Over the past decades, numerous scientists have carried out studies of the human development and forwarded countless theories supporting their findings. The contemporary world has witnessed greater developments and continued emphasis on the investigation of child development process. In the past century, innumerable theorists emerged proposing countless theories about this topic. However, among the myriad proposals, only a handful has received credible support from the scholarly community. Such theories remain critical in the sustained studies in this field. This write up explores a handful literature on this sensitive matter of human development. Emphasis is on the Biological mode with a focus on how its basic four systems influence a child's development, how each system in the model differs from one another and outside factors that impact on a child's growth. Furthermore, the examples given denote relationships and interactions of the four systems and how these relationships and interactions impact a child's life.
The Basic System for Bioecological Model of Human Development
Morris & Bronfennbrenner (2006), Bronfennbrenner (2005) and Dammon & Lerner (2006) explain the four basic biological model of human development. Reportedly, these are theoretical and empirical roots of a practical model. They focus on the role of the environment in shaping human development. The model used was an old model which focused and predicted the environmental model. Bronfennbrenner (2005) denotes that the model had four basic systems. These systems named as the microsystem, mesosystem, the exosystem and the macrosystem.
According to Paquette & Ryan (2006), these complex environmental layers describe a child's development. Each of the basic systems independently describes a section and a stage in the journey of development of a child. Bronfennbrenner (2005) denotes that these systems propose that a child's own personal environment has an influence on its development. Similarly, the interaction between and a mid the factors inherent in a child's growing environment, the immediate family, the community, and the child's social landscape is responsible for the definition and sustenance of the child's development.
Description of the Systems
According to Bronfennbrenner (2005), the microsystem is the model most adjacent to the child. It entails the association and the connections a child has with the adjacent surroundings. This environment constitutes factors that are familiar to the child such as the family, the school surroundings, and the neighborhood from where the child hails. The environment could be the child care's surrounding about which the child grows and develops. According to Paquette & Ryan (2006), the microsystem defines a relationship that impacts the child's growth in two distinct ways. It can develop a relationship a way from the child and towards the child.
The meyosystem is the second layer in the bioecological system. Bronfennbrenner (2005) denotes that the layer is responsible for establishing a connection between the components of the child's micro-system. There are numerous examples of this kind of a connection which includes a child's relationship himself and the teacher's time. Other examples include the connection the child has with his neighbor and the devout groups and many more (Bronfennbrenner ,2005).
The next layer is the exosystem basic system. According to Bronfennbrenner (2005), the layer is reputable for the definition of the larger social system inside which the child is unable to properly function. The structures in the exosystem influence the child's development through interaction with other structures within the macrosystem. Examples include community based family resources and the parent's workplace schedule. According to Bronfennbrenner (2005), a child in this level may not have a direct involvement but can hear the negative force associated with the interaction with its own system.
Bronfennbrenner (2005) denotes the macrosystem as the last layer in this system. It is outermost layer in the bioecological environment. This environment entails an assortment of cultural values, customs and laws. The effect of the larger system of the macrosystem denotes a cascading effect through out its interaction with other layers. An excellent application of the principle is the possibility of cultural values hat obligate roles to parents which in turn affects the parent's function. This way, the structure within the parent function is exposed to variety of influences.
Consequently, the way the parent deals with such infringements is within the child's micros system. This way, it is evident that a change in the macrosystem indirectly affects the change in the child's immediate environment. Paquette & Ryan (2006) describes another external system called the chronosystem. This system takes into consideration an aspect left out by the basic systems, the aspect of time. This feature gets involved either directly like the date of the child's parents demise and internal through ailments afflicting the child.
The Influence on a child's development
According to Oswalt (2008), the ecological systems theory is exceptional in illuminating how the totality of a child's ecosystem and the child as a person is responsible to the child’s growth and development. Oswalt (2008) denotes that the microsystem is the limited environment within which the child lives. Such surroundings imply the nearest relationship or the media that the child interacts with such as family members or caregivers, school or the day care they attend. Oswalt (2008) is indicative of how this initial primary environment interacts with the child affects his growth. Reportedly, the better these primary environments are the favorable the child develops. As well, at this elemental stage, a child will tend to react to things within the environment in similar manner as the people he observes within his environment. The child's temperament is critical in determining the type and level of influence derived from the surrounding people.
From the aforementioned literature, it is evident that family members, caregiver, the school and the neighbors form the components of the microsystem. According to Oswalt (2008), the quality of the influence posed by these components is significant in determining the quality of influence the child learns from them. A child usually learns from what she/he observes in the environment. The observed interactions between the components themselves and between herself and the components impact on her development. This is critical in determining the kind of bidirectional influence the observed events imparts to the child.
According to Oswalt (2008), the components of the mesosystem are the connection between the components of the child's environment like the relationship between a teacher and the parents. Oswalt (2008) denotes that a harmonious coexistence between these components is significant in determining the child's development quality. If the parent is constantly involving the child's educational activities, a positive direction in the bidirectional influences attributably positive. On the other hand, if the caregiver is least interested in the events of the child's life, the negative development could take course.
The kind of influence adopted at the exosystem level is dependent on the occurring events within the exosystem environment such as the caregiver losing his job or the child's parent receives a promotion and many more. Oswalt (208) denotes that negative events in the exosystem leads to negative influence in the child's development. While positive events like a promotion tends to reinforce the child's positive development. Consequently, the events of the macrosystem similarly influence a child's development despite their remoteness and lower chances of influence. A government policy on education may influence the child's perception of education. Depending on the direction that influence on the bidirectional influence, the resulting behavior could reinforce the child's personality or negate and dent the already established behavior, (Oswalt 2008).
How the Systems in the Model Differ From One Another
According to Morris & Bronfennbrenner (2006), the systems in the model differ from one another in numerous ways. For instance, microsystem is closely associated with the child's immediate environment. It describes the direct relationship between a child and the components of the immediate environment. It describes how the caregivers and the teacher directly influence the child's development, (Oswalt 2008). A critical look at the definitions of the succeeding stages discovers no model that closely describes this primary stage.
According to Morris & Bronfennbrenner (2006), the significance of the mesosystem lies in its uniqueness in influencing the minor's manners. Neither of the models takes into consideration the connection of the structures of the child's microsystem. While the microsystem model focuses on the direct child component interaction, the mesosystem is more interested in the interaction between the components of the microsystem model. While the microsystem is concerned with how the caregiver's relationship with the child affects the child's growth, Mesosystem is aggressively concerned how the connection between the teacher and the caregiver will affect the child's development, (Morris & Bronfennbrenner 2006).
Exosystem and macrosystem are a bit too external but their effects have indirect influence on the child's development. Paquette & Ryan (2006) noted that these two models share a common characteristic of indirect involvement with the child's development. A trouble within the external family members may affect the parent who is a component of the microsystem model. This impact on the parent will directly affect the positive development of a child. It is evident that the exosystem can only possibly influence the child's development through an indirect correlation. Similarly, societal virtues and communal practices may indirectly expose a caregiver to certain challenges. An excellent example is the obligatory government directive, requiring all children to undergo immunization. This external factor has an effect on the child's development.
Outside Factors that Impact on a Child's Development
Dammon & Lerner (2006) outlines the key factors in a child's development. They note the significance of that early age in the overall development of the infant over his entire life. They denote that the brain and principal biological developments takes place during the maiden year after birth. Moreover, the experiences a child undergoes through during the early stages influence his future health, education and economic involvements. According to Dammon & Lerner (2006), there are numerous external factors that tend to influence the direction of a child's development. For instance, improper speech and language development is dependent on the level of external exposure a child experiences during early growth.
Dammon & Lerner (2006) also added that inadequate stimulation, deficient motor skills, little awareness of significance of communication, reduced hearing and infrequent environmental changes combine to contribute to a child's improper speech. Moreover, exposure to numerous dissimilar languages and general ineffective components of mesosystem may deter proper development. Oswalt (2008) denotes that an excellent child development is chiefly dependent on the optimal performance of the development model.
According to Dammon & Lerner (2006), apart from the improper speech, other factors like parental influence, educational environment, health and social interactions all acts as external factors to a child's growth. Parental influence entails the parents sociability while educational environment refers to ether the child receives his education at home or in an institution. Health issues may hinder timely education while social interaction will influence the extent of the learning process.
According to Paquette & Ryan (2006), parent's participation in a child's learning process is significant in achieving success in school. Presence of male and female leading figures in the family acts as role model to the children. Paquette & Ryan (2006) blames the present prevalent social ills on the unstable family unions. As the child grows, he learns from the immediate environment, the micros system. From the aforementioned literature, the significant figures for this model are the parental caregivers. Similarly, the community plays a chief role in a child's education. Paquette & Ryan (2006) notes that over the time, community has significantly played a forefront role in ensuring children attain optimal education and development.
Paquette & Ryan (2006) denotes certain factors as critical risk factors that affect the optimal development of a child especially in the developing countries. Such factors include acute malnutrition, lack of adequate learning opportunities, both formal and informal. Malnutrition affliction such as goiter, anemia and many more constantly influence the student's development. Paquette & Ryan (2006) observes that infants needs protection from such activities that lead to negative development. Caregivers and parents similarly need to be advised to challenge and fight these treacherous activities.
The Systems’ Relationships and Interactions
Examples of relationship and interactions between microsystems include the advices the child receives from a parent and other caregivers and how he/she reacts to them depending on his/her temperament, (Oswalt 2008). According to Oswalt (2008), the child's biological system determines the level of attention he receives from immediate components of the microsystem model. Another example is the development of personality traits by the child. The interaction between the advices he receives from the caregivers and the child's own biological characters tend to build the child's personality traits.
A t the mesosystem level, the interaction is in between the components of microsystem which in turn affects the child's development. A teacher who constantly guides the child through exercise will influence the child positively. Similarly, a parent who follows the academic performances of the child and persistently offer guidance to the child motivates the child to like education. Interactions between the components are evident when the teacher and the parent combine to assist the child in solving academic and non academic problems (Oswalt 2008).
At the exosystem level, actions of his extended family aimed at assisting the child with education is an excellent example. At the macrosystem level, the community may insist on certain values that compel parents to instill similar behavior on their children. The interaction between the two is a case where the government through the community leaders imposes certain directives and policies.
The Impact of the Relationships and Interactions on a Child's Development
Overall, interactions and relationships between these models have effect on the child's multi directional influence scale. Morris & Bronfennbrenner (2006) denotes that certain relationships as aforementioned would positively influence the child's development. Improve his view of life and faith in himself and his abilities. On the other hand, certain actions would negate their psychological development. Inappropriate interaction of the macrosystem would result in children with low self esteem and constantly angry with life.
The biological model of human development is a fascinating story. Uril Bronfennbrenner studies increasingly added to the development of the bioecological model of human development. This study has explored pieces of literature on this sensitive matter of human development. The discussion laid much emphasis on the bioecological model with a focus on how its basic systems has influence children's development, how each system in the model differs from one another and outside factors that impact on a child's growth. Lastly, the worked has discussed the significance of the study citing practical example. The bioecological model is interesting and should be read by many for topic of human development remains key in finding more solutions to the present global issues.