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This Is Us ISSUU Visual Report


Introduction This American television drama follows the lives of siblings Kevin, Kate, and Randall, along with their parents, Jack and Rebecca Pearson. While each family member faces their own unique challenges, Kevin is the character of focus for this entry. Kevin is an actor and an alcoholic, he also found himself addicted to pain medications after breaking his leg while filming his most recent movie. Image 1

Kevin is currently 30 years old, single, and struggling to find his passion in life after dealing with the loss of his father.

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Family Structure Duvall’s Developmental Stage Kevin, Kate, and Randall are triplets (Kevin and Kate are biological siblings, Randall is adopted) and are all 30 years old. Their mother, Rebecca, is in her late 50s, and their father, although deceased, would have also been in his late 50s.

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According to Duvall’s eight stages of family development, this family is in the middle-aged parents stage, as Rebecca is preparing for retirement and all of the siblings are out of the home and starting their own families (Kaakinen, Duff-Gedaly, Hanson, & Coelho, 2015). Knowledge of the family stage is crucial to anticipate and accommodate the development of family members (Kaakinen et al., 2015).

Family Dynamics & Functions The family dynamic of the Pearsons is that of extreme closeness and depency. In particular, Kevin is not only best friends with his sister Kate, but he often relies on her for guidance and approval of his decisions. He calls her multiple times a day to talk to her about his life, and it wasn’t until Kate got married that Kevin slowly realized that their relationship needed some distance. Kevin is also considerably close with his mother Rebecca, but has a hard time connecting with his brother Randall, because he feels guilty about treating him poorly when they were kids. Growing up, all three of the siblings, along with their parents, were inseparable. The siblings even pride themselves on their nickname, “The Big 3.” The family would not only spend ample amounts of time together, but they also often turned to one another for emotional support. When Kevin’s father, Jack, passed away, it was especially hard on the siblings because they each had a deep, emotional connection with their father.

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Culture/Religion Although the Pearson family does not affiliate themselves with any particular religious denomination, they do honor certain cultural traditions. For example, the Pearsons LOVE football. Every year they get together for the superbowl and watch the game as a family. Kevin also starred as the main quarterback for his high school football team, so the family would often get together for every game and cheer him on from the sidelines. The football traditions all started when Jack and Rebecca first met. The young couple would spend hours in bars cheering on the Steelers for every game throughout the year.

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Strengths & Challenges Image 5

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Strengths- The Pearsons have many strengths that allow them to deal with Kevin’s alcoholism. For example, Kevin’s flexible employment and high income allow for him to fund a rehabilitation program to address his addiction. The close knit bond between the Pearsons allows for Kevin to not only be emotionally and financially supported during his rehabilitation, but the open communication style of the family also facilitates a constant encouragement to maintain sobriety. Challenges- Perhaps one of the main challenges for the Pearsons is the absence of their father Jack. Even though the siblings have a strong bond amongst themselves and with their mother, it was their emotional bond with their father that arguably had the greatest personal impact throughout their childhood. Jack was not only the breadwinner for his family, but he was also often the voice of reason and the number one person the siblings would rely on for support and guidance. After Jack’s death, each of the siblings had their own way of coping with the loss, but Kevin often suppressed his feelings, leaving him to spiral out of control after sustaining his injury.


Communication As previously stated, one of the greatest strengths for the Pearsons is their well-built communication skills. Even though the siblings all live in different states, they see one another often and talk on the phone frequently. Each of them openly talk about their feelings and listen intently to each others concerns. They also acknowledge one another and ask appropriate questions. Kevin however, tends to be more self-centered, and conversations often revolve around his personal feelings and concerns. The Pearson’s non-verbal communication also showcases their strong communication skills. For example, the family always makes eye contact with one another and uses body language and touch to communicate empathy and support. They also utilize intimate distance between one another to show closeness and trust when communicating. Image 6


Bioecological Systems Theory Microsystem

Mesosystem

Exosystem

Macrosystem

Chronosystem

Kevin’s settings in which he creates his day-to-day reality include his home and his LA studio set where he works. His development is perhaps influenced by these surroundings, which includes a workplace of actors and actresses and a home in which he lives alone.

The relationship among Kevin’s microsystems include the relationship between his family and his peers at work. For instance, Kevin often finds himself acting differently around his actor/actress friends than he does around his family, which often makes him feel guilty and conflicted on which personality to foster. His peers also live a “party” type of lifestyle, which often influences when Kevin drinks alcohol.

Perhaps the most prominent external environment that has an indirect influence on Kevin, is that of his extended family, Randall’s wife and children. Kevin will often visit Randall and his family, and although he loves and cherishes them, their dynamic reminds him of a life that he does not have; a family with children of his own.

Kevin’s broad cultural attitudes and ideologies play into his narcissistic tendencies. For example, he often imposes his personal problems onto his sister Kate at any given time, even if she is facing her own challenges. Kevin’s “all about me” attitude is also similar to the attitudes and beliefs of his actor/actress coworkers.

Kevin has several past experiences that perhaps influence the person he is today. He not only lost his father to a devastating fire when he was 17 years old, but his high-school injury also eliminated his dreams of being a professional football player. His father was also an alcoholic. Over time, these experiences shaped Kevin’s future.

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Family Health Interventions Interventions Help increase the awareness of Kevin’s alcohol use and its consequences by expressing concern, and making a connection between alcohol use and other health problems. Alcohol screening

Outcomes Kevin is aware of his alcohol use and verbalizes his desire and willingness to get sober.

and brief intervention (ASBI) or counseling is an effective strategy that health professionals can use to help their adult patients reduce excessive alcohol use (McKnight-Eily et al., 2014).

Encourage Kevin to create a plan to change his drinking behavior to stay within safe limits by comparing his drinking patterns with national guidelines (i.e. “on average, men should have no more

than two drinks per day, and women and people over age 65 should have no more than one drink per day� (American Public Health Association and Education Development Center)). Alcohol

screening and brief intervention (ASBI) or counseling is an effective strategy that health professionals can use to help their adult patients reduce excessive alcohol use (McKnight-Eily et al., 2014).

Negotiate a drinking goal with Kevin and provide information for a mutual support group. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide peer support for people quitting or cutting back on their drinking (Kelly, 2017).

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Kevin verbalizes his daily drinking patterns and states that he wants to decrease his overall alcohol consumption. Kevin states that he wants to attend a rehabilitation facility to address his drinking problem.


Image References [Image 1] Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/search?q=this+is+us&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjfl8P7muHZAhVQzGMKHfdGAkgQ_AUIDCgD&biw=1440&bih=832#imgrc=YF Sxm7LkIG9CRM [Image 2] Retrieved from: http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/this-is-us-season-2-spoilers-milo-ventimiglia-sterling-k-brown-justin-hartley-chrissy-metz-1202527774/ [Image 3] Retrieved from: https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/09/25/this-is-us-returns-what-you-need-to-know-about-season-2/ [Image 4] Retrieved from: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/this-is-us-is-on-after-the-super-bowl-so-non-sports-fans-have-a-reason-to-watch-7843071 [Image 5] Retrieved from: http://www.tvguide.com/news/this-is-us-timelines-organized/ [Image 6] Retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2017/09/25/pearson-nbc-season-2-nbcs-this-is-us-preview/696759001/ [Image 7] Retrieved from: http://this-is-us.wikia.com/wiki/File:Kevin-S2-1.jpg [Image 8] Retrieved from: https://www.bustle.com/p/why-was-kevin-sleeping-in-a-car-on-this-is-us-the-teen-could-have-felt-betrayed-by-his-twin-2881282 [Image 9] Retrieved from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2018/01/10/thisisus-recap-kevins-rehab-leads-explosive-family-confrontation/1011185001/ [Image 10] Retrieved from: https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/this-is-us-recap-kevins-addiction-makes-him-spiral/


References American Public Health Association and Education Development Center, Inc. (2008). Alcohol screening and brief intervention: A guide for public health practitioners. Washington DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation. Kaakinen, J., Duff-Gedaly, V., Hanson, S. & Coelho, D. (2015) Family health Care nursing: Theory, practice and research (5 th ed.). F.A. Davis: Philadelphia Kelly, J. F. (2017). Is Alcoholics Anonymous religious, spiritual, neither? Findings from 25 years of mechanisms of behavior change research. Addiction, 112(6), 929-936. McKnight-Eily, L., Liu, Y., Brewer, R., Kanny, D., Lu, H., Denny, C., . . . Collins, J. (2014). Vital Signs: Communication Between Health Professionals and Their Patients About Alcohol Use — 44 States and the District of Columbia, 2011. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 63(1), 16-22. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/24854844

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