In considering the Case Study of Martha, we notice a shift in her resilience through the various
stages of development (infancy, toddlerhood, childhood and adolescence). Though she experiences
problems in infancy, she leaves adolescence as a resilient 18 year old, optimistic of her future, with
many plans and aspirations, ready to grasp hold of it and embrace whatever challenges and
opportunities it may bring. It is interesting to consider the ways in which her upbringing could have
been different, with more attentive parenting for instance and the ways in which this could have
impacted and altered her future.
Martha’s family struggles with financial instability at the time of her birth with her father’s loss of
employment, the mother’s return to full time employment, means she is able to be less attentive to
Martha. The lack of maternal attention causes all sorts of behavioural problems in Martha, with
aggressiveness, distressing habits and lack of interest in play activities. If Martha’s parents chose to
leave her with a consistent neighbour or adult care-taker every week day, rather than alternating
between different neighbours, this would provide some form of stability in Martha’s life, which she
is clearly lacking from her mother. Martha’s constant crying and challenging nature due to her crave
for maternal attention, though this could be eventually replaced with a similar adult-figure who
Martha would grow to trust and be familiar with.
Interestingly during toddlerhood when Martha’s family’s financial situation improves and her
mother adjusts to working part-time, thus giving Martha more of her attention, Martha responds
quickly to this improvement. She suddenly becomes much better natured, even around the
neighbours and strangers who she doesn’t know so well. This identifies the incredibly important role
the maternal figure plays in the early, critical years, and that if this...