Theory Identification and Analysis

Patrice Scope

Capella University


Dominique Spigner



Theory Identification and Analysis


Psychology over the years has arisen a new science to develop practical methodologies for supporting explanatory theories. Human Behaviors are highly influenced by their social environment. Cultural and immigration aspects like multiculturalism, acculturation and assimilation are some of the social environmental biasness. This paper entails organization of a theoretical framework for the chosen case study. The case study includes illustrations of the client, family, and the problems present. This paper will also present the problem impression, societal intersectionality, and the necessary theory to be applied for intervention. Displayed behaviors, and the effective examination of the case demographics will be an important framework component. To evaluate how cultural competence play a role in the selected theory, the related strengths and weaknesses will also be evaluated in this paper.


Client Case Study Review

For this analysis the chosen case study will be Levi’s case. Levi is a 35-year-old man living with HIV positive. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that targets the immune system of the body and can lead to a life-threatening chronic condition if preventive treatments are not taken. Levi has been living with HIV for ten years and under medication which have stopped the progression to AIDS. He is generally healthy and works as an auto mechanic.

Recently, Levi has withdrawn from most social interactions and has not told or involved his family. In addition, he has also fallen from most of his friends. Due to this emotional toll, he has been able to obtain some anti-anxiety medications. The anxiety medications sometimes don’t work and leads to his overdose of the prescribed medication. He has also resulted to cocaine habit that he views as the only area of excitement in life. Levi is not recovering from the anxiety and his life is slowly slipping away.

Present Problem and Impression

Based on the case review, the present problem lies within the progressive anxiety that Levi is suffering from. Levi since being diagnosed with HIV he has not been able to disclose or share the information with anyone including his family. Levi is living in denial, shoch, sadness and even anger. All these kinds of emotions are playing a toll on him which has led to depression and the overdose of the anxiety medication. As a way of hiding his emotional issues he has withdrawn from family and friends. Levi seeks help from a counsellor since he has already resulted to cocaine and yet he cannot find solace.

The impression of the writer is that Levi has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression which are mental health conditions (Alvidrez et al., 2021). Depression is more than just having a bad day and feeling down. Since Levi, being diagnosed with the HIV has had a feeling of anxiousness and not wanting to interact with friends or share with family. He has trouble falling asleep which has resulted him to anxiety medication but its post trauma from the HIV diagnosis. Feeling guilty and worthless as if your life is slipping away is also another symptom of both Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression.


Intersectionality in psychology entails analysis of the complex social inequalities that influences behavior and ethics. Race, nationality, gender identity, social class and religion are some of social issues that are subjected to people and reveals the interlocks and intersects of their behaviors (Little et al., 2019). Prior to the treatment of Levi or coming up with a therapeutic intervention, it is important to understand the social comprehension by analyzing the world around him and the people around him. This is because a behavior is easily shaped by factors in diverse and mutual ways.

Levi identity is not set in at birth and not defined by his sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. Levi does not find support and does not have a close relation with anyone. Levi’s environment his work life and social life cause his identities to collide. HIV is stigmatized with negative beliefs and attitudes. The HIV virus comes with a prejudice and labelling of an individual as socially unacceptable. The moral judgements may be the root cause of Levi turn off from his close associates. To help Levi structure is necessary and the next step a counselor would take is to choose psychological theory based on Levi’s condition.

Identification and Discussion of Chosen Theory

Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development is the theory that can identify Levi’s case study as it identifies social development and human behavior. The theory focuses on biological and genetic origins of behaviors as the interaction with the environmental forces overtime. The eight stages of development outlined by the theory identifies the emotional, physical, and psychological factors affecting Levi. Erikson’s theory was the first and, possibly, most important lifespan development theory. Based on the psychosocial development through birth to death, there are eight stages that are psychological crisis that affect personality and development whether negatively or positively.

The first stage of the psychosocial theory is the trust versus mistrust which can contribute to positive outcomes of hope or negative outcomes of withdrawal. Levi shares a trait of withdrawal from his friends and family which might be fostered by mistrust during his early ages. The second stage is autonomy, shame and doubt which is revealed through the compulsive behaviors revealed by Levi through drug overdose and indulging to cocaine usage. The third stage is initiative and guild, fourth being industry versus inferiority, identity versus role confusion, intimacy versus isolation which encourage exclusivity (Cherry, 2020). The last two include generativity versus stagnation which symbolize giving or rejection and finally integrity versus despair which reveals Levi’s feelings of wasted time, chances and life slipping through his hands.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Theory

Erikson’s psychological development theory provides a broad and integrated framework for social development and gives elaborate understanding of each stage. The theory also showcases the identity crisis individuals pass through during their development and provide the detailed insight on the concept of psychosocial crisis. The theory also asserts the importance of society and culture on one’s development and gives a better understanding of the cognitive human structure.

Some of the weaknesses of the Erikson’s psychological theory of development include the lack of explanation between the transition from one stage to another. This is easily confused, and better elaboration is needed to understand the impact of culture on an individual’s development. Individuality is given too much importance with little elaboration as well and most research argue that the theory is quite Eurocentric. Some research also argue that the theory is a generic plan and focusses on male development, but the theories are yet to be proven otherwise.

Cultural Competence Application to Theory

The phases of this model are culturally important since the Ethical Principle stipulates that counselor should comprehend culture and its role in human psychology and society, acknowledging that all cultures have strengths (NASW, 2018). Diversity in psychotherapy should constantly be maintained, and social workers must be knowledgeable about a variety of groups, contexts, and problems to be nonjudgmental as well as provide respect and understanding.

Implication of the Theory Relating to Human Behavior and Development

Though widely accepted, Erikson’s theory has been disputed by many, and it is important to remember that his theory is only one way of understanding psychosocial development. Levi identity is not set in at birth and not defined by his sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. The HIV virus comes with a prejudice and labelling of an individual as socially unacceptable or moral judgements which are the root cause of Levi’s anxiety and depression states of being lonely.









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Alvidrez, J., Greenwood, G. L., Johnson, T.L., & Parker, K.L. (2021). Intersectionality in Public Health Research: A View from the National Institutes of Health. American Journal of Public Health, 111 (1), 95-97.

Cherry, K. (2020). Understanding Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. Verywell Mind.

Little, D., Green, D.A., & Felten, P. (2019). Identity, Intersectionality, and Educational Development. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2019 (158), 11-23.

National Association of Social Workers., Wehrmann, K. C., & McClain, A. (2018). Social Work

Speaks: National Association of Social Workers policy statements, 2018-2020

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