Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 January 1985

Volume 10 Issue 1-2

Observations on the Themes of IYY '85 – from a social ecological perspective

Lloyd Owen

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Lloyd Owen

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The writer has come to share with other recent contributors to this journal, a liking for social ecological approaches to human development and the problems besetting individuals along the way. Like them, he has been attracted to the work of Bronfenbrenner and Garbarino as it seems to reflect in an explanatory way, the variety and complexity of influences, effecting outcomes encountered in practice with adolescents and their habitats. Bronfenbrenner points out the importance of considering development of the individual in a context and proposed a series of systems surrounding the developing person-micro, meso, exo and macro-systems – in which decisions are taken; events occur; and quality varies according to their composition; all impacting on the development of the individual. Garbarino extends this thinking to include concepts of sociocultural risk and opportunity. Using such approaches it becomes possible to consider the way in which young people develop through participating in a social environment. The nature of their interaction with kin, peers, significant others and the organisations and institutions around them is also worthy of study from the point of view of maximising peaceful human relations at both the micro and macro level.

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