Character Analysis

PSY 203 Section 17677

Child Psychopathology

Fall 2020

Professor Moramarco



Term Paper In this course, you are required to complete a term paper consisting of a minimum of 8 pages (not including the title page or references). It must be typed and in APA format. It should be checked for grammatical and spelling errors.


You will have three choices:


  1. Fractured Fairy Tale (Rewrite a Fairy Tale), giving a child character a mental illness.
  2. You are the Therapist-A Character Analysis
  3. From a Parents Perspective



You are responsible for the material presented in your paper. Your grade will be based on overall grammatical and mechanical quality of writing, the content of your research, the quality of your research, quality of argument and thesis, and conformity to APA style.


For the,” Fractured Fairy Tale” and “You’re the Therapist:


You are to produce a paper with at least five references. You must cite published journal articles or books, not web pages. You can use your textbook only once as a reference. In all three scenarios you must be able to show that you understand and can define the mental illness you are writing about.


Papers will be graded on a total of 150 points; 135 points for content and 15 points for APA format, grammar and spelling. This paper is due December 8th,2020. All papers will be submitted to plagiarism detection software.


***A 5 point per day penalty will be applied to all papers handed in after the due date. Please note that weekend days count as two days. Absolutely NO papers will be accepted after December 11th, 2020. Your paper should be turned in through blackboard. Please note that emailed assignments will not be accepted.






























  Fractured Fairy Tales


​Now that you are learning about childhood psychological disorders… let’s put your knowledge to work…. but with a twist. Remember those fairy tales you loved when you were younger? Fairy tales are an important part of helping a child develop his or her imagination. Now, imagine if those same fairy tales could help in child develop as well. With a few minor tweaks, they can. Using your researched knowledge of child psychological disorders, you are going to tweak one of your favorite fairy tales by giving one of the child characters a psychological disorder.


  • Choose a fairy tale you are familiar with (refer to the list provided).
  • You will need to rewrite the fairy tale. However, instead of simply rewriting it, you will retell the story as if the character you chose has one (or more) psychological disorders we have either discussed in class, is in your textbook or one that interests you.
  • You will be rewriting the fairy tale, with the “new” character. Feel free to exaggerate, but please keep it appropriate. This assignment should be fun and reflect the high level and large amount of information you have learned /researched about the disorder you are giving your character.
  • Do not simply copy and paste the old fairy tale and change a few lines. While the new version of the fairy tale must closely resemble the old fairy tale, you need to make it your own and add some psychology to it!


Be sure to include:

  • Case history – behavioral signs and symptoms of the disorder in your character’s life, their background, etc.
  • Stories should NOT name the disorder (during the story) but should describe it within the story. (i.e. Rapunzel has been hearing voices telling her that if she cuts off her hair, she will turn into an airplane and will be able to escape the castle.)
  • Diagnosis (after you have told your story)– what disorder does the character have and how do you know (according to DSM criteria)? How does it manifest itself in the character’s thoughts, behaviors, actions etc.?
  • Etiology – what is the origin/cause of the disorder in his/her individual case?
  • Treatment options – all possibilities that could potentially be used to treat this disorder.
  • Treatment received – If you were the mental health professional working with this character, what would be your recommendation for treatment?  An accurate example of the actual treatment he/she undergoes in therapy.  If using psychotherapy, make sure you are specific in describing which kind (humanistic, behavioral, etc.) and some of the specific strategies used.
  • Prognosis – what is the long-term prognosis for this individual?


***While this activity is meant to be fun, remember, psychological disorders are real and impact many lives. Be sensitive  by presenting the psychological disorder(s) in a factual, unbiased way







Possible Fairy Tales to Re-write



Chicken Little

Snow White

Peter Pan

Gingerbread Man


Beauty and the Beast

Princess and the Pea

The Frog Prince

Tom Thumb



The Lion and the Mouse

The Fox and the Grapes

The Tortoise and the Hare

The Sick Lion



Three Little Pigs

Little Mermaid

Hansel and Gretel

Jack and the Beanstalk

Ugly Duckling

Swan Princess

Little Red Riding Hood

The Boy who Cried Wolf

The Emperor’s New Clothes

King Midas

Stinky Cheese Man

The Ant and the Grasshopper

The Lion in Love

The Miser and His Gold

Country Mouse/City Mouse





From a Parents Perspective


For this assignment, you will research treatment options for a child clinical issue of your choice.


The first part of your paper should define the presenting problem.

  • What disorder does the child have and how do you know (according to DSM criteria)?
  • How does it manifest itself in the child’s thoughts, behaviors, actions etc.?
  • Give examples of the child’s behavior(s) that lead you to this diagnosis.
  • You must be able to show your understanding of the problem/diagnosis.
  • Make sure to give identifying information about the child (age, sex, who they live with etc.).


Your next task is to research the possible treatment options for the diagnosis from the perspective of a parent.

  • You must be able to identify at least 4 different treatment options.
  • Write about the pros and cons of each. You can compare and contrast them.
  • Is there anything interesting relating to this disorder (famous people with disorder, current theorists, weird treatments, etc.)?
  • Is there anything new in the field?
  • You must use references from journals, newspaper articles etc. showing current research results on each method.


You will then choose a treatment option and justify the reasons you chose this treatment.

  • An accurate example of the actual treatment that the child will undergo in therapy. If using psychotherapy, make sure you are specific in describing which kind (humanistic, behavioral, etc.) and some of the specific strategies used.
  • Why did you (as the parent) choose this treatment?
  • Why do you feel this is the best treatment for your child??
  • As the parent what will be your involvement be (if any) in the treatment that you have chosen?


You’re the Therapist: Character Analysis

You will choose a real or fictional (from a movie, story, real child or made up, etc.) child to analyze and “diagnose”. You will need to use your knowledge of the basic categories of psychological disorders to further research the criterion needed to diagnose your “patient” or “client

  1. Set up an intake interview. What is the presenting problem? Who brought the child in for evaluation? What sort of questions would you ask?
  2. Then show evidence of the child’s behavior, (DSM criteria). Make sure you can justify your client’s diagnosis. What are some of the symptoms?
  3. You will need to give some background information on the disorder you have chosen.
  4. Is there anything interesting relating to this disorder (famous people with disorder, current theorists, weird treatments, etc.)? Is there anything new in the field?

Your paper should be set up like this on your first page: (short answers)

Patient Name:  Adam Long
Nickname: Addie
Age: approximately 12
Residence:  Home address
Brief patient history: Hx of conduct problems
Symptoms: anxiety
Diagnosis: GAD – Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Recommended treatments: Client-centered psychotherapy

Prognosis: Good


After the identifying information, continue to elaborate. For those of you familiar with doing a psychosocial, this would be the perfect paper for you.

  1. Background Information

The first section of your paper will present your client’s background. Include factors such as age, gender, work, health status, family mental health history, family and social relationships, drug and alcohol history, life difficulties, goals, and coping skills and weaknesses.

  1. Description of the Presenting Problem

In the next section of your case study, you will describe the problem or symptoms that the client presented with. Describe any physical, emotional, or sensory symptoms reported by the client. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions related to the symptoms should also be noted. Any screening or diagnostic assessments that are used should also be described in detail and all scores reported.


  1. Your Diagnosis

Provide your diagnosis and give the appropriate Diagnostic and Statistical Manual code. Explain how you reached your diagnosis, how the clients symptoms fit the diagnostic criteria for the disorder(s), or any possible difficulties in reaching a diagnosis

  1. The Intervention

The second section of your paper will focus on the intervention used to help the client. You are required to choose a theoretical treatment approach that you feel will benefit your client.



  1. Prognosis

Using the treatment that you recommended what is the short and long-term prognosis for your client?


  1. Follow-up/Discharge

How did the child do? What improvements and/or changes were noted. Did you feel that this treatment modality was successful? Is there anything you would have done differently?

Some of the possible treatment approaches you might choose to explore include: (However, you can use any treatment approach from your textbook).

 Psychoanalytic Approach

Describe how a psychoanalytic therapist would view the client’s problem. Provide some background on the psychoanalytic approach and cite relevant references. Explain how psychoanalytic therapy would be used to treat the client, how the client would respond to therapy, and the effectiveness of this treatment approach.

 Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Explain how a cognitive-behavioral therapist would approach treatment. Offer background information on cognitive-behavioral therapy and describe the treatment sessions, client response, and outcome of this type of treatment. Make note of any difficulties or successes encountered by your client during treatment.

  1. Humanistic Approach

Describe a humanistic approach that could be used to treat your client, such as client-centered therapy. Provide information on the type of treatment you chose, the client’s reaction to the treatment, and the end result of this approach. Explain why the treatment was successful or unsuccessful.




Disorder List for all three Assignments


Autism Spectrum Disorders                                                       Panic Disorder

Childhood onset Schizophrenia                                                    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)                      Communication and Learning Disorders

Conduct Problems                                                                     Feeding and Eating disorders

Depression                                                                                Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Bipolar Disorder                                                                        PTSD

Anxiety Disorders                                                                     Substance Abuse

Social Anxiety Disorder


****If there is a disorder you are interested in that is not posted, please discuss with me.

*****REMENBER: If you can adequately back up your diagnosis, I will not mark it incorrect.

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