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Sample essay topic, essay writing: Risk - 1442 words
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.. m (M. Durie 2001). However, Pauline has recently been attending a church and reports this to be a positive change in her life. High risk behaviours are less likely to be engaged in if there is an affiliation to a religious institution.
Findings suggest that connectedness with these institutions enables positive peer and adult relationships & social experiences (M. D. Resnick et al 1993). Church historically is an institution which promotes community, can attract a variety of age groups, encourages leadership, fun activities and provides a framework of belief, faith, hope, values and purpose. (E. Werner 1993). If Pauline is reporting positively regarding her recent church attendance it is quite likely that she is responding to what the church stands for (as mentioned above)
Church and having faith can also be helpful particularly later on in adulthood to be able to put past pain and experience into some sort of positive life meaning context instead of the memories always being a negative factor (E. Werner 1993). Hopefully Pauline's attendance will be long term, if so benefits explained should impact on the different risk areas of her life therefore effecting good health outcomes. (6)DrugsResearch has identified alcohol and other drug use as one of five adolescent problem behaviours that lead to risk (Channing Bete Co 2004). Pauline uses marijuana several times a week, she binge drinks alcohol most weekends and some week nights. She also smokes cigarettes habitually. It is probable that she started this substance use as early as fifteen years when she was living on the streets.
This puts her at greater risk of having drug problems than if she starting using at a later age for example nineteen. (Channing Bete 2004).Studies such as one by the Institute of Psychiatry in London of 759 people born in Dunedin New Zealand are showing that teenage use of marijuana increases the risk of psychosis or schizophrenia in later life. (K. Atkinson 2005).Apart from the threat to Pauline's mental health, damage can occur to all her body systems if there is prolonged use of the drug. Its addictive nature is worse than alcohol as its elimination from the body can take up to three days (M.K Schuchard ?1992). Also studies have suggested that 'marijuana is three to seven times more addictive than alcohol and that levels of compulsive daily use escalate with rising potency, easier availability and social acceptability' (M.K.Schuchard ?1992 p5).
A concern for Pauline is that she uses the substance several times a week. A small proportion of those who use high doses of a drug like marijuana can eventually lead them onto clinical dependence & harm (Y. Bonomo et al 2005). While under the influence of alcohol and marijuana Pauline is at risk of not being in control and can be at risk of such things as rape, accidents, drug spiking in drinks and traffic accidents as these substances reduce the ability to judge and communicate in threatening situations. (N. Rappaport et al 2004).
Outcomes, can change someone like Pauline's health forever, as the adolescent is often not cognitively equipped to foresee them (K.J. Elliott et al 1999). Nicotine addiction is a health concern and a high proportion of Maori women smoke (nearly 60% of Maori women aged between 15 & 44 years smoke) (M. Durie 2001). The results of long term, frequent cigarette smoking is the risk of lung cancer, heart disease, diabetes, plus a myriad of other diseases of which Pauline could run the risk of (7)contracting (M.
Rutter 1993). The three substances alcohol, tobacco and marijuana play a large part in Pauline's life. Unless she understands the risks involved and 'puts the bad stuff behind her' as she has expressed, her health outlook is at risk of what is described above. SexualityPauline is living at home with her eighteen year old boyfriend of eight months. He works as a panel beater. They are sexually active & use condoms most of the time.
Pauline is at risk of being pregnant as condom use needs to happen all of the time. That Pauline is involved at her age with Jack has both resilient and risk factors. If Jack is special to her, gives her support, makes her feel loved, needed & valued then her self esteem can be elevated (E. Werner 1993). However, with the risk of pregnancy at such a young age, comes the high possibility of wanting to keep the baby and facing the many adjustment problems associated such as low income, pressure on the parents therefore probable discord, inability to attend Alternative Education and therefore the consequences of lack of achievement and low self esteem (D.L Bennett). The teenage birth rate in 1997 was five times higher for Maori than European /Pakeha. Maori who became pregnant were much less likely to have an abortion.
If Pauline were to have a child as a teenager he/she is likely to be disadvantaged with poorer health & education, more prone to abuse and the cycle of disadvantage has a high chance of continuing into the next generation. (N.Dickson et al 2000). Protective factors in the sexuality area would hopefully help Pauline such as her Alternative Education programme where she would hopefully be receiving sex education plus her two adult mentors and the church, encouraging her to make good choices and helping her to understand why the choices are beneficial to her. (8)Suicide A change in parents, a lack of maternal care and protection, unsatisfying parental attachment and low achievement in school qualifications, are some of the factors that contribute to risks in suicide attempts and suicide ideation (D. M .Fergusson 2003).l Pauline has experienced a these factors in her life. There is a strong relationship between substance abuse and suicidal ideation (S.G.
Forman et al 1998). It is relatively common for young people to experience suicide ideation and carry out suicide attempts. As has been outlined, Pauline has many risk factors in her life which would impact on her suseptibility (D. M. Fergusson 2003).
In New Zealand, suicide thoughts are common among teenagers and more common in females. It was reported in a survey that amongst fifteen year old students 33.9% of female students thought about killing themselves (Adolescent Health Research Group 2003). Pauline made one suicide attempt while she was on the streets by cutting her wrists, unfortunately she has a constant reminder of her attempt due to the scars, which cannot be helpful to her self esteem. Emotional well being is an important protective factor for adolescent girls (I.W.Borowsky et al 2001). Pauline says her mood is about 'five out of ten' where ten is really good and naught is really bad.
Her score is not very impressive but she does state things are getting better and that she 'wants to put the bad stuff in her life behind her' (including removing the tattoo she has). Pauline does show good cognitive processing (a protective factor) as she seems to want to be able to learn from situations, this is evident when she makes a comment such as 'not ever wanting to go back to the streets as she doesn't want to live like that anymore.' Also it has been noted her one reported attempt was while she was on the streets, a time when she was in a particularly bad space. Pauline has a balance of risk and protective factors happening for her with regard to suicide. If the protective factors she is beginning to build into her life remain and continue to grow the equilibrium between them & the risks has the chance of becoming more stable and will impact positively on her health. (9) SummaryThis study indicates risk factors for Pauline including an unhappy home situation with her Dad's new family where she has felt nobody really cared whether she was there or not, her unsatisfying relationship with her Mother, her alcohol binging, cigarette smoking & marijuana use, her limited activities, dropping out of school at a young age, early sexual involvement and low mood.
Protective factors bringing some resilience to her life include adult trust with her Aunt Sarah and Tutor, awareness of her iwi links and whanau contact, her enjoyment and regular attendance to at Alternative Education and her goal of wanting to stay there until she gets a job, recent enjoyable church involvement, her ability to learn from situations and wanting to make positive changes in her life. The likely outcomes for Pauline's health are hopeful but the significant concerns that could tip the equilibrium are firstly the early onset in her life of a relationship with Jack and their sporadic condom use, as a probable outcome for Pauline is pregnancy and wanting to keep the baby, and secondly her alcohol, marijuana and nicotine use and the level of addiction that may have built up.
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