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The Major Components, Strengths, And Limitations Of Urie Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Model

875 words - 4 pages

Developmental psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner first introduced the Ecologicial Systems model in the 1970’s. Bronfenbrenner argued that to understand human development, the environment in which the person belongs must be understood (Bronfenbrenner, U.1979). The Ecological Systems model concentrically depicts how a person’s development is influenced by their wider environment. In the original model there were four ecological levels in the system, however in 1979 Bronfenbrenner added an additional fifth level (Bronfenbrenner, U. 1994). With the developing person in the centre, the five progressive levels of environment include the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, marcosystem and the ...view middle of the document...

Process or proximal processes is the interaction between the developing person and people in their environment to assist in developing skills and knowledge, for example, children interacting with other children. The person aspect acknowledges the social characteristics of an individual and how they affect proximal processes. The three characteristics that influence proximal processes include; .demand characteristics (age, gender or physical aesthetics), resource characteristics (intelligence and mental and emotional skills) and force characteristics (motivation, persistence and temperament). The Context aspect is the five systems of the ecological systems theory as mentioned previously. The time aspect is comprised of three levels: micro, meso, and macro. Micro-time refers to occurrences of proximal processes. Meso-time refers to the duration of proximal processes (days, weeks or years) and Macro-time or the chronosystem focuses on the shifting paradigms in wider environment.
The strengths of the ecological systems theory include the integration of multiple and significant environmental influences on human development. The system levels are broad enough to be valid in a majority of cultures as well as a variety of disciplines.
Another strength was the credibility of the theory as it generated new information. One of the main functions of a creditable theory is that generates new knowledge (Graziano, & Raulin 2010). This is evident (In Bronfenbrenners model?) with the addition of the chronosystem.
A limitation of the ecological development theory is that due to its broad coverage on how the environment affects development, it fails to account for the smaller significant mechanisms that can affect a person’s development such as the biology of the person and the people in their microsystem. This is a common limitation among board theories (Siegler, R. S. 1989). Another limitation is...

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