There are mutual influences between an individual and their social environment. There are also at-risk factors involved in the life of a developing adolescent that interconnects with a series of reciprocal systems. I can recall as a developing adolescent quickly maturing into adulthood, the many social, economic, external and internal influences that contributed to certain at-risk behaviors. These type of influences impacted me directly and indirectly. I was influenced by the several environments I was in, and I also contributed to influencing the environment around me. Attempting to exert control over uncontrollable circumstances only lead to desperate situations and weighty consequences. However, learning to accept my present circumstances, and how to appropriately respond to the hardship and temptations in life developed positive life changes.
Individual human development occurs within interconnected and embedded ecological systems (McWhirter et al, 2013). The ecological systems include the individual, the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem, and macrosystem (McWhirter et al, 2013). The individual consists of genetic and biological factors, and personality characteristics (McWhirter et al, 2013). The microsystem consists of the people that the individual comes into direct contact with and who the individual interacts with (McWhirter et al, 2013). The mesosystem is the embedded interconnections between different microsystems and the impact of the interactions that take place (McWhirter et al, 2013). The exosystem consists of the interconnections between one or more settings that indirectly involve the individual (McWhirter et al, 2013). The macrosystem represents the social blueprint of cultural values, societal structure, gender-role socializations, race relations, belief systems, and national and international resources (McWhirter et al, 2013). The chronosystem is the interconnection and interaction of the individual within different environments, and is the transitions that occur during the course of the individual’s lifetime (McWhirter et al, 2013). These interconnecting systems are referred to as the ecological model, and assumes that the individual is continually interacting with his or her environment that produces constant change due to mutual influences (McWhirter et al, 2013). Part A – The Ecological Model
The core of who I really am involves the combinations of my genetic predispositions, evolutionary and biological components, personality characteristics, and the ongoing process of behavioral, cognitive, and affective experiences (McWhirter et al, 2013). Who I am has a lot to do with my experiences in life, my responses to life events, and the social and environmental influences and interactions involved. The ecological model provides a greater understanding of how I influence my environment and my environment influences me. This is important because it is through the interactions of the ecological systems that help me better understand myself and others. The Individual. I entered the world with an umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, struggling to live due to insufficient oxygen intake. As a child I was very susceptible to illness. As an adult I discovered that I was living with an autoimmune disorder. I have very vivid fragmented memories as a child of several doctor office visits. At the personal level, I was a very fearful, anxious, angry, socially withdrawn child who experienced an unstable, insecure, neglectful, abusive, and dysfunctional home environment. The structure of personality develops in childhood and continues to develop in adulthood (Caspi, Roberts & Shiner, 2005). I developed a combination of extraversion and introversion traits. These traits show themselves depending on how safe I determine the environment around me to be. As a child I experienced positive and negative emotionality. I at times struggle with viewing the world as a safe place and occasionally...
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