Child and family development forum and responses

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Last Edited By Patricia Berry on Jul 26, 2016 11:03 AM 

Children learn from interaction with others, and child-rearing techniques affect child development. The authoritative style is warm, consistent, and grants gradual autonomy. The authoritarian, often harsh, overbearing and grants no autonomy to the child. Permissive is warm, but makes no demands and is inconsistent. Uninvolved parenting lacks involvement or interest in the child at any stage of development. Depending upon the style of parenting, a child may or may not adjust well to outside influences. That being said I chose the Ecological Systems Theory or bioecological theory, (Bronfenbrenner) which centers on a child’s environment, interrelationships, and biology that shape a child’s development, and the environment affects the child and the child affects the environment (Berk, 2012, p. 27). The theory contains five systems, defined as:

  • The microsystem concerns relations between the child and the immediate environment;
  • The mesosystemconnections among immediate settings; 
  • The exosystem, social settings that affect but do not contain the child; 
  • The macrosystem, the values, laws, customs, and resources of the culture that affect activities and interactions at all inner layers; 
  • The chronosystem refers to the dynamic, ever-changing nature of the person’s environment (Berk, 2012, p. 27).

In my opinion, the two (most) important of the systems are the exosystem and mesosystem, the child is exposed to both formal groups (school, church, childcare center) and informal (the social systems of friends, neighbors and relatives) which also affects the parent and child relationship (Berk, 2012, p. 571). The macrosystem and chronosystem reflects challenges in today’s up-side-down world. The basic system or microsystem is the anchor of a child’s learning, attitude, and how they initially begin to form opinions, especially in respect to social tolerance. 

Advantage: Based upon the model of the Ecological Systems Theory, we assume that social tolerance and attitude, begins at home and therefore connects to outer-reaching elements. The model, if true, reflects (assumed positive experiences) going in line with what most school systems teach. If family members model positive social interaction and tolerance, the child is more likely to exhibit the same attitudes and understanding in public places. Children Live What They Learn (Canfield & Wells 1976).

The disadvantage of ‘teaching’ social tolerance to children under age 10 is in not recognizing that a child is/might be ill prepared to learn (at the pace desired by the school). If a child’s home environment is a cold or negative place, we see poor interaction that is (usually) mirrored outside the home. Within the model, I see it as an assumption that all children learn positivity at the same pace, thereby are prepared to learn tolerance accordingly.  A child, due to adverse conditions at home or neighborhood, may not be ready for changes, such as learning the school version of tolerance of others outside the immediate family (Huitt & Dawson, 2012). Having a negative influence at home and in the neighborhood can leave a child at a severe disadvantage, especially in learning to and becoming tolerant.  Lastly, as religion (being all but criminalized) in public schools, a child learning religious based tolerance at home faces a dilemma in school. Therefore, total and all-inclusive tolerance is incompatible across the model of the Ecological Systems Theory.


Berk, L. E.  (2012). Child Development, 9th Edition. Pearson Education.

Canfield, J. & Wells, H. C. (1976). 100 ways to enhance self-concept in the classroom: A handbook for teachers and patents. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Huitt, W. & Dawson, C. (2011, April). Social development: Why it is important and how to impact it. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from