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By GRACE MATHEW

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Example text

If (s)he uses daydreaming always to escape difficult situations, instead of dealing with the difficulty, it will affect his/her social functioning badly. A man in his sixties may find it difficult to accept the fact of his advancing age, and that he will not Behavioural Concepts for Understanding Clients 39 Second example be able to do many of the physically and mentally strenuous activities that he used to do at a younger age. He uses now denial to deny the reality of old age. A moderate degree of denial enables him to remain active and thus lead a useful life.

There have been stories of prisoners in the Nazi concentration camps who sided with the prison guards against their fellow prisoners — a phenomenon resulting from the identification of the oppressed with the oppressor. Regression refers to reverting to less mature behaviours that are characteristic of earlier stages of development. For instance, it can happen that a child, say, of eight years, regresses to bed wetting, which means that the child who has been toilet-trained and who has acquired appropriate toilet habits is now showing inappropriate toilet behaviour by wetting his/her bed.

Personality malfunctioning will set in as a consequence. An environment characterised by love, understanding, responsiveness to needs, supervision and 30 Introduction to Social Casework guidance is, therefore, necessary for the development of the personality of the child. The content of the superego varies from individual to individual, depending upon the values of society and the child-rearing practices of the parents. A strong superego means that the person is guided by certain principles and standards of behaviour.

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