Case Study: Katarina’s Story Essay Example

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Case Study: Katarina’s Story

Case Study: Katarina’s Story

  1. What is Katarina’s current developmental life stage?

People go through various developmental life stages. Katrina current developmental life stage is old adulthood. She is an old person as she is aged 77 years. She has had to go through the other stages of life including childhood, adolescence and middle age. Every life stage has its own distinct features or attributes. For instance, at this life stage, Katrina is unable to perform certain tasks because of her age. Her mobility has also deteriorated, as she can no longer move from one place to another because of her age. She also seeks help from HACC workers because of her inability to support herself. She also stays in a commissioned house, which is a clear indication that she is dependant.

  1. How does Freudian theory explain the current issues Katarina is facing?

Kohlberg’s theory is one of the personality theories that help to enhance understanding of our moral reasoning (Crain, 1985). The stages are advancement of Jeane Piaget theory and explain how people justify their actions when faced with various moral dilemmas (Crain, 1985). The stages are three with every stage having two aspects. Some of the justification of Katarina and the people she comes across are based on this Kohlberg’s theory. Growing up, Katrina as a child believed that she needed to obey the rules and authorities of her parents. Failure to do this led to punishment. Level one on obedience and punishment orientation explains this. The decision later taken by Katarina to get married to his boyfriend amidst opposition from her parents is a result of her moral obligations. She believed that she was entitled to make the decision as it was for her right. This is explained by the second stage of individualism and exchange. Even though the parents promised to discern her, she, was very much optimistic that this relationship was going to work and this was what she wanted. There is exchange of favors but no identification with the values of the family and is best explained by the concept of ‘scratch my back as I scratch yours’. Even though conventional morality requires that people live up to the expectations of the family, this was not the case to Katarina as she failed to adhere to the parents and moved on. The motive of Katarina in wanting to get married was good but because she failed to listen to the parents because of the feeling that the decision was right, it leads to conflicts and her disownment by her. Individuals have their own rights as well as social contracts. Katarina was helped by members of the society for the upkeep because of the social contract as the society has the role to help others even if they do not know them.

  1. How does Erikson’s theory explain the current issues Katarina is facing?

Issues that Katarina is currently facing can as well be explained by Erikson’s theory. Eriksson theory categorizes the stages of psychosocial development into eight. These stages help to enhance understanding of how an individual develop from childhood to maturity to their death. The theory therefore, is as well helpful in understanding how human beings develop and deal with various issues that face them in the environment. Erikson stage that best explains Katarina is the eighth stage which happens among people aged 65 years and above (Capps, 2011). The conflict Katarina is facing is between ego integrity and despair. When Katarina reflect back on her life, it makes her feel a sense of despair. She did not manage to achieve or leave a successful life as she failed on the way. She regrets for not adhering to the advice she was given by her family members and therefore she regrets for the mistake as she continues to lead a poor lifestyle. She is also full of bitterness inside her because of what happened to her life. Being left on her own by her husband was something that affected Katarina conscious and hence contributed to her misery and hopelessness.

  1. What do you think lies behind Katarina fears of rejection?  Use theory to explain.

What lie behind Katarina fears of rejection is her experiences. She had to disown her family to marry Neville who later left her. This experience is explained by Erikson theory. At the time, Katarina was at the young adulthood stage and she was driven by intimacy, love and relationship with her lover. When the husband Neville left her, she left her in isolation and as well could not go, back home to her parents who had already disowned her. Therefore, Katarina from then was in a state of fear to be rejected and she tried to cover this by entering in many other relationship which however failed to bear fruits.

  1. What could the future hold for Katarina?  Consider positives and negative.  Use theory to explain.

The future of Katarina is likely to be positive as well as negative. It will depend on how Katarina takes the whole issue. Kohlberg’s theory explains this. Katarina should be able to approach live in a positive way. She should understand and appreciate the value of giving people freedom and solving their concerns in a fair manner. She also need to love and embrace others as this will make her live together in peace with others. Even though she is sold, she is still required to comply with the socials order and do the right thing at all the time. Katarina should also evaluate her motive before taking any decision. This will ensure that she does not collide with other members of the society.

6.            How would knowledge of psychosexual and psychosocial theories help us understand
and work with Katarina if he asked for help?

Knowledge of psychosexual and psychosocial theories is very important to help understand and work with Katarina incase she require help. This knowledge will help to explain the stages of development that people go through and their ramifications. This will help to make Katarina appreciate the decisions she made and the experiences she went through. It can therefore impact greatly to her attitudes about life. For instance, then love which caused her to be disowned by her family members can be used to give her hope and to make her forget about the event as it was a normal thing that happens to many other individuals. At that particular time, she was seeking intimacy and wanted to come out of isolation and create or develop relationship. Hence, it become an easy task to work and advice any persons and in this case Katarina because of the adequate knowledge about various psychosocial theories and psychosexual.


Crain, C. (1985). Theories of Development. Prentice-Hall. pp. 118-136. Retrieved from:

Capps, D. (2011). The Verbal Portrait: Erik H. Erikson’s Contribution to Psychoanalytic Discourse. Journal of Religion & Health, 50(4): 880-898.

Hearn, S., Saulnier, G., Strayer, J., Glenham, M., Koopman, R., & Marcia, J. (2012). Between Integrity and Despair: Toward Construct Validation of Erikson’s Eighth Stage. Journal of Adult Development, 19(1):1-20.