In families that happen to be suffering from a range of dysfunctional issues, children normally tend to take on a role that aids them in their attempts to try and sufficiently cope with the particularly challenging situations that they might happen to be facing. It is of relatively critical importance to identify the role that a child has assumed and is currently playing in the family so as to be able to formulate an effective plan that will be found to be useful in tackling the problem at hand. Of note, however, is that if not tackled at an early stage, these assumed roles can eventually evolve into what will largely be considered to be an acceptable and fundamentally normal way of living. It then progressively becomes more difficult to successfully break away from these devastating habitual actions and thoughts. In the case study, Brandon is seen to have adopted the codependent role of being the family Scapegoat. In this role, affected children normally seem hostile, angry and defiant (Rutter, 1994). As in the case of Brandon, children that assume this codependent role are perpetually in trouble at school, in social situations or even at work. Their generally negative behavior seems to be an adaption that is designed to help them in focusing attention from the concerning situations at home which in Brandon’s case happens to be economic hardships, an essentially absentee father who eventually becomes depressed.Brandon’s negative tendencies such as his exasperating behavior at home that has seen him not only steal and at times even break his siblings’ things at home, but also sneak food into his room are all indicators that Brandon has assumed the codependent role of being the family scapegoat. Of particular concern in Brandon’s case is that scapegoats often tend to resort to high-risk behaviors as a reflexive means of coping with their issues and an avenue through which they can be able to express their inner feelings of emptiness.
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