Erickson's Psychological Theory and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory

Discussion of both the theories

The two selected theories that have been selected for contrasting and comparing are Erickson's Psychological Theory and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory. Now in order to compare and contrast over both the theories it is important to make sure that both of these theories are properly described and analyzed.

Erickson's Psychological Theory discusses the emotional bond and connection that individuals can develop for another individual between the space of time. The theory states that the attachment may not be reciprocal in nature which means it can be that the attachment that one individual has with another may not be the other way round. Trust can be understood by a child's behavior such as the behavior of the child to approach the attached individual in times of threat and sadness. On the other hand attachment of adult individuals toward their child is to respond to the needs of the child in an effective manner. The Erickson's Psychological Theory shows and evaluates the parent child relationship and the development it has in the psychosocial growth of Individuals. The following theory was developed by Erik Ericson while he was working as a psychiatrist in the US. There he experiences and identifies the importance of a child's relationship with their parents and how it helps in their social, emotional and cognitive development (Dunkel & Harbke, 2017).  This led to the development of Erickson's Psychological Theory in which he defined 8 stages of psychological development which was focused on lasting  psychological connectedness between human beings and the psychic. He also identified the stages 1known as the stage of Hope, Trust and Mistrust.

Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory provides a framework that focuses on how a child’s development is affected by the social relationships and work that is around them.  The Ecological system theory was a theory developed by Urie Bronfenbrenner. He believed that human psychological development was affected by the surroundings and social relationships that the following has and for the purpose he identified 5 different levels of environment that affect a child's psychological development which were microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem, the macrosystem, and the chronosystem (Perron, 2017). Microsystem is the environment in which the closest person to a child is having an effect on the child, Mesosystem is the environment in which people of schools tuition and friends are affecting the child.  Exosystem is an environment in which the active role of external factors such as an increase in dads salary affects the child. Macrosystem is a level in which the affected by the overall factors such as the thing happening in the apartment and others. Chronosystem is the factor that affects the child and is related to socio-historical events that have an emotional as well as psychological effect over the following.

Similarities between both the theories

The similarities in between the theories that have been mentioned above is as follows:

  1. Focus of human psychology:  In both Erickson's Psychological Theory and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory there has been focus on the development of human psychology that is affected by different factors at different stages. Both theories have discussed social, emotional and cognitive development as well as how external factors affect the following. It is important to consider that Erickson's Psychological Theory has shown the different stages of child attachment development and behavior the following shows within the span of time. On the other hand Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory has shown how a child is affected by different social and environmental factors that lead to the development of the individual’s social, emotional and cognitive behavior. This shows that both of the theories have shown how social, emotional and cognitive behavior of individuals have been affected by the external and internal factors that lead to the development of the behavior in the future.  It is important to understand that through the help of these theories the basic human psychological development can be understood and elaborated to further evaluate how it affects their future behavior and behavioral patterns. Hence this is a major similarity that can be identified between Erickson's Psychological Theory and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory (Burns, Warmbold-Brann & Zaslofsky, (2015).
  2. Discussion on parent child relationship: Now in both Erickson's Psychological Theory and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory there has been discussion and analysis over the parent child relationship. Parent Child relationships that exist between parent and child have a huge role in the psychological development of the following. Hence it can be seen that in both Erickson's Psychological Theory and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory there has been mention of the parent child relationship and its impact on the child's social, emotional and cognitive development.  In Erickson's Psychological Theory the relationship between the infant and the parent is described showing the cognitive behavior of trust and mistrust that exist in the baby and the parent. On the other hand in Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory the Microsystem resembles the closest thing to the child which is their parent and describes that they are the ones that have the highest impact over the child's social, emotional and cognitive development.

Differences between both the theories

There also some dissimilarity or difference between these two theories that are Erickson's Psychological Theory (Stage 1) and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory and they are as follows:

  1. Application: Now looking at where these theories apply it can be said that both Erickson's Psychological Theory (Stage 1) and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory apply in different contexts.  This is because Erickson's Psychological Theory (Stage 1) applies the concept of hope, trust and mistrust in the context of an infant child whereas Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory applies to people of all agree be it an infant, child, teenage or an adult.  Although it can be said that Erickson's Psychological Theory is a very large theory, Stage 1 of the theory applies to only infant on their behavior and perspective of how they trust and mistrust individuals as a part of their cognitive decision making (Knight, 2017). On the other hand Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory has made discussion related to different environments and how it affects a child in his social, emotional and cognitive development. The theory has also highlighted how these factors affect people of all ages in their development of social, emotional and cognitive behaviour. Hence this is the major difference that exists between these two theories.
  2. Views:  Now the views that the authors have in Erickson's Psychological Theory (Stage 1) and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems are different to one another. This is because Erickson's Psychological Theory (Stage 1) has views over the attachment that infants have with their parents and other individuals showing how it affects their cognitive decision making of trusting and not trusting on them in case of any requirement or need. On the other hand Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems theory have discussed his theory in which his views of how an individual's social, emotional and cognitive development is affected by the external factors and surroundings is displayed (Eriksson, Ghazinour & Hammarström, 2018).  This theory has discussed different environmental factors on different levels that affect the psychology of an infant, child, teeenager or an adult. Hence the views being psychological in both Erickson's Psychological Theory (Stage 1) and Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems theory the views that both the theories put forward are different from one another. 
     

Reference

 

Burns, M. K., Warmbold-Brann, K., & Zaslofsky, A. F. (2015). Ecological systems theory in school psychology review. School Psychology Review, 44(3), 249-261.

Dunkel, C. S., & Harbke, C. (2017). A review of measures of Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development: Evidence for a general factor. Journal of Adult Development, 24(1), 58-76.

Eriksson, M., Ghazinour, M., & Hammarström, A. (2018). Different uses of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory in public mental health research: what is their value for guiding public mental health policy and practice?. Social Theory & Health, 16(4), 414-433.

Knight, Z. G. (2017). A proposed model of psychodynamic psychotherapy linked to Erik Erikson's eight stages of psychosocial development. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy, 24(5), 1047-1058.

Perron, N. C. (2017). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory. College student development: Applying theory to practice on the diverse campus, 197.

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