What are some of the Psychological Factors that may be Contributing to Jimmy’s Mental Health

The Biopsychosocial model of health and wellness suggests that biology, psychology and social institutions interact to have the greatest influence on our physical and mental well-being. The social interactions that typically have the greatest influence are those with the people who mattered to us as we grew up. This includes parents and other family members. It might also include a neighbor or teacher.

According to the Biopsychosocial model, changing a behavior is a function of 3 factors:

Individual characteristics
Environmental factors
Reciprocal determinism – which is the interaction between the individual characteristics and the environmental factors
Consider the following case for discussion:

Jimmy, a 10 year old boy who is extremely bright and articulate, is a new student in Mr. Jordan’s 7th grade English Class. Mr. Jordan is impressed with Jimmy’s ability to express his ideas both verbally and written. In the last 2-3 months, Jimmy has demonstrated an inability to take “no” for an answer and argues with Mr. Jordan about little things. He often loses his assignments and is forgetful. Jimmy is constantly out of his chair and some would consider him the class clown. Although bright, his behaviors have been difficult to cope with.

Mr. Jordan has noticed the behavior change and contacted the parent for a conference. The mom asked Mr. Jordan to please call her and remind her about the appointment. “I have been so scattered lately”. The mom came to the conference, but the father did not. Mom indicated that they were going through a divorce. Mr. Jordan explained to mom that Jimmy was a bright and articulate boy, but his grades were falling due to an inability to stay on task, excessive talking, interrupting others, and difficulty turning in assignments.

Using the Biopsychosocial model and the concepts above (including reciprocal determinism) to discuss Jimmy’s various mental health concerns with your classmates. In your discussion, examine and explain how these behaviors could change.

Consider the following:

Do you think they are mental health concerns? Is his behavior abnormal?
What are some of the social factors that may be contributing to Jimmy’s mental health?
What are some of the psychological factors that may be contributing to Jimmy’s mental health?
What may be some of the biological factors that may be contributing to his mental health?
Evaluate your classmates’ ideas relative to behavior change and causes associated with this case.


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