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PSY FPX 6020 Assessment 1 Bronfenbrenner’s Theory on Development


Capella University

PSY FPX 6020 Advocacy in Child and Adolescent Development

Prof. Name


Understanding Bronfenbrenner’s Theory

Understanding the stages of child and adolescent development, along with their susceptibility to environmental influences, is essential for developmental psychologists. This discussion explores Bronfenbrenner’s theoretical framework, its application in personal life, and examines the pressures and challenges faced by teenagers. Additionally, it delves into the strengths and weaknesses of Bronfenbrenner’s theory in understanding the development of children and teenagers.

Bioecological Theory in Practice

Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory serves as a tool to assess community resilience to natural disasters, prioritize interventions, and evaluate outcomes (Boon et al., 2012). Boon et al. (2012) emphasize resilience as both a trait and a process, highlighting the systematic examination of resilience concepts. The theory aids in modeling and measuring resilience across various scales, thus supporting resilience studies. Shelton (2018) discusses the macro-level components of the ecosystem, noting commonalities across settings within broader environments, often referred to as “society” or “culture.” Additionally, a chronological system accounts for environmental changes in a child’s life, such as divorce or relocation without parents.

PSY FPX 6020 Assessment 1 Bronfenbrenner’s Theory on Development

Understanding Bronfenbrenner’s Theory

Bronfenbrenner’s theory posits that the learning environment comprises interconnected systems and sub-systems influencing adolescents’ development (Lau & Ng, 2014). The environmental subsystems include the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. The microsystem, emphasizing the individual’s lived experience, plays a pivotal role (Lau & Ng, 2014). Bronfenbrenner (1979) underscores that meaningful elements within the environment significantly impact individuals. Interactions between various environments, including those beyond the immediate family, shape a child’s development (Shelton, 2018).

Applications of Bronfenbrenner’s Theory Today

Bronfenbrenner’s theory remains relevant in understanding and addressing contemporary challenges faced by children and adolescents. Issues such as bullying, peer victimization, and the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affect their lives. Psychologists employ Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory to assess mental, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral health, particularly amidst crises (Eriksson et al., 2018). The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates mental health concerns, affecting family dynamics and children’s well-being (Prime et al., 2020). Family systems theory highlights the interdependence of family members, where stresses on one member affect the entire family (Prime et al., 2020).


Bronfenbrenner’s theory offers insights into navigating contemporary challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The proximal processes emphasized by the theory, including changes in caregiver-child interactions, underscore its relevance. The pandemic’s multifaceted impact on families and children highlights the need for ecological perspectives in understanding and addressing these challenges.


Boon, H. J., Cottrell, A., King, D., Stevenson, R. B., & Millar, J. (2012). Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological theory for modeling community resilience to natural disasters. Natural Hazards, 60(2), 381-408.

Eriksson, M., Ghazinour, M., & Hammarstrom, A. (2018). Different Uses Of Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory In Public Mental Health Research: What Is Their Value For Guiding Public Mental Health Policy And Practice? Social Theory & Health, 414-433.

Lau, J., & Ng, K. (2014). Conceptualizing the Counseling Training Environment Using Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory. International Journal for Advancement of Counseling, 36(4), 423-439.

Prime, H., Wade, M., & Brown, D. T. (2020). Risk and resilience in family well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic. American Psychologist, 75(5), 631-643.

PSY FPX 6020 Assessment 1 Bronfenbrenner’s Theory on Development

Shelton, L. (2018). The Bronfenbrenner primer: A guide to develecology. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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