Ecological Systems Theory

Topics: Ecological Systems Theory, Developmental psychology, Urie Bronfenbrenner Pages: 5 (1574 words) Published: May 9, 2012
Urie Bronfenbrenner was the man behind the ecological theory of development which is compiled of five levels of influence including the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro-, and chronosystem. Each level has influenced this learner’s personal development as well as her professional development in one way or another. She then analyzed how each level affected her and described situations in her life that led her to these conclusions.

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory of Development
Darling (2007) concluded that “Bronfenbrenner focused on a scientific approach emphasizing the interrelationship of different processes and their contextual variation” (p. 1). This theory then became known as Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory of Development and consists of five levels of influences that helped shape this learner personally and professionally.

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory of Development consists of five levels of influences including the micro-, meso-, exo-, macro-, and chronosystem. According to Hong, Algood, Chiu, and Lee (2011), each system affects children’s developmental outcomes: Micro- (immediate settings or environment), meso- (link between two or more microsystems), exo- (settings not directly affecting the individual but that influence the microsystem), macro- (broader society and culture that encompasses the other systems), and chron- (consistency or change over the life course). (p. 2) The microsystem is the child’s immediate setting or environment which would consist of their home, school, and social environments. These environments impact the child greatly and this is the level where the parents, peers, and others can influence how the child develops. Mesosystem is the influence of relationships with immediate family versus living with another relative. Children can bond with either but may have a stronger relationship with one or the other and be influenced. The exosystem is when an outside setting affects the child such as when social services come in to help provide assistance to the family. This kind of environment can influence the quality of care the child gets from their environment. The macrosystem involves the child’s cultural beliefs and values. Last but not least, the chronosystem is the changes happening within the person and their environment. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory consists of several levels that people go through at different points of their lives and has even influenced this learner’s development.

This learner likes to think that she is well-rounded and shaped due to her experiences that she has been through in each level. Cultural beliefs within the macrosystem are a big factor in this student’s life and have shaped her outlook on things. She grew up not being very religious, believes in God, but does not feel you have to go to church to worship him. It is ok to not believe in God either, everyone has their own opinions. This girl was also taught not to judge others by their appearance until she got to know their personality. A few other important beliefs she was taught that influenced her development were to respect her elders and to work for what she wanted. The exosystem that consisted of extended family, her education, mass media, and others influenced her development as well.

This scholar has always been very family oriented and welcomed extended family members with open arms. Most of her extended family members had one problem or another that always led back to drugs, alcoholism, or domestic violence. This influenced her decisions to never get into drugs or drinking because she did not want to be like that part of her family. On the flip side, watching programs on the television that showed wild parties and kids having a good time always made her want to try partying, but she never took a chance. She also grew up enjoying school so education was very important to her since elementary school. The mesosystem fuses the exosystem with the microsystem consisting...

References: Berry, J. O. (1995). Families and Deinstitutionalization: An Application of Bronfenbrenner 's Social Ecology Model. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 73(4), 379-383.
Darling, N. (2007). Ecological Systems Theory: The Person in the Center of the Circles. Research in Human Development, 4(3/4), 203-217. doi:10.1080/15427600701663023.
Hong, J., Algood, C., Chiu, Y., & Lee, S. (2011). An Ecological Understanding of Kinship Foster Care in the United States. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 20(6), 863-872. doi: 10.1007/s10826-011-9454-3.
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