Urie Bronfenbrenner believed that human development stems from social interactions and is highly influenced by society and culture. He viewed development as taking place within a series of different social ecosystems. He labeled different systems or levels of the environment that influence children's development. These levels span from immediately close influences, such as family, friends and peers to larger influences such as school boards and employment agencies to cultural, political and economic influences. These levels include: the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem, and the macrosystem. The microsystem is the small, immediate environment the child lives in. Children's microsystems will include any immediate relationships or organizations they interact with. This includes their immediate family or guardians and their school or daycare. How these groups or organizations interact with the child will have an effect on how the child grows; the more encouraging and nurturing these relationships and places are, the better the child will be able to grow.
Additionally, how a child reacts to or treats these
people in the microsystem will affect how they
care for them in return.
Bronfenbrenner's next level, the mesosystem,
describes how the different parts of a child's
microsystem work together for the sake of
the child. For example, if a child's parents
regularly participate in their child's schooling,
such as going to parent-teacher conferences
and watching their soccer games, this will
help ensure and enhance the child's overall
growth. In contrast, if the child for some reason has two sets of parents, as a result of divorce, and they disagree on how to best raise the child and give the child inconsistent lessons when they are together, this will hinder the child's growth.
The exosystem level includes the other people outside the family home, and places that the child may not spend...