Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A Case Study of the Identity Development of an Adolescent Male with Emotional Disturbance and 48, XYYY Karyotype in an Institutional Setting

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

A Case Study of the Identity Development of an Adolescent Male with Emotional Disturbance and 48, XYYY Karyotype in an Institutional Setting

Article excerpt

The goal of this study was to utilize a single case study design to investigate the identity development of an adolescent male, Kevin (pseudonym), who had been placed in a high-security group home setting. Kevin had been identified with the special education classification of emotional disturbance (ED). He also had an extremely rare genetic code: 48, XYYY karyotype, or triple male chromosomes. This study was designed to investigate the participant's perspective of the social and emotional impacts on his identity development.

48, XYYY Karyotype

The participant in this study was diagnosed with the classifications of Conduct Disorder and Anxiety Disorder, and he was receiving special education services under the ED category. Kevin resided in a high security group home, and he was being served by state social services. A single case study was chosen to investigate the social and emotional identity development of the participant as he possessed a rare genotype, 48, XYYY karyotype. This karyotype does not represent a specific special education classification or mental health diagnosis. However, to date, there have only been 12 recorded cases of males with 48, XYYY karyotype, and what effect this has on an individual is not entirely known (Cox & Berry, 1967; Gigliani, Gabellini, Marucci, Petrinelli, & Antonelli, 1980; Hori et al., 1988; Hunter & Quaife, 1973; Mazauric-Stuker, Kordt, & Brodersen, 1992; Schoepflin & Centerwall, 1972; Teyssier & Pousset, 1994; Townes, Ziegler, & Lenhard, 1965 ).

This karyotype may occur due to a "non-disjunction in spermatogonial mitosis followed by a 2nd non-disjunction of one of the Y chromosomes in meiosis resulting in the formation of a sperm bearing 3 Y chromosomes" (Schoepflin & Centerwall, 1972, p. 360). Characteristics of the recorded cases include: mild mental retardation, behavioral disturbances, institutionalization, tall stature, upper respiratory infections, sterility, sexual orientation confusion, and a lack of sexual drive in adulthood (Hori et al., 1988; Teyssier & Pousset, 1994).

The first recorded case was a five year old boy reported by Townes et al. (1965).The boys' psychomotor and language development were delayed. He first walked at 21 months, he spoke his first words at age two, and he used simple sentences at age three. His overall I.Q. was 80.

Schoepflin and Centerwall (1972) presented a case of a nine year old boy whose developmental milestones were also delayed. In the first grade, his IQ was 70, and the school psychologist reported that he had strong tendencies for impulsiveness and aggression. When assessed at age nine, the boy had an overall WISC IQ of 79, verbal IQ of 70, and performance IQ of 93. He was doing well in special education classes, and he was not a behavior problem. He was seen as a loner who avoided fighting, but he would have outbursts when under extended stress.

Hunter and Quaife (1973) presented a single case study that described an adult male with XYYY who resided in institutions from the age of 10. The participant in the Hunter and Quaife study performed poorly in school, had few friends, was verbally aggressive and boastful, but he conformed when disciplined. His IQ on the WAIS was 65 full scale, 63 verbal, and 72 performance.

Ridler, Lax, Mitchell, Shapiro, and Saldana-Garcia (1973) also reported a case of a different adult male. By the age of 10, he had to be removed from regular school. He had little tolerance for frustration, and would become aggressive and uncontrollable when he was upset. He was placed into several schools for children with ED, and was still uncontrollable. He was then placed into a psychiatric hospital at age 14. His IQ on the WAIS was 81 full scale, 89 verbal, and 77 performance.

Caution should be taken in interpreting what may or may not characterize individuals with 48, XYYY karyotype as so few cases have been reported. …

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