7.2 Wilson Case Study: Questions (P1)

Case Study Questions

Answer the following questions.

1. Attachment is an emotional bond with another person. The earliest bonds formed by children with their caregivers have a tremendous impact that continues throughout life. Attachment serves to keep the infant close to the mother, thus improving the child’s chances of survival. Between 6 weeks of age to 7 months, infants begin to show preferences for primary and secondary caregivers. Infants develop trust that the caregiver will respond to their needs. While they still accept care from others, infants start distinguishing between familiar and unfamiliar people, responding more positively to the primary caregiver.

Provide evidence of how Elizabeth and Ryan addressed Maya’s attachment, or not, when she arrived from the Philippines.


2. Children need basic things to thrive, such as secure attachment, unconditional love, acceptance, routines, responsibility, empathy, guidance, good role models, and time to play.  What was Elizabeth’s plan to contribute to Maya’s life to ensure that her newly adopted daughter thrived?


3. When Elizabeth went to the play group, her Nanny, Gloria would do most of the supervision of Maya. When Elizabeth would attempt to play with Maya, she would fuss and want Gloria instead.  Why does this happen?


4. Elizabeth wants to appear “good” in the eyes of others and engages in behaviour to show that she cares about her daughter and is a good mom.  What is Elizabeth doing and is this behaviour contributing to her being a good caregiver or not?  Support your answer with evidence.

According to Rimer and Prager, (2016), children are at risk of abuse when a child’s needs and normal behaviours are perceived as onerous because the child is unwanted or does not fulfill the parent’s expectations.  Provide an example(s) of this from the case study.


5. Sleep training infants is a common strategy used by parents to encourage their babies to sleep at night which can be as simple as implementing a nighttime routine or knowing how to read an infant’s tiredness cues.  Identify what Elizabeth is doing to promote infant sleep and how this would align with a sleep strategy or not.  Support your answer with evidence.


6. Many factors have been identified as contributing to some parents/caregivers being more vulnerable than others, adding to their difficulty in coping in general which increases the risk of child abuse.

According to Prager and Rimer, (2016), caregivers with specific personality characteristics, cognitive abilities, and/or emotional factors that challenge their strengths and weaknesses in coping with everyday life, stresses, children, and family can increase the risk of child abuse.

Examples can include depression; substance abuse; difficulty controlling anger and hostility; attachment difficulties; poor problem-solving and conflict resolution skills; poor coping mechanisms; the impact of a personal history of abuse or neglect, violence in the family, and/or childhood trauma; emotional immaturity; and/or low self-esteem.

Identify Elizabeth’s specific personality characteristic(s) that are increasing her risk of abusing Maya.  Support your answer with evidence.


7. Unrealistic expectations of children’s behaviour increase the likelihood that a caregiver may have less understanding or patience, and perhaps be more punitive. These attitudes and practices with respect to how children should be raised can increase the risk of abuse.

Identify examples of unrealistic expectations of Maya’s behaviour. Support your answer with evidence.


8. Elizabeth was overheard saying to Maya, “next time, you will remember who the mother is,”. The leader of the program tried to soothe Maya and Elizabeth said, “she is always like this.” “She is probably one of the hardest kids to settle. Even at bedtime, I could rock that kid until there are holes in the carpet, and that kid won’t fall asleep. It’s like she is making me pay for working to put nice clothes on her back and a good roof over her head.” The playgroup leader said, “babies don’t try to make your life difficult; they are trying to get their needs met.” At which point Elizabeth said, “I think I know my child better than you do.” Elizabeth rolled her eyes and walks away, thinking the leader just didn’t get it.

Is this a concern?  Does she need to follow her duty to report and contact the Children’s Aid Society?



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Child Maltreatment: An Introductory Guide With Case Studies Copyright © 2023 by Susan Loosley and Jen Johnson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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