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PEPSI Screening 1

PEPSI Screening

Rachael McDermott

May 3, 2018

College of Southern Nevada

Education 220: Principles of Educational Psychology

Professor Isbell
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PEPSI stands for Physical, Emotional, Philosophical, Social, and Intellectual stages

which is a very crucial aspect in every child’s developmental progress. Every child deserves the

best possible path in becoming a well-rounded adult. As parents, educators, and role models each

child must be approached as a unique individual. The concept of the PEPSI screening model was

developed through a recognition of the major advantages that child development has in helping

us to identify patterns in an individual’s personal strengths and weaknesses. Every child is

unique in their own way. This requires a formulated system of evaluation so that the ones who

are responsible for their education can understand the level that each child can physically,

emotionally, philosophically, socially, and intellectually develop and progress at a level that is

individually suited for each child.

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This paper is about my cousin who is an 18-year-old adolescent female who has

developmental difficulties within her personal life. The purpose of this PEPSI screening paper

will be to develop a case study based upon the difficulties that my cousin struggles with.

Developing a PEPSI screening on this individual will incorporate her physical, emotional

philosophical, social, and intellectual problem areas in her life. The practical application of this

case study will build upon her strengths and weaknesses to help her achieve the goal of being a

well-rounded adult. This PEPSI screening tool will enlighten my cousin’s parents as well as

education professionals on ways to continue the many areas of positive development that she has

made great progress in. Upon completion of this case study the end result will demonstrate how

by assessing an individual’s behavior through the PEPSI screening tool a person can continue to

focus on becoming the best that they can be.

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Within the PEPSI screening model, the physical development portion will analyze how

this person deals with physical negativity. The PEPSI screening can be a useful tool during the

learning process as insights and patterns begin to emerge and the clinician becomes more alert to

the interplay of the five developmental areas (Ellsworth, 1996, p.35). My cousin dealt with

physical traits that caused her peers to tease her from kindergarten to high school. Being heavy,

wearing glasses, having a lisp, and developing acne are all physical traits that have caused a

problem with social, and emotional growth. From the young age of two my cousin was

experiencing jealously, and self-consciousness when she would compare herself to her brother.

She was heavy, and her brother was thin. She wore glasses, and her brother did not. She

had a lisp, and her brother did not. She had acne, and her brother did not. All these physical traits

led to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, self-consciousness, and jealousy as she has entered her first

year of college. My cousin does not socialize well with others. She has refused to join any social

clubs, sororities, or show any effort to branch out and make friends.

My cousin has recently decided to personally address the physical traits that have caused

her sadness since the young age of two. She has joined a gym and is now working out four times

a week. My cousin has recently made healthier food choices to assist her on her weight loss

journey. Reflecting upon her negative feelings about her appearance has provoked a

psychological spark to cause her to take steps in making changes in herself. Extreme jealousy is

an emotion that my cousin feels every time she sees thin female students around her.

Significantly, Arnold Gesell argued that the human capacity to feel and express jealousy, unlike

animals, presupposes the possibility of self-reflection and the knowledge of other minds that are

acquired during early childhood (Dalton, 2005, p.185).

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My cousin began to focus on her hatred of wearing glasses. She threw away the glasses

and began to wear contact lenses. I had noticed that when my cousin wore glasses she did not

have direct eye contact with people when she was speaking to them. But, that social

characteristic began to change when she started to wear contact lenses. She grew socially and

emotionally which made her start to have direct eye contact when speaking with others. It

appeared that she was slowly building upon her self-confidence when interacting with others.

The next endeavor for her was battling her apparent red blotches of acne. We took a trip

the dermatologist, and medical help was on the way. We left the office with numerous creams

that my cousin would use daily to control the outbreak of acne. My cousin normally walked with

her head facing downward to avoid having her acne be seen by others. The years of teasing have

taken a toll on her socially and emotionally. Hopefully, in time she will gain the self-confidence,

and pride in herself to walk with her head straight up.

My cousins lack of friends has been halted by her fear of speaking to them because of her

lisp. She realizes that she somehow must get passed that physical impairment to allow

relationships to enter her life. When it comes to social experiences, Piaget clearly believed that

peer interactions do more to spur cognitive development than do interactions with adults

(McCown & Snowman, 2015, p.45). Learning to accept her world of loneliness she has not made

concrete attempts at changing her life for the better. Accepting her lisp will be her first step in

moving past this physical obstacle.

Physical problems in a person’s life can scar them for many years. Being teased because

of physical traits that are not considered the ‘norm’ cause social, and emotional growth

problems. My cousin feels a sense of anxiety, loneliness, self-consciousness, and jealousy when

she is surrounded by her peers. Finally focusing on herself may improve her social problems.
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Graph of Physical


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Within the PEPSI screening model, the emotional developmental portion will address

problems that arise in an individual that struggles with social, physical, and philosophical

situations. My cousin has developed negative emotional traits because of her lack of self-

confidence in herself. She has isolated herself from others because of her fear of rejection. I

notice her acting extremely withdrawn, shy, and quiet. My cousin has started her college life

alone, but she is slowly making changes to correct that part of her life. Fear of rejection, and fear

of being teased have been her driving force in not building any relationships. Erikson’s theory

portrays people as playing an active role in their own psychological development through their

attempt to understand, organize, and integrate their everyday experiences (McCown &

Snowman, 2015, p.28).

Recently I have noticed my cousin making serious attempts at stepping out of her comfort

zone and trying to let people into her world. She has joined a sorority with one hundred female

members. Her anxiety, self-confidence, and jealousy will be emotions that she will need to

control as she starts to meet new people. The events in the sorority will involve parties, and

dances with the male fraternity. She has been showing emotional anxiety because of her extreme

shyness when she needs to speak with people in the sorority and fraternity. But the central body

of his theory for example, his emphasis on trust, intimacy, generativity, and the importance of

feeling and awareness of feelings in humane and healthy development validated qualities that

resonated with women’s development (Douvan, 1996, p.17).

This female subject has never had the desire or initiative to get a job. Her emotional

personality traits have prevented her from wanting to get a job where social interaction must

become apart of. She has finally decided to accept a job at the gym where she works out at.
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Standing at the front counter and signing people into the gym will build upon her emotional, and

social weaknesses. I have noticed my cousin having more eye contact and starting up

conversations with gym members about various machines to use.

My cousin seems to show less signs of anxiety in these recent days, and more signs of a

happier personality. Her emotional struggle with loneliness, anxiety, self-confidence, and

jealousy has seemed to lessen because she is stepping out of her comfort zone and trying to

broaden her spectrum of life. Skills for socialization and attention to individual and personal

development become mutually valuable (Ellsworth, 1999, p.7-10). She still reminds me of

flashbacks to the days when she was being teased. Making progress in her physical traits that

bother her have helped her begin to work on her social interaction.

In recent days my cousin has developed a friendship with a co-worker in the gym. This

has greatly improved her emotional struggles with shyness. This new relationship in her life has

made an obvious personality development. She smiles more, laughs more, and has become much

less withdrawn when dealing with people. My cousin has struggled internally with moving

passed her awkwardness in dealing with new people that she is meeting. She has realized how

her physical struggles have also caused her emotional, and social dysfunctional behaviors.

My cousin has been working on improving her self- image so that her emotional state

will continue to improve. There is an emerging sense of self identity, of who and what the person

is becoming (Ellsworth, 1999, p.1). Her new peer relationships seem to be going very well. She

now gets compliments on how she looks while at work, and at events within the sorority. Her

awkwardness, and shyness have seemed to be slowly dwindling away. Her memories of being

teased are still in the back of her head. She often tells me that she keeps her guard up when

trying to make new friends so that she can see if they are being open and honest with her.
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Graph of Emotional


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Within the PEPSI screening model, the philosophical developmental portion will analyze

how this individual deals with philosophical problems that have occurred in their life. My cousin

has had to learn to overcome her negative style of thinking regarding her physical, and emotional

hurdles that she has dealt with daily. I believe that my cousin has made great progress on

continuing to develop a path of a healthy moral outlook. She has become aware that being

accepted in the eyes of her peers is not based upon her appearance only. Her philosophical

awareness of her acceptance of the things that have caused her unhappiness such as her weight,

her lisp, her acne, and her glasses has brought her to a happier place in her life today.

Since my cousin has started attending college her philosophical development has grown

significantly. The student may begin to identify beyond adolescence and peerage to member of

community. If so, then moral reasoning will focus on protecting the society and following

community guidelines (Ellsworth, 1999, p.1). I believe that my cousin has learned to accept the

idea that personal growth allows her to be herself. Philosophically she has begun to establish a

belief system that is not a reflection of her childhood, but rather a moral concept of how she is

being accepted by her peers. My cousin has been telling me that she is now feeling like she is a

part of a growing community within her college campus, and her employment at the gym.

Building friendships at the gym has enabled her moral development to progress in a positive


My cousin has shown great strides in gradually becoming and acting more like an adult.

Adolescents experience significant changes in their capacity to think. In changing from concrete

to abstract thought they are increasingly able to understand and grapple with abstract ideas, think

about possibilities, think ahead, think about thinking, and “put themselves in another person’s
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shoes” (Teipel, n.d., p.1). My cousin has recently been telling me how she has become so much

more aware of other people around her that have accepted their physical, and emotional obstacles

that they may have faced in their life. In her college classes she has classmates that are extremely

overweight, wear glasses, and have significantly noticeable speech impediments. Philosophically

she has noticed that these students with these physical obstacles are very happy, sociable, and

full of self-confidence. This has made my cousin realize that it is possible to be accepted by your

peers regardless of physical idiosyncrasies.

These positive philosophical ideas that my cousin has developed has shown her that by

accepting one’s physical appearance, her emotional development will also progress in a positive

manner. My cousin has shown much less self-consciousness when she is interacting with other

classmates, new friends she has made in her sorority, and co-workers that she works with at the

gym. Kohlberg’s theory of moral development describes not a one-way process of psychological

growth for an individual, but a categorization of different types of moral values, which may be

developed and prioritized differently for different individuals and moral cultures (Psychology

Notes HQ, 2016, p.7). She has been telling me that she feels much happier, and loves becoming

involved with activities that her friends have been including her in. Philosophically my cousin

has mentally grown significantly since I have been observing her.

My cousin has shown a great deal of caring and empathy for all the friends that she has

made. She greatly admires how her friends have accepted their physical obstacles and are

emotionally outgoing in a large group with no inhibitions. Carol Gilligan believes that adolescent

females place a higher value on caring, understanding, and sharing of experiences than they do

on independence, self-reliance, and justice (McCown & Snowman, 2015, p.63). My cousin’s

moral development is astounding considering the hurdles she has tried to overcome.
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Graph of Philosophical


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Within the PEPSI screening model, the social developmental portion will analyze how

this individual deals with social problems that have occurred in their life. Self-consciousness has

caused my cousin to exhibit signs of being extremely introverted. When my cousin was wearing

her glasses she rarely had eye contact when she spoke to other people. She appeared to be

socially shy and tried to avoid interacting with others. Social and emotional development are

closely intertwined. Adolescent social development involves a dramatic change in the quantity

and quality of social relationships (Oswalt, 2010, p.1).

I believe that my cousin is on the correct path for improving her social development. She

has been building a compassionate and warm group of friends that have made her social skills

grow in a positive manner. Regarding social development the need for peer approval uses much

of the student’s energy. The self is more defined as a self and less dependent on external

acceptance (Ellsworth, 1999, p.1). My cousin has been confiding in me that she has been

involving herself in classroom discussions for the first time in her life. She said that she feels

very comfortable raising her hand and answering questions in front of the class. Her social

development has shown that her self-consciousness is slowly becoming a thing in the past.

Another new social development that I have noticed while observing my cousin is her

readiness to lean on her peers and friends when she needs help. This shows that she has been

learning more about her individuality as she has been maturing into a young adult. Adolescents

are attempting to find their own identity, struggling with social interactions, and wrestling with

moral issues. The primary task of an adolescent is to discover their identity separate from their

family and as a member of their community (Services for Teens in Late Adolescence, 2018, p.1).

Her social development while maturing out of her adolescent years has very clearly been a
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definite change from her previous social behaviors. My cousin’s withdrawn, introverted, and shy

behavioral characteristics have slowly started to diminish.

Watching my cousin socially interact with others has shown me that it is possible to

develop a higher level of thinking when trying to improve on the weaknesses that someone feels

within themselves to make positive changes in their life. On several separate occasions my

cousin has expressed to me how she is feeling proud of herself because she can tell that her

social development skills have greatly improved. She has expressed concern regarding her deep

internal feelings of shyness with regards to dating. Since she has joined her sorority she has

shown some interest in several of the males that are in the fraternity. She told me that her next

plan of action will be to work on her social developmental skills and start putting herself out

there more with males.

Developing lasting friendships is very important to my cousin because it makes her feel

accepted and liked among her peers. Many theorists believe that cognitive development makes

social development possible. However, Vygotsky believed that social interaction is the primary

cause of cognitive development (McCown & Snowman, 2015, p.52). My cousin has socially

developed in such a way that she is now inviting her friends to lunch and dinner with her. She

used to want to do everything alone, but now she is showing a desire to have friends that enjoy

life with her. Late adolescents have increased concern for others. Peer relationships remain

important during this stage (Services for Teens in Late Adolescence, 2018, p.2).

My aunt told me that growing up my cousin wanted to stay in her room and not join in

with family activities. Her introverted personality was the cause for her desire to spend time

alone. My cousin has been sharing her social developmental improvements in her life with her
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family. I have noticed how happy my cousin has become since her self-consciousness is

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Graph of Social


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Within the PEPSI screening model, the intellectual developmental portion will analyze

how this individual deals with intellectual problems in their life. While observing my cousin I

have realized that she is very intellectually intelligent, but she has problems of self-

consciousness that have interrupted her capabilities with her higher thinking skills. When we

evaluated her grades during the semester we realized that they could have been higher. Because

my cousin was focusing on her physical traits that bothered her very badly she didn’t concentrate

on her studies as well as she should have. When I discussed these problems with her she realized

that most of her mental capabilities had been spent on dwelling on her physical traits that

bothered her such as wearing glasses, having acne, being overweight, and having a lisp.

My cousin was on a new life plan to improve her total overall self. She constantly reflects

on her childhood when she constantly compared herself to her brother who was thinner than her,

did not have acne, did not need glasses for seeing, and did not have a lisp. As children interact

with their environment, parents, teachers, and age-mates, they form organized, generalizable

patterns of behavior or thought known as schemes, and these become the basis for understanding

and adapting to the world in which they live (McCown & Snowman, 2015, p.38). Much of the

research done by Piaget reinforces that parents, educators, and social workers should be

evaluating the progression of children and their intelligence. The realization that she needs to be

more focused on her grades in college has brought a new spark and focus to her life.

While I have been observing my cousin making positive changes in her life I have

realized how she has intellectually managed to conquer her battle with self-consciousness which

has consumed her earlier years of cognitive development. The student often wishes to “change

the world” based on ideas and the shear will to make a difference, solve a problem (Ellsworth,
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1999, p.1). My cousin has been consistently focusing on the positive things in her life rather than

the negative aspects. Working out in the gym as well as healthier eating habits have allowed her

intellectual view of herself to change for the better as her cognitive development continually

matures. Piaget’s stage theory describes the cognitive development of children. Cognitive

development involves changes in cognitive process and abilities. In Piaget’s view, early

cognitive development involves processes based upon actions and later progresses to changes in

mental operations (Cherry, 2018, p.4).

Since my cousin has been focusing on improving her grades she has realized how capable

and intelligent she is when it comes to her learning capabilities. When adolescents increase their

steps on the ladder of cognitive development they can develop new ways of processing

information. Intellectually my cousin has constructed a different mental model of her life. The

positive attitude that she has developed in her cognitive higher thinking skills has allowed her to

progress her intellectual mind by focusing on her academic requirements towards completing her

college degree. Each child goes through the stages in the same order, and child development is

determined by biological maturation and interaction with the environment. Although no stage

can be missed out, there are individual differences in the rate at which children progress through

stages (McLeod, 2015, p.4).

My cousin has become increasingly involved with her intellectual awareness by joining

some Phi Theta Kappa clubs to enhance her intellectual capabilities. Since she has joined this

new club she has acquired several new friendships one of them being a male who has shown

great interest in her. Her cognitive developmental level of her intellectual capabilities has

increasingly elevated to higher levels since she has been studying on a regular basis with her new
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male study partner. Piaget clearly believed that peer interactions do more to spur cognitive

development than do interactions with adults (McCown & Snowman, 2015, p.45).
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Graph of Intellectual


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Physical Emotional Philosophical Social Intellectual

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Recommendations for Parents and Teachers

There are several recommendations for my cousin that her parents can make sure that she

is following through with on her path to becoming a happy well-rounded adult. A

recommendation should also be addressed to the instructor in charge of Phi Theta Kappa to

encourage her cognitive developmental intellectual learning skills. As pertaining to my cousin’s

parents, I would strongly suggest to them that they guide her to continue her path of healthy

eating and working out at the gym. My aunt and uncle should also encourage my cousin to stay

employed at the gym and continue to build strong friendships. I would recommend to the

instructor in charge of Phi Theta Kappa that my cousin should continue to attend every meeting,

as well as being chosen to be a developmental social director in charge of organizing monthly

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I feel a great sense of accomplishment as I have followed my cousin over several weeks

with her on a path to improving her life. Together we have learned a lot about her physical,

emotional, philosophical, social, and intellectual awareness of herself. There has been a continual

increased progression of positive behaviors with regards to each PEPSI screening developmental

area. My cousin has learned to address each PEPSI screening area in her life and make positive

changes towards becoming a well-rounded young adult. In the future, we all feel positive that my

cousin will continue to conquer her past weaknesses and build upon her strong willingness to

become a physically, emotionally, philosophically, socially, and intellectually content adult.

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