Life Transitions

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1 March 2016

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The mesosystem is the second structure within Bronfenbrenner’s social ecological model. Bowes & Hayes (1999) describe the mesosystem as the interrelationships between the indivuduals in the microsystem. There is direct collaboration between the individual and their relationships between their microsystem, their behaviors, expectations and values may differ with different experiences (Bowes, Grace & Hayes 2012). Regarding my life transition, the relationships between home and school within the microsystem became stressful, causing a negative impact on myself. Though when looking at figure 2, it is evident that after the stressors had ceased, a strong positive relationship occurred. This example highlights how a negative relationship between two aspects of the microsystem can dramatically change and become a powerful mesosytem agents to the individual effecting their development. Other indirect relationships that still effect the individual are seen in the exosystem.

Garbarino (1992) describes the exosystem as a setting in which the individual is not directly involved with, but still has an effect on them through the meso or microsystem. In terms of my life transition, the relationship with my father and his workplace from figure 1 does not affect me directly, though due to this my relationship with my father lessened throughout my transition to University for his working hours increased causing us to spend less time together.

The outer most relationships shown in figures 1 and 2 are known as the macrosystem. According to Bowes, Grace & Hayes (2012) the macro system is the broad societal or cultural contexts, cultural beliefs systems and values that are passed through our micro and mesosystems. An example of my personal transition is the government fundings for rural students to study away from home which allowed my financial transition to be much smoother. The last key structure to Bronfenbrenner’ social ecological model is known as the chronosystem. The chronosystem emphasizes the individuals changes or in any of the ecological contexts of development over time (Shaffer & Kipp 2006). An example of my personal transition that was undertaken was the sudden death of my father. It not only changed myself as an individual, but will continue to affect my across my life span.

Harms (2010) created another multidimensional approach within Bronfenbrenner’s model which takes the individuals inner world into consideration as well as their environment. Both Harms and Bronfenbrenner’s models display that though there are different dimensions of the models, they are both connected to each other in multiple ways. Gibsons theoretical framework is another example of a perspective in human development. Both Bronfenbrenner and Gibsons theories involved the concept of there being a strong relationship between the individual and their environment, both have aspects that are focused in change over time Tudge, Gray, & Hogan (1997). Developmental niche is another example of a model based upon different dimentions. Harkness & Super, (1994) define a developmental niche as two processes that are unique to an individual. It is based upon three basic components, the physical and social settings, culturally regulated customs and the psychology of the individual an example of a developmental niche would be the individual and their close friends as it was formed from mutual interests. In addition, the relationships between the structures of an individual’s microsystem can also impact in a similar way.

Furthermore when discussing individual development, the concepts of resilience and vulnerability must be seen as factors. In terms of my personal transition, I would haveoriginally been seen as vulnerable, though due to increasing protective factors such as new relationships being formed from my microsystem level, I then would have been deemed resilient as I was able to thrive and adapt to the new change (Miller, Osbahr, Boyd, Thomalla, Bharwani, Ziervogel,… & Nelson 2010).

Life transitions occur in individuals lives due to a psychological or environmental change in a particular time in their life. My personal transition that is being discussed was the move from highschool and my home town, to moving to Bendigo and commence University studies. Bronfenbrenners ecological model was used to demonstrate the changed faced in terms of Microsystems, Mesosystems, Exosystem and Macrosystems. There are many other contributing factors that influence an individual and their life changes, from other theories such as Harms model, as well as Gibsons, to the vulnerability or resilience of the individual. When taking all these aspects into my personal transition, it is clearly shown that my relationships, psychological state and environment have all ended as positive and thus becoming a positive transition.

Berry, J. O. (1995). Families and deinstitutionalization: An application of Bronfenbrenner’s social ecology model. Journal of Counseling & Development,73(4), 379-383. Bowes, J, M., Hayes, A. (1999). Children, families and communities: contexts and consequences. Melbourne: Oxford University Press. Bowes, J., Grace, R,. & Hayes, A. (2012). The role of context in childrens development. Retrieved from:

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1999). Environments in developmental perspective: Theoretical and operational models. Measuring environment across the life span: Emerging methods and concepts, 3-28. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1997). Ecological models of human development. Readings on the development of children, 1993, 37-43. Garbarino, J. (1992). Children and families in the social environment (2nd ed.). New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Harkness, S., & Super, C. M. (1994). The developmental niche: A theoretical framework for analyzing the household production of health. Social science & medicine, 38(2), 217-226. Harms, L (2010) Understanding human development: a multidimensional approach. Oxford University Press. Miller, F., Osbahr, H., Boyd, E., Thomalla, F., Bharwani, S., Ziervogel, G., … & Nelson, D. (2010). Resilience and vulnerability: complementary or conflicting concepts?. Ecology & society, 15(3).

Rosa, E. M., & Tudge, J. (2013). Urie bronfenbrenner’s theory of human development: Its evolution from ecology to bioecology. Journal of Family Theory & Review, 5(4), 243-258. doi: Shaffer, D., & Kipp, K. (2006). Developmental psychology: Childhood and adolescence. Cengage Learning Swick, K. J., & Williams, R. D. (2006). An
analysis of Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological perspective for early childhood educators: Implications for working with families experiencing stress. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(5), 371-378.

Tudge, J., Gray, J., & Hogan, D. M. (1997). Ecological perspectives in human development: A comparison of Gibson and Bronfenbrenner. Comparisons in human development: Understanding time and context, 72-105.

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"Life Transitions" StudyScroll, 1 March 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). Life Transitions [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 28 March, 2023]

"Life Transitions" StudyScroll, Mar 1, 2016. Accessed Mar 28, 2023.

"Life Transitions" StudyScroll, Mar 1, 2016.

"Life Transitions" StudyScroll, 1-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 28-Mar-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). Life Transitions. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 28-Mar-2023]

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