Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

Topics: Ecological Systems Theory, Developmental psychology, Family Pages: 3 (881 words) Published: July 16, 2013
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory
Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological System’s theory explores the different relationships influencing a child’s development, formed in his or her environment. His theory is devised into complex ‘layers’ based on different settings, each impacting on the child in some way. The development of a child is heavily influenced by a number of factors in the child’s maturing biology, including, his immediate family and community, environment and the societal landscape. Changes, developments or problems in any one layer will ripple throughout the other layers. Bronfenbrenner’s Social Ecology Model is made up of six layers, each impacting on the child’s development in some way. (Parquette and Ryan, 2001).

At the centre of Brofenbrenner’s Social Ecology Model is the Individual. The theory has recently been renamed the “Bioecological Systems Theory”, to emphasise that a child’s own biology is a primary environment fuelling their development. (Parquette and Ryan, 2001 ). The child’s particular individual characteristics such as age, sex, health and personality play a crucial role in how they interact with those around them. My avatar, Bradley Cooper, is an eight-year-old male, the second eldest of four siblings and of Aboriginal descent. Bradley’s development has been affected by his asthma and the fact that he had hearing loss, caused by inner ear infections. This led to him becoming quite shy and withdrawn in social settings, which later resulted in a lack of confidence at school.

The Microsystem refers to the contextual influences that are closest to the child. It consists of the people and places the child sees on a daily basis and is affected by the child’s perception of them. Bradley Cooper lives with his mother, grandmother and four siblings in the large outer regional town of Dubbo, NSW. Outer Regional Areas are a common living place for Aboriginal people, with 23.1%...

References: Australian Human Rights Commision. (2006). A Statistical Overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Australia. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from website:
Bowes, J., Grace, R., & Hayes, A. (1999). Context and Consequences: Impacts On Children, Families and Communities. In J.Bowes & R.Grace (Ed.) Children Families and Communities: Contexts and Consequences. Victoria: Oxford University Press.
Parquette, D., & Ryan, J. (2001). Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from website:
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