Contribution of ecological theory

“Analyse The Contribution Of Ecological Theory To Our Understanding Of Typical And Atypical Child Development, And Discuss This Model In Relation To The Factors And Possible Interventions For Child Abuse.”

The undermentioned assignment is traveling to analyze Bronfenbrenners, U. ( 1917-2005 ) , ecological theory ( 1979, 1989 ) , and other kid development theories in respects to what is typical and untypical within kids ‘s development and discuss whether this perchance can in world have intercession for kid maltreatment. Bronfenbrenner created a theory based on the environment and how the different facets of the environment influence a kid ‘s development, this is known as the ecological theory.

However there are many different theoretical attacks, non merely the ecological theory when seeking to understand kid development, and what is really typical, and untypical of a kid ‘s development. Some of these different theoretical attacks to untypical kid development are: Developmental abnormal psychology theory, the fond regard theory, cognitive -development attack theory, and the transactional attack theory.

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Though this being supposed what really defines what untypical and typical is in respects to child development? Bee, H and Boyd, D ( 2007 ) defines that untypical development of a kid is the “Enduring form of behavior that is unusual, compared to the behavior of others of the kid ‘s age, and that interferes with the kid ‘s development in some important way” . ( The Developing Child, Pg, 427 )

Atypical development involves behaviors that are non classed as usual, for illustration attending shortage upset ( ADD ) . It could be argued if the ratio of kids that had ADD was higher so it would be classed more typical behavior, and distribution of this is so more widely spread. This being supposed seemingly one in 10 kids show some signifier of rational abnormalcy. When comparing this proposal with IQ tonss, IQ scores seem to ‘appear to be echt hazard factors for those who experience some school failure or more serious violent offenses. ‘ ( Hanalainen & A ; Pulkkinen, 1996 ) . Bee, H and Boyd, D, ( 2007 ) besides suggest that kids who have mean intelligence but are several old ages behind their equals in school accomplishment are considered to be untypical.

It is debated that nature and raising have a cardinal function in kid development, and what is really typical and untypical, on how kids learn and what they learn. Nature vs. raising is an on-going argument, and is one of the oldest most cardinal theoretical issues, in doctrine and psychological science. Most child psychologists now agree that a kid ‘s development is a merchandise of some interaction of nature and raising.

When believing about the nature vs. raising argument, the psychoanalytic attack could besides be compared and linked with the ecological theory. The psychoanalytic attack is the interaction between kid ‘s congenital features and environment, which plays cardinal function in determining differences in personality traits, and psychological jobs later in life. Erikson, E ( 1902 ) psychosocial theory was based on the ‘psychoanalytic attack ‘ when looking at kid development. In comparing to Erikson, Piaget, J, ( 1896 ) is known for his cognitive development theory, based on how a kid ‘s head works. The chief thought of Erickson ‘s cognitive development theory in respects to acquisition is focused on how the kid procedure, shop and uses information, “personality develops through eight life crisis across the full life span ; a individual finishes each crisis with either a good or hapless resolution.” ( The Developing Child, Pg.21 )

In both Piaget and Erickson ‘s theories, there are pros and restrictions as they focus on a individual facet of the nature vs. raising argument, where as the ecological theory focal points on nature side of the argument. In Piaget ‘s theory, he gives parents a guideline for development and assessors a method of mensurating a kid ‘s rate of development ; where as Erickson ‘s theory seems to be excessively stiff to happen an apprehension of development and what is really typical. Although Piaget has a method of mensurating the rate of development, he relies on the thought of ‘maturation. ‘ Piaget is stating that kids will develop deeper believing ability. He relies on the thought of ripening because if they do non win in a phase, ripening will non happen, although ripening can go on long after birth every bit good. We all have certain familial development that is programmed the manner we develop, an illustration of this is we can command our organic structure size, but besides genetically predetermined organic structure form. Sequences like altering organic structure size, form, musculuss, and castanetss are portion of a: specific familial information passed on at the minute of construct. Erickson though believed that people continue to develop and alter throughout life and single experience is of import, and merely works if the person has thought of self-concept. Erikson ‘s theory of psychoanalytic attack has eight psychosocial phases, which were developed on Freud ‘s ( ) theory. Erickson was more based on nature on emotional development unlike Piaget. The behavior is governed by the unconscious every bit good as witting procedure.

“ In its broadest sense, acquisition can be defined as a procedure of progressive alteration from ignorance to knowledge, from inability to competency, and from indifference to understanding… .” ( Fincher, C. 1957 )

Vygotsky, ( 1986 ) believed that it was grownups and the kid ‘s equals, which had the duty in sharing their greater corporate cognition with the younger coevalss. He did non believe it was possible for a kid to larn and to turn separately and the civilization and the environment around the kid played a large portion in their Cognitive Development. ( Flanagan 2001 P.72 ) . He besides believed a kid was unable to develop the manner he or she had without larning from others in the environment in which they were raised. In contrast, Piaget maintained that kids were of course speculative about their ain abilities and about their environment ( Jarvis, Chandler 2001 P.129 ) and that kids advanced their cognition because of biologically regulated cognitive alterations. ( Flanagan 2001 P.57 ) . Whereas, Piaget believed that a kid was merely possible of larning the procedures in each phase at any clip ( Flanagan 1999 P.60 ) and overlooked the function of the kid ‘s activity with relation to thought procedures. For Piaget, kids construct cognition through their actions on the universe. By contrast, Vygotsky ‘s phases, unlike Piaget ‘s, were that of a smooth and gradual procedure. That understanding is societal is origin. For Vygotsky the cultural and societal facets took on a particular importance that is much less symmetrical than Piaget ‘s theories. Both theoreticians provided structured attacks to larning with some entwining countries of focal point. The environment played a function in both but was non considered to be the chief contributing factor to acquisition. Vygotsky veered towards societal accomplishments where Piaget had a inclination to develop and explicate rational acquisition. Both have impacted on present twenty-four hours theories and doctrines of acquisition, with their political orientations impacting the course of study today and how acquisition is defined. Again both attacks are considered cardinal to how people learn and neither can be entirely dismissed or relied upon, but combined can give an insightful overview of the importance and assortment of how people learn and what a kid might larn separately is really typical because of the manner they are brought up to be developed.

The Ecological theory which focuses on the environmental influences on a kid ‘s development is centrally focused on the kid, and seems to be focused on nature, and take in all facets that influence development. Bronfenbrenners states that the most of import environment is the kid ‘s household. Piaget on the other manus believed we have a set clip in which to develop certain features, instead through raising than nature. Piaget believes that raising was a cardinal development in certain features, this is because he believes that physical and rational development is influenced by what ‘s around us instead than ‘who. ‘ Piaget besides emphasised how of import drama is as a development of acquisition, particularly in symbolic drama, like doing pies out of clay or different objects that surround them, that influence them to play imaginatively.

The ecological theory has different phases and facets that the environment has on the influence of kid ‘s development. These are the microsystems, the mesosystem, the exosystem, macrosystem and eventually the chronosystem. The microsystem is the closest factor of influence to the kid, such as the immediate environment that the kid lives in, and the educational scene for illustration school or baby’s room. This includes the kid holding immediate relationships with household members, health professionals, and staff at constitutions such as school or baby’s room. ‘The microsystem encompasses the relationships and interactions a kid has with their immediate milieus. ‘ ( Berk, 2000 ) . At this phase, Bronfenbrenner suggests that relationships have an impact on the kid. The primary health professional of the kid may bring down their beliefs and behavior on the kid, on the other manus the kid ‘s behavior could besides impact the health professionals ‘ behavior and beliefs, and it could be argued though that the behavior of the kid could be the influence of the immediate health professional. This concludes that the environment is a cardinal factor on act uponing kids, and could go on through coevalss, and society. The following phase is the mesosystem this is where the immediate relationships from the microsystem work together for the kid ‘s benefit. Family members, chiefly the primary attention givers take a dynamic function within the kid ‘s instruction and acquisition. This could be the bed that ‘provides the connexion between the constructions of the kid ‘s microsystem. ‘ ( Berk, 2000 ) . Berk, ( 2000 ) citation suggests that the kid ‘s place and school provide the connexion needed at this phase, another illustration could be once more between the kid ‘s place and church. The 3rd phase is the exosystem phase, ‘the constructions in this layer impact the kid ‘s development by interacting with some construction in her microsystem. ‘ ( Berk, 2000 ) . This is where the kid is connected to other household links for illustration the parent ‘s work topographic point, the community the live in, and extended household members and friends, yet non needfully holding direct engagement. When specifying this looking back at the microsystem phase about parent ‘s behavior influences their kid, if the parent is content with work so the kid should be content. The macrosystem, this phase takes into history for case the jurisprudence, cultural values, and economic system. This is besides where people, and links to the kid are really distant although still have a great influence over the kid, this can be in a positive or negative manner. The concluding phase is the chronosystem, this phase is about clip and how it relates to the kid ‘s development, internally or externally.

‘At the single degree of an ecological theoretical account, features of the kid such as disposition, behavior jobs, or the presence of a disablement may besides be risk factors. ‘ ( Sullivan & A ; Knutson, 1998 )

Today one point five million kids in Britain are capable to one or more types of maltreatment. The 1998 Human Rights Act states that all physical penalty is prohibited towards kids and this includes slapping. Child maltreatment can be non merely merely physical, but emotional, and sexual. Child maltreatment can be linked with Victoria Climbie . Victoria Climbie died from the maltreatment from her defenders Every Child Matters is a Government policy that was released after the decease of Victoria Climbie . Servicess such as the constabulary, societal services, the National Health Service, NSPCC and local churches, were all aware of the maltreatment taking topographic point by her defenders. However all of these services failed to take farther action, so she died at merely eight old ages old. The justice from the test described her decease as a ‘blinding incompetency. ‘ The study from the test stated one hundred and eight recommendations that were needed within child protection. This so resulted in the Government bring forthing the policy Every Child Matters, and besides in add-on the Children Act of 2004. The significance of Every Child Matters is a model to assist better the lives of kids, so kids do non see the agony that Victoria Climbie had, and the disregard from services, which should of helped her and non of neglected her. It was the Governments vision for sweetening of which professionals work together to supply kids ‘s attention. Though it could be suggested that Every Child Matters policy was merely enforced after the realization of the tragic fortunes, nevertheless there has been many other instances of kid maltreatment that has resulted in lay waste toing fortunes, so why now has the Government decided this is the right clip to implement a new policy, after many old ages of different kid maltreatment and neglect instances. The inquiry that needs to be asked is why enforce another new policy to do certain ‘Every Child Matters ‘ when there is already Child Protection Acts in topographic point that should of stopped any kid from non being protected in the first topographic point, or really is it services like the constabulary and societal services that need better consciousness of working with child maltreatment instances, and being cognizant of how to cover with them. Mohr & A ; Tulman ( 2000 ) province that kids ill-treatment is more likely to happen in households sing maternal hurt ( depression, physical symptoms ) , poorness, household emphasis, societal isolation, and parental history of physical maltreatment and bodily penalty as kids.

So looking at all the different theories, theorist point of position of how a kid develops, and what really is untypical and typical in respects to a kid ‘s development, the ecological theory seems to hold a greater apprehension in relation to child development. Therefore it seems to look at the environment around the kid in greater position. So it looks at the cardinal factors in different phases, which are centrally focused on the kid, followed by the household, and so forth. Bronfenbrenners ecological theory could supply intercession needed to halt kid maltreatment. It is clear the theory implies if the parent is happy the kid is happy which equals a happy environment. Bee, H and Boyd, D ( 2007 ) say that aggression and other antisocial behavior begins in early childhood, and so in the future tend to demo more serious, terrible aggression. So in order to forestall this through Bronfenbrenners ecological theory, it would necessitate to aim the phase where the job is get downing to go on, unless of class it is non the environmental influences doing the job. Rey ( 2001 ) advises that the parenting manner is the job. The NCH provinces that violent matrimonies each twelvemonth affect seven hundred and 50 1000 kids a twelvemonth, once more this could be a conducive factor, and learning the kids that it is all right to be violent. Cappell & A ; Heiner, ( 1990 ) , proclaims that abused kids become mistreating parents ; this seems to give the feeling if the abused kids are removed from the people mistreating them, and placed in an environment where they are non abused, they will hold a better life opportunity, and non go through the maltreatment on to farther coevalss. It could be assumed that kids will larn that being abused in anyhow emotionally, sexually or physical is what is typical and non untypical.

In decision there are many factors of the ecological theory that could forestall child maltreatment, nevertheless all different theories that are discussed seem to hold a logical account to how a kid develops and what is really untypical of a kid ‘s development, it seems that every individual in society is single and everyone including grownups every bit good as kids has some kind of untypical development and behavior. Therefore as society alterations what is really classed as untypical or typical alterations with society, and the coevalss from the household of the kid because of past experiences. So it could be concluded that a kid ‘s untypical or typical development is determined by what they have experienced in the environmental scenes they spend clip in, this backs up the theory of Bronfenbrenners ecological theory.


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hypertext transfer protocol: // ( Last Accessed: 1st December 2009 )



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