Bronfenbrenner Ecological Theory

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Jane is suffering from depression as the result of Simon’s death and is struggling with most of her daily activities. Death as a stressor has affected the whole family. The impact of death on the family system creates a structural void that requires homeostatic adjustments. Jane’s depression is classed as a mental illness (Falkov, Mayes, and Diggins 1996). This does not necessarily have an adverse impact on her children’s care and developmental needs. However where a parent has enduring and or severe mental ill-health, children in the household are more likely to be at risk of or experiencing significant harm. A child at risk of significant harm or whose wellbeing is affected could be a child who has caring responsibilities inappropriate to…show more content…
An ecological theory first proposed by Bronfenbrenner (1979), provides a framework for understanding the dynamic ways children’s contexts, influences their development and gives us a mandate for supporting the provision of nurturing and responsive care. Bronfenbrenner (1979) as cited in works done by Skinner (2012, p2), states the “ecological environment is conceived as a set of nested structures each inside the next like a set of Russian dolls” (Bronfenbrenner, 1979). This ecological systems theory was developed by Bronfenbrenner (1979) in the hope that it would explain how “everything in a child and the child’s environment effects how a child grows and develops” (Bronfenbrenner 1979 cited in Skinner (2012, p4). Jane’s depression and the deteriorating relationship with her children are now starting to show in Thomas’s and Olivia’s behaviour. Within this structure are five layers arranged from the closest to the farthest individual: the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem these systems have continuing impacts on an individual’s development (Bronfenbrenner, 1994 cited in Skinner 2012, p3). The child is at the heart of the ecological systems model. Each developing child is recognised as a unique individual with his or her own biological and maturational characteristics (such as temperament and developmental level) that are influenced to a large extent by their genetic heritage (Elder, 1998). The wellbeing of Jane and her children are at the core of this therapy. The most important influences on children’s development are the immediate events, interactions and relationships with which they have direct contact. However Bronfenbrenner (1994) cited in works done by (Skinner 2012, p3) suggest that the “focus upon development particularly in children makes application of ecological systems theory to adults somewhat more difficult than might otherwise occur” Kulik, & Rayyan,

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