Neonaticide in a Young Immigrant Woman

The case study this week “Neonaticide in a Young Immigrant Woman” is about a woman Jane who is an eighteen year old in high school becomes pregnant by her boyfriend.  Jane comes from a Pacific Island country and speaks some English but is very broken and at times confuses words.  She moved to the United States leaving her mother behind in her home country.  After arriving her father married another woman and decided the home was too small for everyone, so he moved Jane and her older brother to a boarding house with others from the same country.  Jane would be left alone at nights while her brother was at work, leaving her to spend time with her boyfriend without the knowledge of the brother.  Jane appeared to her boyfriend and friends to be very happy about having a baby, even giving it a name.  One day when taking a shower before school, she began having pains and soon after delivering the baby.  She was found confused and bleeding by her boyfriend waiting at the bus stop for school.  Police later found the child wrapped in a plastic sheet which had been placed in a dumpster.  Jane was charged with 1st degree murder (De Ruiter, & Kaser-Boyd, 2015).

   The first area where the Multicultural Guidelines: An Ecological Approach to Context, Identity, and Intersectionality seems to intersect with this case study is Guideline 3 which states:

“Psychologists strive to recognize and understand the role of language and communication through engagement that is sensitive to the lived experience of the individual, couple, family, group, community, and/or organizations with whom they interact. Psychologists also seek to understand how they bring their own language and communication to these interactions.” (p.4)

    This paragraph discusses one of the first things that came to my mind when reading the police transcripts.  Jane spoke very broken English and it did not identify the use of a translator being present during the interrogation.   Many things can be lost in translation between cultures and especially where a person is new to English and needing to be accurate.  Even during the first interview with Dr. Kaser-Boyed, there was not translator present.  Once a translator was present significant facts began to become present (De Ruiter, & Kaser-Boyd, 2015).

  The second one I though pertained to this case study was Guideline 7 which states:

“Psychologists endeavor to examine the profession’s assumptions and practices within an international context, whether domestically or internationally based, and consider how this globalization has an impact on the psychologist’s self-definition, purpose, role, and function.” (p.5)

  This paragraph identifies the significance of international cultures in respect to what is acceptable.  Janes family lived with strict rules and being pregnant would be looked down on in her family’s culture.  The pressure would have been significant, and Jane would have been reluctant to tell her family.  This would have been the only indicator of neonaticide was present with Jane.  All others indicated Jane had all intentions of having the baby (De Ruiter, & Kaser-Boyd, 2015).

American Psychological Association (2002). APA guidelines on multicultural education, training, research, practice, and organizational change for psychologists.  Retrieved from:

De Ruiter, C., & Kaser-Boyd, N. (2015). Forensic psychological assessment in practice: Case studies. New York, NY: Routledge.

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