Urie Bronfenbrenner

By: Lauren VanDerKamp & Sienna Smedley

Background Information

  • Developmental psychologist
  • Taught at Cornell for over fifty years
  • Born in Moscow, Russia in 1917
  • Came to the United States at the age of 6
  • Received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in 1938
  • After receiving his doctorate he was inducted into the Army
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Description of Theory

Urie’s Ecological Systems Theory proposed that human development unfolds in a nested set of systems, involving cultural, social, economic, and political elements. These systems and their interactions can nurture development. Programs can play a major role in shaping these systems such as potentially promoting human health and well-being.

My interpretation of the Theory

1. The Micro System- The micro system's setting is the direct environment we have in our lives. Your family, friends, classmates, teachers, neighbors and other people who have a direct contact with you.

2. The Mesosystem- A example is, if a child is neglected by his parents, he may have a low chance of developing positive attitude towards his teachers.

3. The Exosystem- If a child is more attached to his father than his mother. If the father goes abroad to work for several months, there may be a conflict between the mother and the child's social relationship.

4. The Macrosystem- The macrosystem setting is the actual culture of an individual, For example ethnicity or race,

5. The Chronosystem- The chronosystem includes the transitions and shifts in one's lifespan, a example of this is how divorce, as a major life transition, may affect not only the couple's relationship but also their children's behavior.

Research & Awards

Bronfenbrenner also was well-known for his cross-cultural studies on families and their support systems and on human development and the status of children. His widely published contributions won him honors and awards both at home and abroad.


"Urie Bronfenbrenner, Father of Head Start Program and Pre-eminent 'human Ecologist,' Dies at Age 88 | Cornell Chronicle." Urie Bronfenbrenner, Father of Head Start Program and Pre-eminent 'human Ecologist,' Dies at Age 88 | Cornell Chronicle. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Mar. 2015.

"Ecological Systems Theory." The by Urie Bronfenbrenner. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Mar. 2015.

"Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research." Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research BCTR. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.