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PEPSI Screening

P.E.P.S.I. Screening Project

Kylie Mirjanian

EDU 220: Educational Psychology

Professor Isbell

April 2018
PEPSI Screening Project

Abstract

This PEPSI screening is utilized as a tool to analyze a thirteen-year-old boy, Dominic

Mirjanian, created and reviewed from the perspective of his older sister, Kylie Mirjanian. The

PEPSI screening project looks at five different developmental aspects of the early adolescent

boy: Physical, Emotional, Philosophical, Social, and Intellectual, with comparison to boys of a

similar age. This project is done in an attempt to ensure an appropriately-leveled education is

being given and to offer insight into improvement of the student’s growth and development.

With this thorough screening process, Dominic will be assessed as an individual and compared

to the average development of thirteen-year-old boys and, finishing off, a recommendation will

be provided for a personalized IEP specific to meet Dominic’s needs.

Introduction

This PEPSI Screening assessment is a deeper look into the psyche of a thirteen-year-old

boy, Dominic, who has jumped from a magnet school in elementary grades and part of sixth

grade to homeschool (online academy) for the last two years. Dominic is currently enrolled in

Nevada Virtual Academy and is taking ninth grade math and English and eighth grade history,

science, and music. He is technically still an eighth grader. Dominic participates in swim team on

week days but is mostly home with his mom and dad and two siblings. Delving deeper into

Dominic’s life and looking closely at his development, it can be assessed whether he is the

appropriate level of development for his age and whether he needs some type of remediation in

any aspect of his life that will assist in his continued growth and ensure appropriate

advancement.

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Physical Development

Average physical development for an early adolescent boy is puberty that hits at an

average age of thirteen and height of anything from 4’11’’ to 5’ 5 ¾‘’ and weight from 80 lb to

135 lb (“The Average Weight,” 2017). Looking at the physical characteristics and development

of Dominic, he weighs 153 lb and is 5’9’’. According to Dominic’s mother, he started his first

large puberty growth spurt about a year ago, growing approximately a foot since April 2017. He

is very physically active, as he swims on a competitive team six days/week and hikes with his

dad every few weeks or so. His build is lean to muscular and he has a light tan complexion. He

does not appear to be awkward or clumsy (as is normal, according to “Developmental

Milestones”) and has good coordination. He appears to be more of an early-maturing boy

(Snowman, 94) as he seems to have a more positive self-concept and is already well into puberty.

Physical Development

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Height Weight

Average - 13 yom Dominic

Considering his physical development, I would suggest that his coordination, physical

activity, and growth is contributing to a greater focus on school and academic attainment. He

does not appear to be distracted or unable to focus on his work during school hours and is

mentally and physically balanced. He is clearly growing at a faster rate than a child his age and

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his physical abilities and continued growth could contribute to greater attention to school and his

academic success.

Another consideration is that, due to his flexible school schedule related to being

homeschooled, he is able to focus on attaining more in relation to physicality and he is able to eat

at home, where his parents work on giving him a healthy diet. This could contribute to his

physical development that surpasses the normal that is generalized for a boy his age. Dominic’s

growth rate is not unhealthy and can contribute to a strong educational and physical position in

life later on.

Emotional Development

When attempting to compare Dominic’s emotional development to that of other boys his

age, he seems to be either right where is expected or even slightly behind. I believe this is due to

his environment, as he is enrolled in a school focused purely on distance learning. Basically, his

school is at home and is, consequently, around his family much more than anything else. He has

a close relationship with both of his parents and seems to have a relatively close relationship to

his siblings who still live at home. Due to this, he appears to be more reliant on them for

approval and, because he is receiving it, is satisfied with where he is. He is self-motivated to do

homework and is even pretty balanced in making decisions and doing things for the family, such

as deciding what to make for dinner and making it for everyone. He seems to be satisfied with

home life and school life. He is creative in his workmanship and works hard in things that

interest him, such as watching videos and shows related to cars and other vehicles and using that

to work on his father’s truck.

Unlike other boys his age or slightly older, he does not appear to be disagreeable or

altogether rebellious towards his parents and their decisions. He listens well and has a pleasant

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and supportive attitude. He does not appear to be too eager to find acceptance of friends or peers

and does not seem to be overly attached to siblings over parents, which is suggested in the

developmental stages of 14 and 15 year olds (Morin). He does not have any apparent mood

swings, seems to remain relatively calm and complacent, without an over-eager sense to be right

or to create conflict with others.

Looking at the textbook by Snowman on page 98, it is stated that adolescents are more

self-conscious and constantly evaluating their appearance and feelings. According to Dominic’s

mother, when he started having growth spurts, he had a little more “baby fat” in his belly and

chest and, when he started swim team a year ago, he would slouch and cross his arms across his

chest and showed classic signs of being self-conscious. But, since the last year, he has grown and

developed a more muscular shape and has become more confident in his abilities, he walks with

his shoulders back and head held up, and appears to be more stress-free. His attitude change, just

since last year, shows development towards self-confidence and is characteristic to a boy his age.

Emotional Development

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Happiness Self-confidence Mood Stability

Average - 13 yom Dominic

It is hard to tell whether Dominic is developing at a similar rate to boys his age.

Especially without being in a similar environment to most children, there is no way to tell if he is

simply succeeding in the environment due to his comfortability in an area where he has mastered

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the challenges. There is no way to know for sure if he could carry that confidence to an

environment where he is surrounded by his peers and faced with specific emotional challenges.

Dominic may have found a position of confidence and self-efficacy within his home

environment but potential differences could be seen going into public school. As new social

challenges are faced, there is the possibility for further change within his developmental

characteristics. Though, for where he is, he seems to be an optimistic, relaxed, and a confident

thirteen year old boy.

Philosophical Development

The level of philosophical development for a thirteen-year-old boy is generally leading

into looking for social acceptance and shifting from parents as the social authority more towards

peers. For this age, the stress of maintaining parental demands as well as appropriately attaining

social attention and finding personal identity often leads to rebellion of strict rules and

restrictions to find relief of pressures. Due to an increased intensity of peer pressure moving into

early adolescence, the need to rebel against the parent’s standards increases (Oswalt). Moral

development and reasoning is also a critical part of evaluation in philosophical development. At

this age, the general stage of Kohlberg’s moral development that children seem to be placed in is

the third stage, the “good boy” stage, where rules are obeyed for social approval (The Good

Boy).

Dominic is slightly behind in the philosophical development of his age because he has

not yet shown signs of rebelling beyond the ideas and philosophies that are enforced within his

home. His parents request go without question and he follows their beliefs with a firm

unquestioning attitude. Dominic also does not place much value in developing social bonds with

children his age outside of his home, nor does he seem to place any value in their opinions of

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him. Dominic seems to find a deep social acceptance in his family’s approval and is comfortable

and thriving in that environment, which seems to represent a child a year younger.

Furthermore, turning to Kohlberg’s moral development, we can see signs of obeying

rules for social approval. Dominic is definitely in that third stage but the social approval he

obeys rules for is the approval of his parents and his siblings. This behavior is not necessarily

uncharacteristic of his age; but his stark lack of interest in social interaction and attachment to

fellow children his age and the total value he places in the opinions of his parents seems to

demonstrate the values of a slightly younger child.

One notion to consider was found in the textbook by Snowman on page 32-34 concerning

identity statuses based on Erikson’s observations and developed by Marcia. This concept of

identity statuses led to one specific status called foreclosure. The status of foreclosure simply

means that the child is not experienced and has strongly “accepted and endorsed the values of his

parent’s.” This seems to accurately portray Dominic’s value system and his confidence in who

he is as a person. He does not seem uncertain or wary in his position in the world but also does

not create or voice his own opinions, only seems to adapt those of his family. One important

thing to note is that, on page 33-34, there is a comment that states, “because many early

adolescents (sixth, seventh, and eighth graders) have not yet grappled with identity issues, they

cannot be put into one of Marcia’s categories.” Despite not being able to attach Dominic to that

specific identity status, it still seems to describe his persona and attitude and is a good basis for

where he is concerning his identity development at this point.

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Philosophical Development

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Rebellion Peer Dependence

Average - 13 yom Dominic

Taking into consideration the concepts discussed in this section, it is possible to attribute

this behavior to Dominic’s lack of social integration. Due to his current school situation, he

could simply not have the means of finding social acceptance from peers, so he does not find any

reason to place value in it. He does participate in a competitive swim team six days a week but,

when asked, he denied any interest in friendship with children there and denied feeling lost or

lacking without their approval. Even discussing the topic with his mother, it was found that he is

simply relaxed in his home environment and very willing to follow the orders and maintain the

beliefs of his parents. His lack of want or need to voice a different opinion from that of his

family and demonstrate the general characteristics of his age group could be much different in

the next few years as he begins public high school.

Social Development

The social development for thirteen-year-old boys is very critical, as it contributes to their

self-confidence, discovering and formulating their identities, as well as developing interpersonal

reasoning. Conformity within society’s regulations is a general goal for adolescents in the middle

school years. Running away or rebelling from parental limits is the tendency in their attempts to

separate themselves and develop into the person they think they want to be at the time. They are

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more self-aware and tend to have erratic emotional responses to things. As discussed in “The

Growing Child” article, peer influence and romantic relationships becomes important.

Looking at interpersonal reasoning, this is a kind of awareness concerning the actions and

responses from those around (Snowman 95). There is a kind of societal understanding that comes

with this development. With students who are somewhat behind and have not developed

interpersonal reasoning, they seem to lack an understanding and compassion for fellow students.

Dominic has developed interpersonal reasoning as he seems to be able to understand the meaning

behind fellow student’s actions and is able to recognize the emotions that others might be

feeling. Going through public school in his elementary years and being around four siblings

seems to have given him the opportunity to develop his interpersonal reasoning skills.

Dominic is in an interesting situation where, while he has had time around other students,

he has been through distance education for most of middle school and some of the lower grades

of elementary school. This social isolation seems to have led to deep connections to his family

and a lack of interest in developing deeper social bonds with children his own age. Comparing

his behavior to the above mentioned beliefs of other thirteen-year-old boys, he lacks almost

every key social attribute associated with this age. He does not show interest in conformity to

societal beliefs and does not attempt to shun or run away from the limits placed on him by his

parents. He has shown signs of physical self-consciousness (a year ago) but, since developing a

leaner body structure, has turned that into self-confidence for his appearance. He is also quite the

opposite of emotional as he seems to always remain in control of his emotions and does not

argue or attempt to override what his family discusses with him.

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Social Development

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Average - 13 yom Dominic

Looking at the information given for social development in early adolescent children in

the charts on the Ellsworth article, Dominic seems to apply more to the age of ten than the early

adolescent category. While he has developed interpersonal reasoning skills, he still fully follows

his parents and his older siblings’ opinions and remains obedient, docile, and content with those

patterns. He continues to express total confidence in his parents’ opinions. Also, he seems to

enjoy “belonging” in a group but does not find sole social acceptance from that. This social

development is uncharacteristic, for the most part, of a child his age. And while, that could

simply be his personality, with an unwillingness to argue and a content attitude toward his place

in life, it could also be a sign that he slightly behind in his social development.

Intellectual Development

Self-efficacy and intellectual stimulation are both critical aspects in the intellectual

development of early adolescents. Another aspect is their new-found ability to think abstract

thoughts. They should now be able to formulate hypotheses and ponder about the far future and

create goals with an idea on what steps would get them towards that goal (Stanford). Concerning

intellectual stimulation, children at this age often find their own interests and want to do their

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own thing. They recognize that school takes up a lot of time and, if it does not interest them, they

tend to rebel against it by not putting in effort (Snowman 98). Concerning self-efficacy, students

have a tendency to enjoy things that they know they are better at and give up earlier at things that

do not come as naturally. Self-efficacy is simply the belief one has in their ability to do

something. Students this age tend to only try hard if they have faith in themselves that they are

able and if they can see a positive outcome (Snowman 100).

Looking at Dominic’s intellectual development, he is right where he needs to be.

Concerning abstract thinking, he has future plans of becoming a photographer of fancy cars and

even discusses his plans to take classes at college that would assist him in becoming better at

that. He is also exceptional at being able to come to conclusions based on small amounts of

evidence and using mental processes that allow him to see future results without having to

experience everything first hand.

Looking at his self-efficacy, he seems to be quite confident about school and his ability to

do well. With online schooling, a large portion of the time, students have to be self-motivated

and be able to plan out their lessons and assignments to ensure they are done on time and

sometimes even sooner if there is something going on, like a trip that bleeds into the school

week. Dominic does not have a teacher looking over his shoulder and even his parents put in a

minimal effort towards planning and motivated his schoolwork process due to his ability to be

self-reliant. His tools for self-efficacy and motivation to complete tasks without getting

discouraged soars above the expected developmental level of a thirteen-year-old boy.

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Intellectual Development

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Abstract Thinking Self-Efficacy Intellectual
Stimulation

Average - 13 yom Dominic

Finally, there is a unique aspect to the intellectual stimulation involved in Dominic’s

education. It seems that homework that does not maintain interest for a long period of time is

able to be completed faster due to the at-home, take your time pace, and more time can be

dedicated to things of interest. Oftentimes, Dominic will relate what he learns to things that

propel his interests, specifically cars, and this allows to find intellectual stimulation in what he

learns. Since there is no teacher to rely on for intellectual stimulation, Dominic has learned how

to be able to create his own. This ability to find enjoyment in some aspects of his education and

push through the stuff that needs to get done shows that Dominic is well past in his intellectual

development than is expected for early adolescents.

Conclusion & Recommendation

Based off of Dominic’s development in all the areas delved into throughout this

screening, there are a few recommendations that could assist in ensuring Dominic continues to

grow in. He exceeds in his emotional state, with his calm attitude and content nature. He also

exceeds in physical development through his athleticism. His intellectual abilities exceed even

those developmental areas due to his strong self-efficacy, abstract thinking, and ability to find

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intellectual stimulation in his own work. One thing that needs to be remarked upon is Dominic’s

lack of involvement in continuous social environmental challenges. These social obstacles that

he should be faced with will push him through the process of developing a well-rounded view of

the world and creating his own opinions and values. This will not only improve his social

development but also his philosophical development.

Ensuring Dominic receives an appropriate education and develops appropriately in all

areas, he should be given every tool pertinent to his success and encouraged to leap through

challenges with a strong team at his back. Teachers and parents alike should work together to

maintain that continual growth.

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References

Physical Development

Developmental Milestones for Children. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2018, from
https://faculty.mccneb.edu/jfauchier/psy121jf/Projects_SS04/Jenni
Powers/PSY121jf/milestones.html

Snowman, J., & McCown, R. (2014). Psychology applied to teaching, 14th ed. (pg. 93-94). Place
of publication not identified: Cengage Learning

The Average Weight & Height for a 13-Year-Old. (2017, July 27). Retrieved April 11, 2018,
from https://healthfully.com/average-weight-height-13yearold-7417018.html

Emotional Development

Morin, A. (n.d.). Developmental Milestones for Typical High-Schoolers. Retrieved April 12,
2018, from https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/signs-
symptoms/developmental-milestones/developmental-milestones-for-typical-high-
schoolers

Snowman, J., & McCown, R. (2014). Psychology applied to teaching, 14th ed. (pg. 97-98). Place
of publication not identified: Cengage Learning

Social and Emotional Development: Ages 11–13. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2018, from
https://www.kidcentraltn.com/article/social-and-emotional-development-ages-11-13

Philosophical Development

Oswalt, A. (2015, November 4). Adolescent Moral Development. Retrieved April 25, 2018, from
https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/adolescent-moral-development/

Snowman, J., & McCown, R. (2014). Psychology applied to teaching, 14th ed. (pg. 32-34). Place
of publication not identified: Cengage Learning

The Good Boy, Good Girl Stage of Moral Development. (2011, December 07). Retrieved April
25, 2018, from https://omgitsjez.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/good-boy-good-girl/

Social Development

Ellsworth, J. (1999). PEPSI. Retrieved April 25, 2018, from


http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jde7/ese504/class/pepsi/

Snowman, J., & McCown, R. (2014). Psychology applied to teaching, 14th ed. (pg. 95-96). Place
of publication not identified: Cengage Learning

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The Growing Child: Adolescent (13 to 18 Years). (n.d.). Retrieved from


https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/pediatrics/the_growing_child_
adolescent_13_to_18_years_90,P02175

Intellectual Development

Piaget Stages of Development. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/children/piaget-


stages-of-development#2

Snowman, J., & McCown, R. (2014). Psychology applied to teaching, 14th ed. (pg. 98-100).
Place of publication not identified: Cengage Learning

Stanford Children's Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from


http://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=cognitive-development-90-P01594

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