This vignette relates to The William’s family: Michael, Nia, Marcie & Caleb and their extended family.
Michael William’s Army National Guard Unit is preparing for a 12-month deployment, and they have been spending more than the usual one weekend per month in drills and training. Michael has 2 months to help his family prepare for his deployment, and then his unit will train in Texas for 2 months before leaving. This is not the first time his family has needed to prepare for Michael’s deployment, but the preparations are more complicated this time.
Michael William is a 36-year-old Black male who lives in a small southwestern town. He has been married to Nia for 13 years, and they have a 12-year-old daughter, Marcie, and a 3-year-old son, Caleb, who has cerebral palsy. Caleb requires monthly physical therapy sessions and a special diet. When Michael finished high school, he served in the Army for 4 years. He received excellent training, discipline, and enjoyed making friends with people from diverse backgrounds. He had two tours overseas but never served in a war zone. After 4 years, he was eager to return home to be near his close-knit family. Soon after coming home, he ran into Nia, who had grown up in his neighborhood, and they were soon spending time together. A year later, they were married, and a year after that, Marcie was born.
Michael was not sure what work he could do after he left the Army, but months after he returned home, he contacted a high school friend Don who was working as a heating and air conditioning technician. After another technician was fired, Michael got a job where his friend worked, and Don helped him learn the technical aspects of the business. When Marcie was born, Nia cared for her at home and cared for her sister’s small children while her sister, a single parent, worked. When Michael’s father had an automobile accident and had to miss work for 6 months, Michael and Nia provided financial aid to Michael’s mother and younger siblings. Finances were tight, and Michael and Nia were afraid they would not be able to keep up with the mortgage on their house, which was a source of immense pride to them. Michael decided to join the Army National Guard to bring in extra money. He also looked forward to the type of camaraderie he had experienced in the Army.
He went to drills one weekend per month and took time off from work for a 2-week training each year. His unit mobilized on two occasions to assist with floods in the state. The extra money helped to stabilize the family finances, and he enjoyed the friendships he developed, even though only one other person in his unit was from his small town. When Marcie entered public school, Nia took a job in the school cafeteria, which allowed Michael and Nia to start a college fund for Marcie.
Michael grew up in a close-knit family that included his mother and father and three younger sisters, as well as a maternal grandmother who lived with them. Aunts, uncles, and cousins lived nearby. Both parents were hardworking people, and they created a content home. Michael’s grandmother provided childcare when the children were small and helped to keep the household running smoothly.
Nia grew up blocks from Michael. Her father had died in Vietnam months before she was born, and her mother had moved her two daughters back to the town where she had grown up. She struggled to raise her two daughters while working two jobs, with help from her mother who lived in town but also worked two jobs. Nia was lucky that a neighborhood couple became her godparents and played an active role in her life. This couple was never able to have children of their own, and they were happy to include Nia in their leisure activities. Nia often turned to them for support and encouragement, and she continues to consider them family.
During Michael’s deployment 5 years ago, Nia and Marcie were able to get along fine, with the love and support of Michael’s family; Nia’s mother, sister, and godparents; and Michael’s boss. They missed Michael and worried about him, but Marcie was particularly good at picking up more responsibilities to help Nia with the chores usually performed by Michael. When the furnace broke, Michael’s boss [Don] was generous about doing the repair. One of Michael’s sisters helped Nia juggle taking Marcie to her after-school activities and picking her up. Michael experienced a leg injury during his service and spent 2 weeks in a hospital near his home. The family and friend network took care of Marcie while Nia juggled trips to the hospital with her work schedule.
Prior to his deployment, Michael’s beloved grandmother had a stroke 2 years ago and is cared for in his parents’ home. His mother and father are working opposite shifts at the local nursing home so that someone is always at home to care for her. Michael’s aunts, uncles, and cousins take turns providing a few hours of care so that his mom and dad can get a break and run errands. One of Michael’s sisters stayed in the city after she completed college and has a busy life there. Another sister, a single parent of a 2-year-old daughter, is serving in the Army. Her daughter has been living with Michael and Nia while she is deployed.
Caleb is the joy of the family, but he requires extra care. Family caregivers need to work with Caleb daily, helping him with some exercises to build his strength. He requires a special daily diet of healthy foods to strengthen his bones and muscles and physical therapy. Caleb has several doctor and physical therapy appointments during the month. Nia’s mother has moved in with Michael and Nia and cares for Caleb and the 2-year-old niece during the day while Nia works, and then turns their care over to Nia so that she can do a 6-hour shift caring for an older woman with dementia.
Work has been slow for Michael lately, and his boss has talked about closing the business down and retiring, so there is anxiety about whether he will have work when he returns from his deployment. Michael always wanted to go to college and major in business. He has hopes of developing his own business and supporting his family. He will use his Veteran benefits to support his college education but is not sure that this would be the best thing for his family at this time.
To help stabilize the family finances, Nia recently accepted the offer to take a supervisory position in the school department’s lunch program. She is excited about the new responsibilities but also concerned about whether the added stress is manageable in this time of great family upheaval. She is especially concerned about monitoring Marcie’s after-school activities now that she is approaching adolescence. Her godparents promised to help with that, just as they did for Nia during her adolescent years.
Nia has heard that the National Guard has family support groups, but there is nothing in the small town where she lives. She plans to reach out to other families in the National Guard and explore further options for developing or attending a family support group.
Midterm – Part 2 Take Home Assignment
(100 points; 20% of Course Grade)
Relates to student learning outcomes: 1, 2, & 7
Midterm – Part 2 Take Home Assignment posts at 12noon PT on the Saturday of Week 7
This assignment is a take home, short answer essay. It is intended to be an assessment of your understanding of the content covered in Weeks 1 through 7 through critical application of theoretical concepts to a case vignette.
Please use the attached case to answer 3 questions from those listed below. Be sure to follow the directions carefully and clearly indicate which questions you are answering.
Provide responses that are thoughtful and directly relevant to the question, supporting your answers with specific examples from the case and scholarly source material. In your responses, you must go beyond simply identifying, listing and/or defining concepts, terms, or ideas. Demonstrate your knowledge of these theories by effectively showing how they are applicable to the case vignette.
This is a short answer essay assignment, not an academic paper. As such, simply indicate the number of the question you are answering and then write your response.
· Please use complete sentences, not bullet points or outlines.
· The completed assignment should be 3-4 pages in length (approximately 1 page per question; page limit does not include title page and reference list), double-spaced, with 12-point font and 1-inch margins. Provide scholarly references in each response to support your arguments.
· You are required to cite in APA 7th edition style a minimum of 3 academic and/or professional works from the syllabus and a minimum of 1 outside reference in the assignment overall.
o Place outside references in bold-face font in the reference list so the instructor can easily identify them.
o Please note: The Robbins et al textbook must be used and will count as 1 reference source, regardless of the number of chapters you cite. Please minimize the use of direct quotes from source material (Focus on putting in your own word.
The evaluation of Part 2 of this midterm assignment will be based on whether you addressed all aspects of the assignment, the appropriate use of theoretical concepts, the strength of your analysis, correct APA referencing format, and graduate level writing quality. A grade sheet will be posted so that you know exactly how the points are distributed.
Abide by the academic integrity guidelines. It is expected that students will work independently on the quiz and submit their own work. Please note: Turnitin automatically scans all papers upon submission to the platform. Students found to be in violation of the academic integrity guidelines may be referred for judicial review. An overview of the University’s guidelines on academic integrity can be found at the following URL: https://policy.usc.edu/scampus-part-c/
Submit this assignment on time. As this assignment is administered under take-home testing conditions, late submission will be heavily penalized. Students will lose 10 points for each day this assignment is late.
Midterm – Part 2 Take Home Assignment QUESTIONS
Directions: Please read the attached case vignette and follow the directions in bold below. You should respond to a total of 3 questions: two from Part A and the One question in Part B.
Part A: Answer any 2 of the following questions. Please clearly indicate which of these questions you are answering:
- Describe how the ecological perspective is helpful in explaining Michael and Nia Williams’ behaviors. Please incorporate the following theoretical concepts into your response – competence, role, habitat, and goodness of fit. Type each concept in bold the first time that you use it.
- Describe how dynamic systems theory is helpful in explaining Michael and Nia Williams’ social environments. Please incorporate the following theoretical concepts into your response: energy, organization, communication, boundaries. Type each concept in bold the first time that you use it.
- Please apply at least 4 concepts from theories of stress and adaptation to help explain Michael’s behaviors. The concepts “stress” and “adaptation” will not count toward the 4 required concepts. Type each concept in bold the first time that you use it.
- Apply either the family systems perspective OR the family resilience perspective to describe The William’s family. Please incorporate at least 3 theoretical concepts from the perspective that you select. Type each concept in bold the first time that you use it.
- Discuss how social network theory can be applied to help explain Michael and Nia Williams’ behavior in their social context. Please incorporate at least 3 concepts from the theory into your response. Part B: Answer the following question: (3)
Which theory from Weeks 2 – 7 do you find the most helpful and which theory from Weeks 2 – 7 do you find the least helpful when examining Michael and Nia William’s functioning in their social environment? Please explain your answers, supplementing your arguments with scholarly material and examples from the case vignette.
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