Ecological Theory

Whether you are an expecting parent or your children have grown to adulthood, there are always developing or life lessons to pass on to your children. As a parent, you are there to mentor, teach and nurture. How you plan on doing this or how you already do, involves a combination of your upbringing, your beliefs, and the research and information available to you. There are a number of differing theories when it comes to child development. Choosing your parenting style should involve a number of these theories but it should be true, and in the best interest, to you and your child.

What Is The Ecological Theory?

The Ecological Theory, also called Development in Context or Human Ecology Theory, is an approach involving different environments and differing influences between these environments and your child. The Ecological Theory has had a Young girl reading a book.number of influences itself, but theorists regard Urie Bronfenbrenner as the father of The Ecological Theory. His work has greatly influenced the way psychologists and other professionals approach the study of people in certain environments. Bronfenbrenner dissected development into 5 systems of environment.These 5 systems incorporate all aspects of a child’s development from their environment at home to their social setting. He explores how each system affects their upbringing and how they are related to each other. This is extremely useful information, as understanding this theory will ensure you have a full grasp on the development of your child.

Current Application To Child Development

With the growth of the internet and technology, understanding your child’s environment is tougher now than it has ever been. In addition to social settings, school and the home environment, your child now has an online profile for you to monitor. Your child now has individual access to a greater number of experiences and lessons that will shape their development. As scary as that may sound, it is not necessarily a bad thing.

Just as there are negative influences on the internet, there are as many positives. Ensuring your child is successful in the online environment, will require them to be healthy and succeeding in their other environments. Bronfenbrenner believed that the relationships between environments was very important for the development of a child. If a child has positive experiences in their environmental foundation, they will succeed in new environments. If you can understand Bronfenbrenner’s theory and how it applies to your child, you will be able to mold your child’s environments for positive development.


The Ecological Theory is essentially a framework for the development of a child. It explains how environments and situations affect the upbringing of a child. Therefore, the negatives to this theory are purely hypothetical. Meaning, criticisms are Woman and daughter looking at a laptop.founded in opposing values. Because of its hypothetical context, it may not be the most important theory to learn as a young parent. It is also a difficult theory to fully master. There are a lot of environments and how they relate to each other can be complex. Relating those theories and contexts to your child can be difficult as well. However, the practical usefulness of understanding this theory cannot be underestimated. Understanding your child’s environment will ensure you have a knowledgeable grasp of their development. Providing the best environment to nurture their development will result in a happy and fulfilling relationship.