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Ecological Systems Theory

Researcher Urie Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory of human development, first introduced in the 1970s, aimed to encompass the multiple systems, environments, and contexts in which individuals learn, work, play, and function, as well as the interactions that occur among these contexts over time. There are two defining factors of the model: (1) Human development occurs through reciprocal interactions between an ever-evolving individual and the individual’s environment, and (2) human development is impacted systematically by the characteristics of the developing individual, the environment, and the nature of the individual’s developmental outcomes. In other words, human development is influenced by a person’s individual characteristics, the relationships that the person has with significant others, and the social environment that surrounds the person.

The ecological systems theory is particularly important ...

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