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Real Life Experience

Antwone had a variety of risk factors in his life, including abandonment by his mother, the death of his father, and the death of his closest friend who resorted to crime. Antwone also suffered from an abusive culture in a foster home. However, despite all these risk factors that put him more at risk for developing developmental issues, Antwone eventually gravitated to more protective factors that helped him develop resiliency. One of these factors was joining the Navy, which gave him a culture of discipline and reliability as well as opened up opportunities for him. Further, in the person of Dr. Davenport he comes to understand what unconditional positive regard and support are and their value. As Werner (1993) maintains about children who were able to overcome risk factors like Antwone was exposed to, “Military service also provided them with opportunities for personal growth in a structured setting and a chance to take on responsibilities that enhanced their self-esteem,” (456).

In Girlfight, we see that Diana also suffers from a variety of risk factors in her environment, many of them related to culture and gender. Culturally, she is exposed to a machismo environment which is typical of the Latino culture. As a girl, she is expected to do things like join the cheerleading squad due to rigidly defined roles of sex and gender. These risk factors lead her to become aggressive and violent. She gets in fistfights at school and feels like the whole world is against her. As she says at one point, “Now that I’ve got school covered, I only have the world outside these walls to fuck up,” (Kusama 2000). Despite such risk factors, Diana learns discipline and self-esteem through her desire for boxing. She has the protective factor of the loving support of her trainer, Hector. She also has protective love from Adrian, even though they are competitive. Diana also has the unconditional love of her brother, who is willing t...

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Real Life Experience. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 07:52, September 19, 2017, from
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