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Mike Tyson: A Psychosocial And Biological Analysis

2190 words - 9 pages

Health Psychology

In the past few decades, clinical treatment has moved on from biomedical approach to the biopsychosocial approach. Scientists now believe that health of an individual is not merely due to physiological conditions but may also depend on psychological and socio-cultural perspectives(Engel, 1977). The term health psychology was developed by the American Psychological Association to describe health and wellness issues that arise from psychological problems. Health psychology stems from Systems theory, which says that human events such as injury and illness exist within several interconnected systems, such as our peer relationships, childhood experiences, personality and other factors (Schwartz, 1982).

Mike Tyson is one of the most famous boxers in world history, but despite his achievements in the boxing ring, he is infamous for his violent behaviour outside the ring. More than his critics, Tyson himself has been one of the biggest detractors of his illustrious career. He is a perfect candidate to elucidate the principles of health psychology. Mike Tyson rose up from throes of poverty and became the youngest heavyweight champion the world had ever seen. However, his violent past caught up with him and he went through several personal and financial crisis that eventually took a toll on his career
Michael Gerard Tyson was born in 1966, his mother, Loma Smith Tyson was never married to his biological father Jimmy Kirkpatrick. By the time Tyson was born, Kirkpatrick had left Loma to fend for herself and her kids. Loma Tyson and her children (Rodney, Mike and Denise) started living in Bedford-Stuyvesant. Growing up in a ghetto neighborhood as a child of a single mother was difficult for young Mike. Due to his big size, mild nature and lisp, he was bullied by peers(Jefferson, 1996). According to Mike Tyson, he was shy as a kid but his first fight happened when some bully killed his pet pigeon in front of him. This is a crucial point in Mike’s life as for the first time he realized that people could be scared by aggression. His aggression started as a method of self-defense and self-preservation. The aggression soon channelized into criminal acts of robbery and loot, for which he was sent to a juvenile detention center. Tyson was first introduced to the world of boxing at the detention center, where he found his first coach in counselor Bobby Stewart. Bobby later introduced Tyson to Cus D’Amato, who took Mike home and made him a part of his family.

We see that Mike Tyson was a meek child who did not have a father figure while growing up. He was frequently bullied and the only way he could channelize his aggression was by becoming more violent than his tormentors. Thankfully, due to the guidance of Bobby Stewart and D’ Amato, Mike learned how to channelize his anger into the boxing ring. Tyson made his professional debut in 1985 at the age of 18; sadly, his mentor and father figure D’Amato died the same year. Under D’ Amato...

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