A teenager in the United States faces serious drink driving charges where a person was killed. His lawyer is using a defence based on the new psychological condition called – affluenza. Because this teenager came from a very affluent a background it will be argued he was never able to learn to understand the consequences of his actions.
Whilst this seems a bit far fetched to say the least, the following comes from my book on teenagers (The teenage mind). Some kind of economic separation of a teenager from the parents is seen as crucial in the whole separation individuation process or how the teenager forms his identity. This makes it especially difficult for children from wealthy families who can struggle to gain a sense of who they are as the parent(s) ‘shadow’ is so large.
“This task can be a especially difficult for children from wealthy families or famous parents. The child of a famous parent can never apply for a job like the average person, when discovered who their parent is they will get all sorts of preferential treatment. Indeed such children may never have to apply for a job because the parent has contacts which allow them to be placed automatically in employment. With wealthy parents there is so much money around the child is never in the position where they have to get a job to ‘survive’. Even if the parents actively seek not to let the children be effected by the money it is very difficult not to at some level even if it is not direct money but things money can buy. The ripple effect is still present. With economic independence one is wanting the following to be achieved:
*Economic independence from parents
*Reasonably accurate estimate of one’s abilities
*Selection of a field of work in which success is possible. Seeking a job that is needed by a society.
*Completion of enough training to get started in one’s career
*Realising the need to work
*Being able to maintain workplace relationships such that employment remains possible.
*Maintaining economic independence.”