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Applying classroom material in the context of real world scenarios: The case of Sergei Korsakov.


Each week students are asked to explore a real world scenario. This scenario will ask students to consider material covered during that unit in the context of the scenario.

ULOs reflected in discussion:

  1. Explain the trait theory of personality stability during adult years. (CLO 1)
  2. Identify the types and prevalence of mental health conditions among adults. (CLO 1 and 2)


The Case of Sergei Korsakov (Fried & Mehrotra, 1998)

Read the following scenario and post your first response in the discussion, then respond to one or more post:

“Sergei Korsakov is an 80-year-old widowed great-grandfather who lives with one of his adult grandsons, the grandson’s wife, and their two teenage daughters in Boston. Mr Korsakov speaks Russian, English, and German fluently and practices the Russian Orthodox faith. He is retired from a very successful law practice and is a second generation immigrant from Russia. Mr. Korsakov is physically health except for a manageable arthritic condition. An avid stamp collector, reader of detective fiction, and fan of professional hockey, Sergei especially enjoys dining on Lithuanian foods similar to the ones his Lithuanian mother used to cook when he was a child. In Sergei Korsakov’s case, elements of diversity come to interact with one another to help form a unique individual. His marital status, living arrangement, work and occupational status, health status, personality, preferred foods, and interests, along with the size and location of his community, combine to help form the person known as Sergei Korsakov. If even one of these elements were different, the combination of elements would also be different. Such changes would make the complex configuration of diverse elements that help to compose Sergei Korsakov entirely different” (p. 9).

Fried, S. B. & Mehrotra, C. M. (1998). Aging and diversity: An active learning experience. Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Francis

How might the social impacts of race, education, and immigrant status influence Sergei’s personality stability over time and potential protect his mental health?

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