Psychosocial Development Case Study Analysis for the Movie Little Miss Sunshine

Psychosocial Development Case Study Analysis for the Movie Little Miss Sunshine

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Psychosocial Development Case Study Analysis
In Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine, they depict the tribulations of a dysfunctional family trying to get their daughter to a beauty pageant, while encompassing strong portrayals of common issues in the United States today. It communicates the individual’s struggle to be perfect, as well as the difficulties of the average middle class family in society. In this paper I will analyze three characters; Olive, Dwayne, and Richard Hoover, identifying their life stages, psychosocial development, role in the family and their resiliency through the stories challenging circumstances.

Life Stages
According to Erikson, the development of the ego is based on the successful resolution of crises which occur in predetermined stages, the epigenic principle, that transpires over a lifetime. Olive is going through the school age stage of development and the industry versus inferiority crisis where she must deal with demands to learn skills or risk feeling like an incompetent failure (Newman, 2013). Her need to compete in the beauty pageant is her way of showing that she is not inferior. She desperately wants to win the approval of her peers and role models by demonstrating her worth. In the beginning of the movie, she desires to be a beauty queen but she does not possess the talents to become successful. Throughout the journey, each family member played intricate roles by helping Olive build her abilities for the upcoming competition, especially her drug/sex addict grandfather Edwin. This support from her family encourages and reinforces Olive, resulting in her sense of self-confidence. Even though she did not win the pageant, her overall self-worth and feeling of co...


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...ment. The therapists would seek out all strengths they use to effectively deal with their life, while building upon their assets they already posses. The Hoovers may have “strengths and positive human qualities that are often unrecognized, unnamed, and unacknowledged, both in therapeutic and school settings” (Bernard, 1991). Teaching each individual techniques that identify strengths in themselves as well as using positive language to reframe how how they see their current circumstances will promote a more resilient perspective for the Hoovers. Also, an optimistic thinking style when life problems arise will increase the chances of a successful outcome. Richard Hoover shows that he is capable of this but anger and frustration impede further attainment of this techinique. The positive psychology approach would be usefull when working with each person, individually.

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