to see life from a different angle. This conditioned her brain to think positively, and to embrace the fact that things will turn out better. She knew that she could be better, even after being brought up in not so good surroundings. She wanted to change that most children wish to, and her brain was conditioned to her thoughts. True to it, she became a foster children’s advocate, always fighting for children’s rights. She knows the need to protect children and give them love care, something she did not experience when growing up.
Szalavitz, M., & Perry, B. D. (n.d.). Resilience. Born For Love, Why Empathy is Essential, and Endangered, 145-169.