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The Ecology of the Family Essay

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Updated: Mar 31st, 2019

The article “The Ecology of the Family” discusses the development of a child in relation to its psychology and social orientation. Prior to the last two decades, the child’s development had always been put under scrutiny. The approach that societies and authorities have been using to analyze child development has been primarily focused on the psychology of the child.

It was considered the main contributing factor to the outcome of child development. This method of study has been progressively viewed as narrow and too concentrated for research purposes. In the last twenty years of study, child development has metamorphosed into a broad field where a child is seen to be developing under influence of a broad spectrum of environmental factors.

Development is now considered to be affected by institutions such as marriage, the state of family cohesiveness, and the broader community in which the family is incorporated. The community may include other institutions such as schools, churches and people who interact with the child in these places. This social approach coupled with the concentrated psychological approach, creates a comprehensive scheme which is the ecological approach.

Article Critique

The article mainly discusses the changes that the study of development of a child has undergone. The research of the author shows a bidirectional relationship between a child and the developmental ecology, and avoids one way perspective. It shows that a child has an effect on its ecology.

The author articulates evidence that favors a combined social and psychological study for more accurate results. A fair argument in the article is that studying psychological state of a child alone may not be adequate, and may present inaccurate enumeration of all factors involved in development of an individual. The article in question explores the role of the family and the community in which the family thrives in a child’s development.

However, the article fails to examine the cardinal role that schools and other institutions play in an individual’s development. The said peripheral institutions constitute the larger part of a child’s environment. Apart from the very initial stages of development, the family may not play a significant role in the ecology of a child especially in later stages, and only acts as a governing factor which determines the exterior environment to which the child is exposed.

The education system to which an individual is subjected to has be studied at length in order for one to get the true picture of a child’s ecology. The article fails to adequately explain the role of the education system in the developmental ecology. Detail such as a child’s circle of friends, relationship with teachers, and attitude towards education are not thoroughly explored.

The education structure which defines the material that is availed to the child in school has not been explicitly investigated. Involvement of teachers and other professional personnel who affect growth of a child has also not been adequately investigated.

The author of the article dwells primarily on the involvement of parents in academic development of a child, and this seems to relate more closely to family than to school and education. The article explores the effect of psychological state and social environment on child development, but does not exhaust the details of all components of development ecology. Otherwise, the article successfully pushes the main agenda through.

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"The Ecology of the Family." IvyPanda, 31 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/the-ecology-of-the-family/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Ecology of the Family." March 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-ecology-of-the-family/.


IvyPanda. "The Ecology of the Family." March 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-ecology-of-the-family/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Ecology of the Family." March 31, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-ecology-of-the-family/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Ecology of the Family'. 31 March.

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