Bronfenbrenner’s Systems Theory illustrates how the micro and macro environments influence the development of an individual. The different layers of a complex environment have an effect on the child’s beliefs and behaviors. The immediate environment of a child forms the microsystem of a child during development. Bidirectional influences have a strong impact on the behavioral development of a child. Parents, for instance, will have a strong impact on the beliefs of developing although the child may also affect their beliefs. Other systems that affect the development of a child include the mesosystem that connects the structures of the microsystem, the ecosystem that has an indirect impact on the child’s development. Macrosystems comprise of laws, customs and values in the society and the chronosystem that encompasses the physiological changes in the body of a child relative to time (Bronfenbrenner, 1994).
Emerging theories in child development indicate that nature and nurture play an important role in affecting the normal growth and development of a child (Keating, 2010). Both the biology of a child interacts with the environmental factors in an intricate, complex relationship to affect the cognitive and psychological development of a child. Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory lays great emphasis and focusses on the quality and context of a child’s environment in the development process.
The effectiveness of the environments impact on the development of a child depends on the amount of time and consistency with interaction towards a particular environment. Within a microsystem, the impact depends on the content of the environment. Examples of microsystem environments that...
influence the development of an individual include peer group, family and the workplace with emerging technologies and social change the development of individuals will depend on the people ability to respond to and adapt to the changing environment. The technology if not used by individual appropriately will negatively impact the normal process of growth and development.
An individual’s interaction with peers within the environment can have both a negative impact on their psychological development and decision making. Overreliance on peers for instance in making decisions hinders creativity and independence in decision making. Although an individual can rely on peer in making effective personal decisions, they are likely to receive conflicting decisions from among peers. The individual will feel closer and connected to his peers who may not have the ability to make objective judgement and decision making in different contexts.
In the case of a 21-year-old man living in students accommodation and not ready to move in with a 24-year-old girl, the school microsystem impacts his psychological development at this stage. The peer influence the 21 year receives from his peers is the cause of the anxiety he develops. Since he lives and spends most of his time in school, the school has had a great impact on his psychological development. He thinks like most of his peers who at this stage of life development want more freedom.
- Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. Readings on the development of children, 2, 37-43.
- Keating, D. P. (Ed.). (2010). Nature and nurture in early child development. Cambridge University Press.