Week 4 Discussion Response

Please no plagiarism and make sure you are able to access all resource on your own before you bid. One of the references must come from Broderick and Blewitt (2015). I need this completed by 12/23/17 at 6pm. Respond to your colleagues using one or more of the following approaches:

· Offer and support an additional factor that might have contributed to the immoral behaviors discussed by a colleague.

· Expand on a colleague’s posting to describe how the described immoral behaviors might impact the future of the participating individual(s) and others.

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· Suggest additional interventions as appropriate. Support your suggestions with references to this week’s Learning Resources and the current literature.

1. (A. Wit)

Most people would agree that an individual’s morals, values, beliefs, and behaviors help define character.  From a developmental perspective, are morals inherent or learned?  What makes someone do “bad” things? This post will highlight the recent case of a juvenile sex offender.  The post will include developmental factors that may have influenced this young man and potential treatment interventions.

Description of event and immoral behavior

Earlier this month on December 3rd, 2017, a teenager confessed to child molestation (CBS News, 2017).  Joseph Hayden Boston, 18 years-old, told police that he had molested as many as 50 children since he was ten years old (CBS, 2017).  According to reports, Boston would befriend children before sexually abusing them.  I was surprised to find little research on children or adolescents who are the perpetrators of sexual abuse.  According to McKibbin, Humphrey, and Hamilton (2017), few studies measure the prevalence and incidence of children and youth who abuse other children.  There is some research that associates child perpetrators with increased exposure to trauma and pornography (McKibbin, Humphrey, & Hamilton 2017).

Factors contributing to immoral behavior

As humans, how do we develop a sense of right and wrong?  When and how does our morality develop?  Can good morals be taught or do they develop naturally?  Research has shown that moral development is likely a combination of learned values combined with child development (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).  Morality is a blend of emotions, cognitions, and behaviors (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).

Moral development in children can be influenced by the emerging conscious, changes in logical thinking, emotions such as empathy and sympathy, needs-based reasoning, personality characteristics, parenting style, temperament, and environmental factors.  For this post, I will focus on a few factors that may contribute to immoral behavior in children and adolescents.  In the case of Joseph Boston, the immoral behavior may stem from a pathway of anti-social behavior, physiological or neurological traits, poverty, parental substance abuse, poor educational opportunities, or multiple residential moves (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).  The news article provides little information on which of these factors may have led to the immoral behavior of Boston.  An interesting observation is that Boston was willing to confess to his crimes at age 18.  Some research shows that juvenile sex offenders show the highest rates of abuse during adolescence, with incidents declining as they enter early adulthood (Van Den Berg ,  Bijleveld ,  & Hendriks , 2015).  One reason for this decline may be the increased responsibilities of employment, marriage, or parenting (Van Den Berg ,  Bijleveld ,  & Hendriks , 2015).


Interventions for immoral behavior should be multidimensional, incorporating the offender, family, peers, and educators (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).  Psychotherapy for the individual and the family should be intensive (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).  Cognitive behavioral techniques are one suggested intervention.  Given that life-cycle transitions seem to be an opportunity for change (Van Den Berg ,  Bijleveld ,  & Hendriks , 2015), I would recommend that Boston’s treatment include issues like employment and adult relationships.  Research has found a reduction in male sex offenses is associated with stable employment (Van Den Berg ,  Bijleveld ,  & Hendriks , 2015).  Studies have also found that marriage promoted a reduction in serious sex offense (Van Den Berg ,  Bijleveld ,  & Hendriks , 2015).


The child molestation case of Joseph Boston is just one of many examples of immoral behavior.  Although I do not recommend that finding a wife should be part of Boston’s treatment plan, I do think that a focus on early adulthood transitioning could be beneficial (Van Den Berg ,  Bijleveld ,  & Hendriks , 2015). A counselor would also benefit by examining the biological, environmental, and parental influences that lead up to the sexual offenses (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015).  Moral and immoral behavior is best viewed from a multidimensional perspective.


Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education

CBS News (December 2017).  Teen in California admits to molesting “upwards of 50 children,” police say. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved from: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/joseph-hayden-boston-sexual-assault-molestation-riverside-california/

McKibbin, G., Humphrey, C., & Hamilton, B. (2017), Talking about child sexual abuse would have helped me”: Young people who sexually abused reflect on preventing harmful sexual behavior. Child Abuse & Neglect70 (8) 210-221.  Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/science/article/pii/S0145213417302454?via%3Dihub

Van Den Berg , C.,  Bijleveld , C.,  & Hendriks , J. (2015).  The juvenile sex offender: criminal careers and life events.  Sexual Abuse, 29(1), 81 – 101

2.  (S. Mor)

The reality behind Socrates quote about the disrespectful unmotivated difficult youth in society during 5 B.C is a disturbing revelation concerning the youth of today thousands of years later. The disturbance in my opinion is comparable to a see saw which has me teetering back and forth in relation to who is at fault for attitudes of our youth today and in the past. In a truthful sense of the matter I am leaning excessively in the direction of adults are to blame for the behavior of our youth. In the article American Child Sex Slaves Are Being Arrested, Not Rescued, is astonishing because the children that are forced into Child Sex Slavery are destroyed by a double edged sword. On one hand they are victimized extensively without any regard by their captures that demoralize them and create a child whose motive is to survive by any means necessary; just to be victimized again by a government that holds the Child Sex Slave accountable if they decide to fight back by any means necessary. Recently in the case of Cynthia Brown who at the age of sixteen was forced into Child Sex Slavery was sentenced to life in prison for killing the man that imprisoned her as a Child Sex Slave (CBN, 2017). The correlation behind children in regards to their disrespectful behavior, unmotivated or entitled attitude, the lack of morals, and the disregard of manners possibly is a result of the behavior adults in their lives are displaying. Children that have been taught to tell the truth, have accountability, treat others kindly, respect their elders, never lie, and remain in control were guided into this way of life because it is expected and acceptable (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). The children that have been taught to give their bodies to men or women for currency are taught to lie, should not be accountable for their actions, are in complete survival mode, do not hold respect for adults, have no control of their lives, and everything negative in their lives is due to the teachings that have come from an adult.

Cynthia Brown and Immoral Behavior

In the Cynthia Brown story she was 16 years old when she met a pimp named Kutthroat who was 43 years old, and forced her into a live of Child Sex Slavery (CBN, 2017). Ms Brown during her captivity was physically beat on a regular basis, sexually assaulted to many times to count, and the verbal abuse was part of the treatment in order to keep this child in line. One of the most common actions an adult will display in order to gain and solidify control is verbal abuse filled with promising threats of what they will do to the child’s family if there is no compliance with their demands. However in the case of Ms. Brown the abuse was severe and she like many others was forced to kill in order not to be killed. The case lingered for thirteen years with Ms. Brown being convicted of murder, delivering a sentence of life without the possibility of control. The juror, prosecutors, and judge heard the horrendous stories of how she was, “choked, raped, drugged, and almost always had a gun pointed at her” (CBN, 2017). The sadness that envelopes me about Ms. Browns life story is the fact she is one of thousands that have been thrown into a life of exploitation and a vicious cycle of abuse. In our society the children that have been victimized are dealing with adults that victimize them sexually and politically, because the system we live in is broken to the point of almost no repair (US, 2009). The expectations we have of children being manner able, respect for their elders or authoritative figures, displaying great moral skills, and an overall sense of self worth is not present. The adults that should teach children including parents, leaders in society, and even strangers that care about the behavior of our youth, but unfortunately many adults have their own agenda of exploitation of an innocent child. In the case concerning Ms. Brown the behavior and act of violence is immoral, but in my opinion it is justified why she permanently annihilated her captor.

Factors Contributing to Immoral Behavior

Cynthia Brown at the age of 16 was thrown into a nightmare where it possibly seemed there was no end to the life she was living. During this stage of her life in early adolescence the mindset is challenging in a healthy environment for children, but in an environment with hostility and abuse any child will not create high self esteem and their worth will be extremely low. A person’s identity is established during this age group, and their self esteem may be low even in a healthy environment, because they are aware of what others have and what they lack in reference to looks, social status, and even their parents financial income (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Looking at Ms. Brown’s immoral behavior makes me question the validity on what exactly moral behavior could have even been produced, when the impact these events had on her life was quite immoral. Looking at social comparison in relation to the Cynthia Brown case, this 16 year old child had to compare sexual exploitations to other females that were most likely held captive in order to understand her own “abilities and accomplishments” (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). In a normal teenage life comparing who is pretty, who dresses better, or even who gets the best grades are examples of social comparison, because watching what each other has or does is typical teenage behavior. In some cultures the exchange of money for payment to have sex with a child is acceptable, and this has been seen in many homes that have extreme poverty. In the sub-Saharan Africa it is normal for gifts to be given to the child as a token of appreciation for the parents allowing the purchaser to have his way with their child (Nobelius, Kalina, Pool, Whitworth, Chesters & Power, 2010). The sad reality that a value is put on an innocent child as a means for the family to pay a few bills or even being given a gift for allowing the sexual contact to occur is heartbreaking. Adults that engage in consensual sex and if gift giving is exchanged between the adults it is completely different than a man buying a child to fulfill his sexual gratification. The moral development that is occurring across the world is at an all time low because there is no value or honor being taught to children about how beautiful and special they actually are. The moral development is in danger of being non-existent, but we still expect the children in society to act morally without them being taught or shown any moral development.


Incorporating moral development as an intervention into children’s lives will be an uphill struggle, but the rewards will consist of helping children become great no matter what they went through in their childhood. Cynthia Brown is one of many with a similar story of lifetime incarceration because they reached their breaking point where enough was enough. Teaching Ms. Brown for example has to begin with a slow process of building trust, because at this point in her life trust is null and void. I would not expect anything less because the very system that should have protected and served her is the same system that is punishing her for taking matters into her own hands. Looking at her life I cannot judge because I have no idea what my outcome or actions would be if I was in her shoes. As part of her intervention building trust, teaching her self-worth, building her self-esteem, and reassuring her that everything she survived through was not her fault. The intervention has to begin as if she was 16 years old, and not her current age because the nightmare began in her teens and this is where her mindset will remain until she receives the proper help to move forward. The quote from Socrates is important because each generation complains about the younger generations, but no one takes accountability for how the younger generations became out of control. Children do not wake up saying to themselves that today is a great day to cuss the old lady in the grocery story out, or I think on my way to school I will run over all the adults that I see. The plight of our youth that we see on a daily basis especially if you watch the news did not happen overnight, and it will take decades or centuries to fix what Socrates stated in 5 B.C.!


Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

“American Child Sex Slaves Are Being Arrested, Not Rescued.”Http://Go.galegroup.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/Ps/I.do?p=EAIM&u=minn4020&Id=GALE|A203658190&v=2.1&It=r&Sid=Ebsco&AuthCount=1#, 16 July 2009, go.galegroup.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ps/i.do?p=EAIM&u=minn4020&id=GALE|A203658190&v=2.1&it=r&sid=ebsco&authCount=1#.

“Woman Jailed for Life for Killing Predator Who Held Her as a Child Sex Slave.” CBN.com – The Christian Broadcasting Network, 22 Nov. 2017, www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2017/november/woman-jailed-for-life-for-killing-predator-who-held-her-as-a-child-sex-slave.

“You Still Need to Give Her a Token of Appreciation’: The Meaning of the Exchange of Money in the Sexual Relationships of Out-of-School Adolescents in Rural Southwest Uganda.”Https://Www.researchgate.net/Publication/45186187_You_Still_Need_to_Give_Her_a_Token_of_Appreciation_The_Meaning_of_the_Exchange_of_Money_in_the_Sexual_Relationships_of_Out-of-School_Adolescents_in_Rural_Southwest_Uganda, Sept. 2010

3.  (L. Waf)

Every person has their unique set of moral standards, personal values, and beliefs. Moral development is not something that occurs throughout a lifetime. According to psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg, morality begins in early childhood and is developed over time. Depending on how a person accomplishes the tasks before them during each stage of development across the lifespan, morality can be formed either positively or negatively. (Sincero, 2012).

Description of event and immoral behavior

In January 2017, four African American’s were charged with aggravated kidnapping, aggravated unlawful restraint, aggravated battery, and a hate crime on an 18-year-old Caucasian male who was diagnosed with a mental disability. The perpetrators of the crime were two females ages 18 and 24, and two males both 18.  The incident was streamed live on Facebook. According to the reports, one of the offenders befriended the victim in school invited him over to hang out, once he met up with the suspect, the suspect drove him around in a stolen vehicle then took him to a third-floor apartment in Chicago. What started out as a “play fight” sparked the horrendous attack. According to the victim’s family, the victim idolized one of the male perpetrators, considering him to be a good friend. (CNN, 2017).

Factors contributing to immoral behavior

“Aggression is linked to the emotion of anger and frustration, and it has some adaptive survival functions, such as facilitating self-protection in the face of a threat.”  (Broderick & Blewitt, 2015). Based on one report from the Chicago Tribune, one of the male perpetrators became upset following a “play fight” with the victim. He felt threatened, became upset; this is when the suspects tied the victim up and began the abuse. During the taping of the incident, racial slurs were made which indicated this was a hate crime. According to Broderick &Blewitt, “research shows moral develop is a combination of learned values and developmental values. I would guess each of the perps, in this case, to be developing at the conventional stage of Kohlberg’s theory. The conventional is the second level; this level suggests that moral thinking is based on societal norms and is characterized by an attitude which seeks to do what will gain the approval of others. (Barger, 2000).


Not a lot of information was given to any of the perpetrator’s past; I believe the first intervention for any of them would be to identify the underlying reason for the aggression. Do so by exploring the family backgrounds; discuss issues that made them angry in the past that resulted in aggressive behaviors. The next intervention would be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT would help the client to learn coping mechanism to control the behaviors


Barger, R. (2000). Retrieved from, http: www.5.csudh.edu

Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education

Chicago Tribune. Brutal Facebook live attack brings hate crime charges; condemnation from White House. Retrieved on December 20, 2017 from, http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-facebook-live-attack-video-20170105-story.html

CNN News. Chicago Torture Video; No bail for four suspects. Retrieved on December 22, 2017, from, http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/06/us/chicago-facebook-live-beating/index.html

Sincero, C. (Feb 23, 2012). Theory of Moral Development. Retrieved Oct 03, 2017 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/theory-of-moral-development


· Broderick, P. C., & Blewitt, P. (2015). The life span: Human development for helping professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

o Chapter 6, “Realms of Cognition in Middle Childhood” (pp. 202-243)

o Chapter 7, “Self and Moral Development: Middle Childhood Through Early Adolescence” (pp. 244-281)

Estell, D. B., Jones, M. H., Pearl, R., Van Acker, R., Farmer, T. W., & Rodkin, P. C. (2008). Peer groups, popularity, and social preference. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 41(1), 5–14.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Haste, H., & Abrahams, S. (2008). Morality, culture and the dialogic self: Taking cultural pluralism seriously. Journal of Moral Education, 37(3), 377–394.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Kuhn, D. (2008). Formal operations from a twenty-first century perspective. Human Development, 51(1), 48–55.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Psaltis, C., Duveen, G., & Perret-Clermont, A.-N. (2009). The social and the psychological: Structure and context in intellectual development. Human Development, 52(5), 291–312.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

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