The Ecological-Systems Theory developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner (1917-2005) in 1979, consists of five environmental systems and examines how individuals interact with them. This approach often provides insight into the development of children and their relation to their environment.
Ecological Systems Theory
The five distinctive groups of the Ecological Systems Theory examines how they relate to each other and the role they play in a child’s development.
Microsystem. The Microsystem refers to the people an individual has a direct involvement with. Examples could include family, friends, teachers and members of one’s community. This system is attributed to the construct of our environment and our involvement with those around us who create it.
Mesosystem. The Mesosystem suggests that these Microsystems form relationships within one another throughout their development, resulting in a system within a system. As an example, an individual’s family experience may relate closely to their school or work experience, creating a link between the two. For instance, if a father abused his child, the child may find it difficult to form relationships with males in authoritative positions, such as employers or instructors. This might also manifest itself in the child by causing them to withdraw and feel alienated by their peers.
Exosystem. The Exosystem creates a connection between the external setting in which the individual has no active role, as well as the setting in which the individual is immediately involved. For example, if a child has a closer relationship with his older brother, than with his sister, and the brother goes away to university, the child may feel disconnected in the relationship with his sister. Alternatively, the situation may also have the opposite effect and cause the child to grow closer to his sister.
Macrosystem. The Macrosystem consists of an individual’s culture in relation to their socioeconomic status. It can be described as a comprehensive and all-embracing mesh of the previously mentioned systems. For example, being born to a socially disadvantaged community might cause an individual to develop a personal set of values which form based on one’s set of personal experiences and determine how a child interprets future experiences.
Chronosystem. The Chronosystem may be described as the transitions one experiences throughout their lifetime and the influence they might have on an individual. This would include major milestones in a person’s life. For instance, a divorce, change in employment, residence or socioeconomic status might not only affect the relationship between both parents, but also place strain on the child, affecting their future behavior and social interactions.
Dynamic Systems and My Personal Development. Growing up was especially difficult for me. Considering the Macrosystem and its relation to the community in which I was raised, the theory of dynamic systems becomes abundantly clear. I faced childhood...