Ecological Systems Theory How Children Research Paper

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Conyne, Ellen Cook, and the University of Cincinnati Counseling Program. In a nutshell, Bronfenbrenner's theory points to environmental factors as playing a major role in human or child development (Derksen, Warren).

The Impact of the Theory on Career Goals

It teaches that children grow and develop with a series of different relationship systems like circles forming from within and moving outward (NACCE, 2012; Yngist, 2011). It shows how a child is affected by each system and how he affects it. In turn, each system affects, and is affected by, other oncoming systems. These are linked and interlinked among themselves. Moreover, each system contains risks as well as opportunities for a child's development and the stronger and more positive the connections between systems, the better it is for the child (NACCE, Yngist).

According to the Theory, the mesosystem consists of relationships between different microsystems between family and child care and between child care and community (NACCE, 2012; Yngist, 2011). The child is entrenched at the center. The microsystem is the inner system closest to the child. It consists of the family, the local community, play groups, child care and schools. The exosystem consists of relationships that do not affect the child directly. These are relationships at his parents' workplaces as well as family policies. The macrosystem consists of society's beliefs and values affecting children. These are those, which see children as valuable and deserving of care, safety, love and growth (NACCE, Yngist).

Putting the Theory into Practice

The Theory helps form efforts to prepare educators for practice and within practice (Derksen, 2010; NACCE, 2010). It fosters more than just an understanding of children as part of a cycle of ecological system contexts. It gives particular attention to the ways reciprocal interactions between systems impact human or child development. Additionally, ecological theory points to the much smaller interactional and attachment formation processes, which take place between children or youth and child and youth care workers. It also leads to the discovery of the ways by which it influences the family work and research on child and youth care (NACCE, Derksen).

In putting the Theory to practice, educators and counselors can develop specific aims or tasks according to the nature of each ecosystem (NACCE, 2012). Mindful of the microsystem, they can extend support to families so that they can become strong and feel strong. Counselors or educators can also help connect families to services and resources, which can support them and the children adequately. Their services should value and support children not as future adults but as children right now whose being they support (NACCE).

Aware of the circumstances in a mesosystem, counselors should warmly welcome families and extended families into their services in many ways (NACCE, 2012). This value or attitude will be especially meaningful for aboriginal families so that they will develop a sense of belonging. This should be connected to the community in many ways in developing a similar sense of belonging and security anywhere they will be (NACCE).

In successfully navigating the exosystem stage, counselors and educators should extend parenting support and workplace arrangements intended for parents and families so that they can do their jobs well. And advocating for policies, laws and appropriate ways of thinking, which will be supportive of children and their families will fulfill the requirements of a successful passage through the macrosystem stage (NACCE).


Bronfenbrenner's Theory is an attempt at creating a bigger perspective to social phenomena, which occur at different levels in society and within different systems as well as in every individual (NACCE, 2012). It calls intense attention to the influence of environmental factors at multiple levels, which fashion a child's behavior. His key concept was the embeddedness among systems (NACCE) that should not be overlooked.


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