PEPSI of Lizbeth Basulto
Jesus Basulto
College of Southern Nevada
Education 220- 3001: Principles of Educational Psychology
Dr. Hooks

PEPSI of Lizbeth Basulto
I have been observing Lizbeth Basulto for the past few months (September, October, and

November of 2016) and have been tracking her physical, emotional, philosophical, social, and

intellectual (PEPSI) qualities. Through careful analysis and observations, this study charts

Lizbeth’s different PEPSI characteristics and recommendations of where she stands in her

Lizbeth Basulto is an early adolescent and is thirteen years old. Her family consists of

Rosa Basulto (mom), Jose Basulto (dad), Jesus Basulto (older brother, 19 years old), and David

Basulto (older brother, 18 years old). The parents are immigrants from Mexico and strive to

provide the children with the opportunity to study and have the education they did not have when

they were young. Rosa, Lizbeth’s mom, was able to finish middle school but had to drop out due

to tough economic troubles; Jose, Lizbeth’s dad, was only able to finish elementary school before

economic crisis became an obstacle for studying to be possible; Jesus and David both graduated

from high school and are going to college. Lizbeth is the only minor in the family and is assisting

Mike O’Callaghan Middle School, where she is in the eighth grade and planning to go to a career

and technical academy the next school year.
In the Basulto residence, family unison is the most important characteristic, with middle

class family values. Receiving an education and working hard to achieve any goal is one

characteristic that has a lot of worth. In order to preserve bilingualism, Spanish is the official

language of the family, although, the English language is frequently spoken between the siblings,

especially when doing homework or other activities. There are many Mexican and Roman

Catholic traditions in the household in terms of culture, but family unity is the main focus and

there are no problems of divorce or any parental problems.
The family has been living in Las Vegas since May, 1999. Lizbeth was born in Las Vegas

on a cold night in February 6, 2003. She loves cooking, helping women with styling their hair,

and loves to assimilate with many different people. Lizbeth is single and has not had a

“boyfriend”, focusing mainly of receiving the right grades and living life one step at a time.

Lizbeth is growing and transforming from a girl into a women, thus her physical image is

an important component to her early adolescence. Lizbeth weighs 148 pounds and measures 5

foot and 3 inches. KidsHealth, a website which informs about children’s health topics (including

physical development) from childhood to adulthood, explains that Lizbeth’s Body Mass Index

(BMI) is a bit overweight (“Your Child's Checkup”, 2016). A BMI provides details interpreting if

one is at weight, overweight, or underweight, but there seems to be a little problem with

Lizbeth’s weight. She does not eat many healthy foods, but has cut down on down on foods that

contain a lot of carbohydrates, especially tortillas.
J’Anne Ellsworth, a professor from Northern Arizona University who has countless years

of experience studying student growth, explains that girls in the early adolescent age are

experiencing strong hormonal growth, feeling a bit clumsy, and having to face the pressures of

having to look slim (Ellsworth, 1999). Lizbeth is above average in height when compared to the

other girls her age at school. I notice she is clumsy at sports and is not very coordinated or

athletic, yet this is normal at an age where she feels clumsy for all movements. Lizbeth

understands that the world may prefer slimmer females, but she accepts how she looks and is not

willing to change for social pressure.
According to the Snowman and McCown (2014), Lizbeth is an early-maturing girl, who

is “taller and heavier than classmates” (p. 94). Lizbeth accepts her image but may have a low

self-esteem at times, mainly due to her parents pressuring her to become slimmer. Lizbeth desires

a personal change to her eating habits and plans to take measures one step at a time; she does not

like to be compared to other girls her age, since she sees herself as a unique person. Lizbeth

worries about her image, causing a great worry when she has an acne breakout since she feels

everyone is looking at her imperfections.

Lizbeth is a girl who knows she is not perfect, and feels many are looking at her physical

flaws, but I observe she understands that the early adolescent stage is difficult on the body and

soon those imperfections will be part of the past.

Being an early adolescent, Lizbeth is starting to transition into the teenage characteristics

of the emotional segment. According to J’Anne Ellsworth, Lizbeth is experiencing new and

unfamiliar “tensions” (Ellsworth, 1999). Consequently, the early adolescent is constructing past

experiences and building contemporary ideologies to build upon her current knowledge and

benefit her future. Currently, Lizbeth is feeling like an “emotional mess” (L. Basulto, personal

communication, October 12, 2016). The new transition is bringing issues regarding what she

feels about any topic. In a personal interview, Lizbeth expresses that she feels one way about an

emotional topic, but will feel something different the next day, since her emotions are all over the

place. Unintentionally changing an emotional status also results to being angry easily and

controlling emotions still requires some work since her hormones are not stable yet. In the past

stages, Lizbeth knew what she wanted to be before being an adolescent; now she is rethinking all

her goals since the emotional aspect is forcing to rethink future decisions. Lizbeth recognizes

that rewards will arrive depending on the work she puts in to her aspirations.
I observe that some of Lizbeth’s emotional problems are due to being a bit self-conscious.

According to Snowman and McCown (2014), she is supposed to be worrying about herself in the

areas of appearance or certain skills (p. 97-98). I notice Lizbeth wants to have a lot of feedback

on how she dresses for school, parties, or church. If unable to receive feedback, she looks to ask

around and make sure she is nice-looking-as-can-be in order to feel emotionally and confidently

well. Although, this also influences the problem that she has a feeling she is “the spotlight of a

problem” (L. Basulto, personal communication, October 12, 2016). According to the latter, there

are some sentiments regarding that everyone is judging her just on the manner she appears or

acts. This causes Lizbeth to feel a little emotional pressure since she desires to be likeable for

everyone. Not being likable causes her to feel excluded and a little unsettled.

According to Erik Erikson, a phycologist with an emphasis on individuals’ psychosocial

development, Lizbeth is going through “Identity vs Role Confusion” since she is leaving

childhood, stepping into puberty, and looking forward towards youth (Erikson, 1963, p. 261-

263). I observe she knows what she wants in life to find a true identity. Confidence in what she

enjoys having and always desires to have. Being able to have the will to know she can do

anything helps in willing to help others and demonstrate her personal best. This makes her

choose friends wisely and connecting with adults and other peers equally and alike in terms of


Lizbeth is in the “good boy-nice girl” stage of life. This stage was part of Kohlberg’s Six

Stages of Moral Reasoning; Kohlberg was a psychologist with a study in order to develop stages

of moral development (Kohlberg, 1964, p. 93). In the girl’s mind, there is recognition in the

sense that laws are important to follow “to guide us” or there “would be accidents” (L. Basulto,

personal communication, October 12, 2016). Lizbeth is realizing that being a “nice girl” is not

just following social stigmas in place, but to allow social order to take place and breaking the law

brings disruption to the order already setup. I decided to challenge her philosophical views on

laws by reading one of Kohlberg’s Moral Dilemmas (the “Heinz Dilemma”) in order to see

where she stands on issues (Kohlberg, 1958). After paying close attention to her expressions

while reading the little dilemma, asking for her opinion if the actions were right or wrong, her

answer was a surprise to me. According to Lizbeth, it was “acceptable to steal and save a life,

mainly because love is above the law” (L. Basulto, personal communication, October 12, 2016).

Using the logic of stealing, I wanted to see what her opinion was to school rules in her

contemporary setting. I found a rather abstract answer, mainly focusing that some school rules

are in place for safety reasons, but the rules regarding the inability to express oneself, leads to

discrimination of some groups of students.
Upon analyzing Lizbeth, she is still developing her philosophical level, yet she is slightly

emerging in advance for her age. Snowman and McCown (2014) explain that a teenager, like

Lizbeth, is starting to make moral behavior “broader, more abstract, and based on welfare for

others” (p. 60). There is always a thought in Lizbeth to include others and feels uncomfortable

when everyone does not get along. There are always goodies Lizbeth prepares for anyone in the

household, or even family, to bring unison. The ability to think on how to unite the common

individual is above the intellectualization of her present stage.

In the community, a belief that teenagers have a major attachment to peers is widespread.

J’Anne Ellsworth explains that a teenager should have predominant influences through peers

than by parents (Ellsworth, 1999). Although, I found this is not always the case for Lizbeth. Rosa

and Jose, Lizbeth’s parents, predominantly shape her religious beliefs or cultures and friends do

little to change them. This includes parents having a stronger influence than peer pressure and

friends having little to change in terms of life choices. Having rules brings a feeling of

organization and the parental structure feels beneficial and appropriate to help Lizbeth develop


Since childhood and up to being an early adolescent, Lizbeth has been a social person in

terms of never being shy to meet someone new and always strongly listening to her parents.

According to Snowman and McCown (2014), Lizbeth is developing “interpersonal reasoning”

and “conformity” (p. 95-96). Teenagers are stereotypes of many characteristics like being rude,

incomprehensive, and egotistic; yet Lizbeth is an adolescent who understands that everyone may

have problems and always treats everyone with respect. Even though she feels that many judge

her, she is still developing and feels to be a center of social attention. Conformity is something

Lizbeth dislikes and finds methods to challenge herself and gain access to more knowledge.
According to Erik Erikson’s explanation on identity, Lizbeth is still at “Identity vs Role

Confusion” and will question what she wants or desires, yet she knows what relationships to

form with friends (no boyfriends or bad influences) (Erikson, 1968, p. 165). Apart from having a

jealous father, there always seems to be maturity growing on to Lizbeth and she would rather

learn to discover who she is before starting to date. Forming relationships with friends is not a

problem and most “friends” are from diverse backgrounds. Dressing the same, walking home

together from school, or speaking in the phone to a group of friends are some daily hobbies she

participates in. For Lizbeth, friends are someone to trust in good or bad times.
J’Anne Ellsworth suggests that early adolescents try to mix “parental expectations” with

intensifying “peer norms” (Ellsworth, 1999). Lizbeth listens to adults more than peers, especially

with suggestions or recommendations on decisions and acceptable social actions. Peers do

dominate on various topics like how she feels, but the serious topics are always at home.

Lizbeth’s parents are always aware of social problems since Lizbeth explains what happens

throughout the day. This happens because Lizbeth knows peers come and go and it is better to

trust a parent on an issue than a friend. Lizbeth has 20 good friends, where topics of school and

drama appear regularly. Yet she stays away from any deviant actions, focusing on demonstrating

she is strong in making relationships, and does not fall into doing abnormal peer influences.

Lizbeth, an adolescent going to adulthood, is facing new information daily and coming

into contact with new ways of thinking. Jean Piaget, a child development phycologist, describes

people who are 11 and up in a “formal operations” stage: individuals with logical thinking on

hypothetical and abstract perceptions with the ability to explore different values and beliefs about

the past and future (Piaget, 1954, p. 96). Lizbeth is starting to understand hypnotical ways of

thinking and demonstrates this in school. For example, when conducting Algebraic problems, she

understands the concepts of an “x” or a “y”. Additionally, imaginary and metaphors in English

literature is becoming easy and simple for Lizbeth to understand. Besides school, in the

community, there are always new cultures to learn about. The early adolescent likes to explore

other’s beliefs (while maintaining her own) and discover new ways of thinking. This creates the

notion of using what she knows and adding new concepts, in addition to different ideologies, to

acknowledge other ways of thinking.
Upon seeing what Lizbeth excels in, I noticed she has a strong connection with

interpersonal and bodily-kinesthetic intelligences. According to J’Anne Ellsworth, adolescents

Lizbeth’s age are always taking into account “the addition of new concepts”, yet there is not a lot

of depth in their ideas (Ellsworth, 1999). Having the ability to comprehend others is having an

effect on what Lizbeth excels in. Using her interpersonal intelligence, she has many

conversations with people with different and diverse background and seems to be amazed as he

absorbs all the new information. The information may be superficial, like where the person is

from or what religion do they practice, but she enjoys knowing all the different points-of-view.

Bodily-kinesthetic intelligences are also facing changing. Lizbeth enjoys cooking and doing

people’s hair, and with the addition of formal operations, she likes to see other’s styles of

cooking or hair methods to improve her own self. Using abstract methods to cook are some of

the activities she enjoys; even her intellectual activities involve her development into the formal

Even though Lizbeth is at the formal operations stage of life, she is still developing

concepts little-by-little and tries to learn as much from school to fortify the development.

According to Snowman and McCown (2014), a classroom with an “open, supportive, and

intellectually stimulating” atmosphere is of recommendation (p. 98). Although, sometimes I

notice she feels school offers a lack of support for motivation. There was a recent problem she

was having with Algebra 1, where the math was too difficult. After going to the instructor for

help and having a lack of success, she concluded that it is best to take a step back and go to pre-

algebra, in order to take a strong step forward and not rush her own development. Lizbeth may

not always be in “intellectually stimulating” schools, but she tries to motivate herself with the

intention of a better, personal development.


PEPSI Chart: Where is Lizbeth At?
The Age Lizbeth Should Be For
Her Age
Age 6
Where Lizbeth Currently Is For
4 Her Age

Developmental Characteristics

Physical: Lizbeth is a physically early maturing teenager. Due to the early development, I

recommend checking on her influences and activities to make sure she is not falling for social

pressures like drugs or other malevolent issues. Lizbeth’s weight should not be negative even

though her Body Mass Index (BMI) is slightly a bit in the “overweight” section. There should be

a little push for healthier eating and daily exercise for good health of a thirteen year old. Yet a

little exercise is good for a healthier lifestyle. Practicing a sport can help lower her BMI and help

diminish the sense of clumsiness.
Emotional: Feeling like an “emotional mess” is not a fun feeling when being an

adolescent since it brings a wave of anxiety. Even though feeling emotionally awkward is

normal, having frequent conversations with Lizbeth is recommendable in order to check for

expressions of emotional anxiety. Lizbeth’s appearance should not affect her emotions and there

should be attempts for a positive mindset. Positive mindset results in controlling emotions and

less pressure on the early adolescent. Making motivating comments can help build the positive

mind. Additionally, encouraging for less drama will help rid of feeling the spotlight of attention.
Philosophical: This section was surprising because Lizbeth was above her age. Lizbeth

seems to understand that other individuals have feelings, and sometimes, going over the law is

ok. This should always be encouraged: to understand other human beings and the fact that they

are human. Laws do exist, Lizbeth knows this, but placing a real world application to all laws in

recommendable so she knows how they can be applied. Placing everyday dilemmas, not just

Kohlberg’s Moral Dilemmas, is good so she can see how people interact and how one can help.
Social: Lizbeth should continue to strive for healthy relationships and look for selectivity

when determining friends. Even though she has not been acting with rebellious characteristics,

keeping an eye out for rebelling behavior is necessary since she is still developing and growing

through the teenage years. A continuation of having strong relationships with adults and parents

is necessary. Lizbeth displays inclination towards following parental influences over peer

influences. I recommend a continuation of this behavior so she follows mature judgment over her

difficult adolescent years.
Intellectual: Lizbeth is still developing abstract thought; therefore it is normal to having

some difficulty in understanding hypothetical concepts. Although, it is recommendable to place

real life applications to school material and work that way they know how to utilize the

information in daily situations. Keeping intrapersonal and kinesthetic intellectual abilities is a

strong way to practice what she likes and may serve as a career option if she enjoys using those

intelligences. Encouraging her to meet new cultures is healthy for Lizbeth and provides her with

an open mind about different people.

Basulto, L. (2016, October 12). Personal interview.
Ellsworth, J. (1999). Early Adolescence. Retrieved November 08, 2016, from
Erikson, E. H. (1963). Eight Ages of Man, in Childhood and Society. New York City, NY: W. W.

Norton & Company.
Erikson, E. H. (1968). Identity: Youth and Crisis. New York City, NY: W. W. Norton &

Kohlberg, L. (1958). The Development of Modes of Thinking and Choices in Years 10 to 16. Ph.

D. Dissertation, University of Chicago.
Kohlberg, L. (1964). Development of Moral Character and Moral Ideology. In H. Hoffman & L.

Hoffman (Eds.), Review of Child Development Research. New York: Russell-Sage

Piaget, J. (1954). The Construction of Reality in the Child. New York City, NY: Basic Books.
Snowman, J. & McCown, R. (2014). Psychology Applied to Teaching (14th ed.). Stamford, CT:

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