Transgender students and the ecological perspective-

Contemporary Family Therapy. Despite current demands for transgender inclusive family therapy, family therapy training programs provide limited coursework on gender identity and inclusive practice. As a result, written resources are critical for family therapists wanting to provide inclusive services to transgender clients. In the interest of expanding available resources, this article uses an ecological framework to summarize research findings on the unique resiliency and difficulties experienced by transgender people. This was done in the interest of identifying implications for family therapy and distilling these implications into a collection of concrete suggestions for transgender inclusive family therapy practice.

Transgender students and the ecological perspective

Transgender students and the ecological perspective

Transgender students and the ecological perspective

Am Psychol. Seeking support: Transgender client experiences with mental health services. Transgender friendship experiences: Benefits and barriers of friendships across gender identity and sexual orientation. The bioecological theory of human development Trangsender change can be relatively passive a Transgendeg changes the environment simply by being in itto more active the ways in which the My sexual fantasies changes the environment are linked to his or her resource characteristics, whether Transgender students and the ecological perspective, mental, or emotionalto most stucents the extent to which the person changes the environment is linked, in part, to the desire and drive to do so, or force characteristics. Interacting systems in human development. Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework for human development was first introduced in the s as a conceptual model and became a theoretical model in the s. Oxford: Elsevier. ENW EndNote. Androgyny and need achievement in male and female psychiatric inpatients.

Adult smileys yahoo. THE LGBT COMMUNITY

In a sample of Supermodel me First, we need to differentiate between sex and gender. Historically, lesbians, gay men, bisexual individuals, and transgender people have not been understood and accepted as part of the normal spectrum of the human condition. However, in the Calgary case a judge has not issued Transgender students and the ecological perspective Continue Reading. Teacher perceptions and practices regarding school bullying prevention. The feelings of difference are persistent in early childhood Continue Reading. The majority of individuals affected by disorders of sex development do not face challenges related to sexual orientation and gender identity, although homosexuality, gender role nonconformity, and gender dysphoria defined as discomfort with the gender assigned to one at birth [see Chapter 2 ] are somewhat more prevalent among this population compared with the general population Cohen-Kettenis and Pfafflin, The member committee included experts from the fields of Transgender students and the ecological perspective health, biostatistics, clinical medicine, adolescent health and development, aging, parenting, behavioral sciences, HIV research, demography, racial and ethnic disparities, and health services research. It happened July 31, in Winnipeg. A time-line of transgender identities. Developmental implications of victimization of lesbian, gay and bisexual youths. Consequently, when someone breaks these gender-based. Some even engage in the.

Socio-ecological models were developed to further the understanding of the dynamic interrelations among various personal and environmental factors.

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Contemporary Family Therapy. Despite current demands for transgender inclusive family therapy, family therapy training programs provide limited coursework on gender identity and inclusive practice. As a result, written resources are critical for family therapists wanting to provide inclusive services to transgender clients. In the interest of expanding available resources, this article uses an ecological framework to summarize research findings on the unique resiliency and difficulties experienced by transgender people.

This was done in the interest of identifying implications for family therapy and distilling these implications into a collection of concrete suggestions for transgender inclusive family therapy practice. A conceptual model and a table of concrete suggestions are included at the end of the article.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest and there are no funding sources to note for this project. We did not seek approval from the Institutional Review Board of our university because we did not collect human subject data for this project. Skip to main content.

Advertisement Hide. Original Paper First Online: 17 September This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. Compliance with Ethical Standards Conflict of interest The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest and there are no funding sources to note for this project.

Addison, S. Expanding the therapy paradigm with queer couples: A relational intersectional lens. Family Process, 54 3 , — American counseling association competencies for counseling with transgender clients.

CrossRef Google Scholar. American Psychological Association. Report of the task force on gender identity and gender variance. Washington, DC: Author. Google Scholar. Guidelines for psychological practice with transgender and gender nonconforming people. American Psychologist, 70 , — Auldridge, A. Improving the lives of transgender older adults: Recommendations for policy and practice. Benson, K. Seeking support: Transgender client experiences with mental health services.

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Working with transgender youths and their families: Counselors and therapists as advocates for trans-affirmative school environments. Journal of Counselor Leadership and Advocacy, 2 1 , 51— Recommending transsexual clients for gender transition: A therapeutic tool for assessing readiness. Working toward family attunement: Family therapy with transgender and gender-nonconforming children and adolescents. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 40 1 , — Craig, S.

You can form a part of yourself online: The influence of new media on identity development and coming out for LGBTQ youth. Crenshaw, K. Demarginalizing the intersection of race and sex: A black feminist critique of antidiscrimination doctrine, feminist theory and antiracist politics.

University of Chicago Legal Forum, , — DeBord, K. Handbook of sexual orientation and gender diversity in counseling and psychotherapy. Non-prescribed hormone use and barriers to care for transgender women in San Francisco. LGBT Health, 2 4 , — Dhejne, C.

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Dispenza, F. Correlates of transgender and gender nonconforming counseling competencies among psychologists and mental health practitioners. Erich, S. Family relationship and their correlations with transsexual well-being. Frost, D. Social support networks among diverse sexual minority populations. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 86 1 , 91— Galupo, M. Transgender friendship experiences: Benefits and barriers of friendships across gender identity and sexual orientation.

Gamarel, K. Gender minority stress, mental health, and relationship quality: A dyadic investigation of transgender women and their cisgender male partners. Journal of Family Psychology, 28 4 , — Graham, L. Grant, J. Injustice at every turn: A report of the national transgender discrimination survey. Green-Hamann, S. An exploration of why people participate in second life social support groups.

Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 16 , — The influences of optimal matching and social capital on communicating support. Journal of Health Communication, 19 10 , — Transgender transitioning: The influence of virtual on physical identities. Electronic Journal of Communication. Grossman, A. Hill, D. Human Rights Campaign Finding insurance for transgender-related healthcare. James, S.

The report of the U. Washington: National Center for Transgender Equality. Kattari, S. Racial and ethnic differences in experiences of discrimination in accessing health services among transgender people in the United States. International Journal of Transgenderism, 16 2 , 68— Khobzi Rotondi, N. American Journal of Public Health, 10 , —

Inadequacy of Current Intervention Although the research literature indicates that LGBT youth feel greater support when they receive teacher encouragement and experience a positive school climate, existing school interventions may not be sufficient to assuage the effects of being bullied. Chapter 7 reviews the gaps in research on LGBT health, outlines a research agenda, and offers recommendations based on the committee's findings. Transgender discrimination has been on the rise for many years, causing. Unfortunately, such fear is well placed, as School Psychol. A life-course framework has four key dimensions:. Though this provides some useful insight regarding the number of transgender students on campuses nationally.

Transgender students and the ecological perspective

Transgender students and the ecological perspective. This guide is being restructured and updated during the Summer 2019 semester.

Some teachers and students may react negatively to the call for the protections of students, particularly LGBTQ youth, while teachers supportive of LGBTQ students remain stalwart in their beliefs. In this study, there were some interesting findings in comparing the responses of LGB and heterosexual teachers. In other words, their identification as a member of a minority population, one that has been traditionally victimized, affords them the insight that the conditions are not as good as they seem, although the school climate in regards to bullying victimization is not necessarily different for LGBTQ students and their heterosexual peers.

This implies that school leaders need to either increase the frequency or methods in which they communicate anti-bullying policies to the educational staff. A recent meta-analysis regarding the effectiveness of bullying prevention programs found that there is a dosage effect, meaning that schools that have a greater number of bullying prevention activities and employ them more frequently are more likely to reduce bullying [ 25 ].

A possible interpretation of this finding is that teachers may be supportive of efforts by states or schools to identify LGBTQ individuals as a group in need of protection from bullying. Several of the findings of this study warrant further attention. Likewise, it is possible that students who are generally unsupportive of policies or programs to provide protection to traditionally oppressed groups will seek subtle support from teachers who are like-minded.

When educators and school staff are not adequately trained to be allies to LGBTQ students, they are not prepared to respond to their needs. This lack of response likely communicates an implicit message of approval of the harassment of LGBTQ youth and contributions to an unsafe environment for such students. This project received funding from the Duquesne University Canevin Center Small Grants Program that enabled the timely analysis and dissemination of the results.

Jered B. Kolbert established the connection with the regional community LGBTQ mental health agency to initiate the study, developed the research questions, designed the methodology of the study, contributed to the development and refinement of the research survey, helped to interpret the analyses, and co-wrote the discussion, future research, and summary sections; Laura M.

Crothers wrote the grant to fund the analysis, writing, and dissemination of the research, developed the research questions, designed the methodology of the study, contributed to the development and refinement of the research survey, helped to interpret the analyses, co-wrote the discussion, future research, and summary sections, and edited the paper; Matthew J.

Bundick coached the latter authors in conducting the analyses, interpreting the findings, and in writing the results section; Daniel S. Wells developed the research questions, designed the methodology of the study, contributed to the development and refinement of the research survey, helped to interpret the analyses, co-wrote the results section of the manuscript, and formatted the paper to meet journal guidelines; Julie Buzgon developed the research questions, designed the methodology of the study, contributed to the development and refinement of the research survey, helped to interpret the analyses, and co-wrote the introduction section; Cassandra Berbary developed the research questions, designed the methodology of the study, contributed to the development and refinement of the research survey, helped to interpret the analyses, and wrote the methodology section; Jordan Simpson helped to interpret the analyses and co-wrote the introduction section; Kathryn Senko helped to interpret the analyses and co-wrote the results section.

National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Journal List Behav Sci Basel v. Behav Sci Basel. Published online May Kolbert , Laura M. Bundick , Daniel S. Steven Kirsh, Academic Editor. Author information Article notes Copyright and License information Disclaimer. Received Feb 15; Accepted May Introduction Although bullying has been described as a widespread problem among children and adolescents within schools e.

Intervention in Bullying of LGBT Youth by Teachers In a study surveying members of the National Education Association NEA , Bradshaw and colleagues found that teachers and educational support professionals felt the least comfortable intervening with bullying regarding sexual orientation in comparison to any other special population e.

Protective Effects of Teacher Intervention in Bullying of LGBT Youth Lending credence to this request, support by teachers and school staff has frequently been cited as a protective factor for sexual-minority youth. Inadequacy of Current Intervention Although the research literature indicates that LGBT youth feel greater support when they receive teacher encouragement and experience a positive school climate, existing school interventions may not be sufficient to assuage the effects of being bullied.

Methods 6. Measures At present, there is not an empirically-validated scale that measures the constructs investigated in the current study. Results 7. Table 1 Descriptive statistics of sample. Open in a separate window. Future Research Several of the findings of this study warrant further attention. Summary When educators and school staff are not adequately trained to be allies to LGBTQ students, they are not prepared to respond to their needs.

Author Contributions Jered B. Conflicts of Interest The authors declare no conflict of interest. References and Notes 1. Robers S. Kosciw J. Sherriff N. Developmental implications of victimization of lesbian, gay and bisexual youths. In: Herek G. Swearer S. A social-ecological framework of bullying among youth. In: Espelage D. Espelage D. A social-ecological model for bullying prevention and intervention: Understanding the impact of adults in the social ecology of youngsters.

In: Jimerson S. Bradshaw C. School Psychol. Norman J. Dublin City University; Dublin, Ireland: Browman D. Report says schools often ignore harassment of gay students. Hong J. Risk and protective factors for homophobic bullying in schools: An application of the social-ecological framework.

Goodenow C. School support groups, other school factors, and the safety of sexual minority adolescents. McGuire J. School climate for transgender youth: A mixed method investigation of student experiences and school responses.

Youth Adolesc. Alexander M. Effects of homophobic versus nonhomophobic victimization on school commitment and the moderating effect of teacher attitudes in Brazilian public schools. LGBT Youth. Dake J. Teacher perceptions and practices regarding school bullying prevention. School Health. Manfreda K. Web surveys versus other survey modes: A meta-analysis comparing response rates. Market Res. Deutskens E. Response rate and response quality of internet-based surveys: An experimental study.

Market Lett. Sax L. Assessing response rates and nonresponse bias in web and paper surveys. High Educ. Millar M. Improving response to web and mixed-mode surveys. Public Opin. McPeake J. Electronic surveys: How to maximise success. Nurse Res. Schlomer G. Best practices for missing data management in counseling psychology.

Dalton S. Bullying experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students in a southwestern Pennsylvania county. While the experience of stigma can differ across sexual and gender minorities, stigmatization touches the lives of all these groups in important ways and thereby affects their health.

In contrast to members of many other marginalized groups, LGBT individuals frequently are invisible to health care researchers and providers. As explained in later chapters, this invisibility often exacerbates the deleterious effects of stigma. Overcoming this invisibility in health care services and research settings is a critical goal if we hope to eliminate the health disparities discussed throughout this report.

It is important to note that, despite the common experience of stigma among members of sexual- and gender-minority groups, LGBT people have not been passive victims of discrimination and prejudice. The achievements of LGBT people over the past few decades in building a community infrastructure that addresses their health needs, as well as obtaining acknowledgment of their health concerns from scientific bodies and government entities, attest to their commitment to resisting stigma and working actively for equal treatment in all aspects of their lives, including having access to appropriate health care services and reducing health care disparities.

Indeed, some of the research cited in this report demonstrates the impressive psychological resiliency displayed by members of these populations, often in the face of considerable stress. As detailed throughout this report, the stigma directed at sexual and gender minorities in the contemporary United States creates a variety of challenges for researchers and health care providers. Fearing discrimination and prejudice, for example, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people refrain from disclosing their sexual orientation or gender identity to researchers and health care providers.

Regardless of their own sexual orientation or gender identity, moreover, researchers risk being marginalized or discredited simply because they have chosen to study LGBT issues Kempner, , and providers seldom receive training in specific issues related to the care of LGBT patients. In addition, research on LGBT health involves some specific methodological challenges, which are discussed in Chapter 3. Not only are lesbians, gay men, bisexual women and men, and transgender people distinct populations, but each of these groups is itself a diverse population whose members vary widely in age, race and ethnicity, geographic location, social background, religiosity, and other demographic characteristics.

Since many of these variables are centrally related to health status, health concerns, and access to care, this report explicitly considers a few key subgroupings of the LGBT population in each chapter:. Although these areas represent critical dimensions of the experiences of LGBT individuals, the relationships of these variables to health care disparities and health status have not been extensively studied.

The member committee included experts from the fields of mental health, biostatistics, clinical medicine, adolescent health and development, aging, parenting, behavioral sciences, HIV research, demography, racial and ethnic disparities, and health services research. The committee's statement of task is shown in Box The study was supported entirely by NIH. Statement of Task. An IOM committee will conduct a review and prepare a report assessing the state of the science on the health status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT populations; identify research gaps and opportunities related to LGBT more The majority of individuals affected by disorders of sex development do not face challenges related to sexual orientation and gender identity, although homosexuality, gender role nonconformity, and gender dysphoria defined as discomfort with the gender assigned to one at birth [see Chapter 2 ] are somewhat more prevalent among this population compared with the general population Cohen-Kettenis and Pfafflin, The committee acknowledges that while very little research exists on the subject of intersexuality, it is a separate research topic encompassing critical issues, most of which are not related to LGBT issues, and hence is beyond the scope of this report.

In a similar vein, the committee decided not to address research and theory on the origins of sexual orientation. The committee's task was to review the state of science on the health status of LGBT populations, to identify gaps in knowledge, and to outline a research agenda in the area of LGBT health. The committee recognized that a thorough review of research and theory relevant to the factors that shape sexual orientation including sexual orientation identity, sexual behavior, and sexual desire or attraction would be a substantial task, one that would be largely distinct from the committee's main focus on LGBT health, and therefore beyond the scope of the committee's charge.

This study was informed by four public meetings that included 35 presentations see Appendix A. In addition, the committee conducted an extensive review of the literature using Medline, PsycInfo, and the Social Science Citation Index see Appendix B for a list of search terms , as well as other resources. The committee's approach to the literature is described below, followed by a discussion of the various frameworks applied in this study.

A brief note on the terminology used in this report is presented in Box A Note on Terminology. As discussed, the committee adopted the commonly used shorthand LGBT to stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

In cases in which the literature refers only to lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations, the term LGB appears more While acknowledging that peer-reviewed journals are the gold standard for the reporting of research results and making every effort to consult works published in major research journals, the committee chose to include in this study what it judged to be the best empirical literature available: journal articles, book chapters, empirical reports, and other data sources that had been critically reviewed by the committee members.

Recognizing that academic journals differ in their publication criteria and the rigor of their peer-review process, the committee gave the greatest weight to papers published in the most authoritative journals. Given that chapters, academic books, and technical reports typically are not subjected to the same peer-review standards as journal articles, the committee gave the greatest credence to such sources that reported research employing rigorous methods, were authored by well-established researchers, and were generally consistent with scholarly consensus on the current state of knowledge.

With respect to articles describing current health issues in the LGBT community, the committee attempted to limit its review to these articles published since In the area of transgender populations, however, much of the most current research was conducted prior to and is cited throughout the report. Likewise, in the case of history and theory, the committee reviewed and cites older literature. When evaluating quantitative and qualitative research, the committee considered factors affecting the generalizability of studies, including sample size, sample source, sample composition, recruitment methods, and response rate.

The committee also considered the study design, saturation the point at which new information ceases to emerge , and other relevant factors. In some cases, the committee decided that a study with sample limitations was important; in such cases, these limitations and limits on the extent to which the findings can be generalized are explicitly acknowledged. The inclusion of case studies was kept to a minimum given their limited generalizability.

Research on U. In cases in which no U. This was frequently the case for research involving transgender people. Only English-language articles were considered. The committee considered papers whose authors employed statistical methods for analyzing data, as well as qualitative research that did not include statistical analysis.

For papers that included statistical analysis, the committee evaluated whether the analysis was appropriate and conducted properly. For papers reporting qualitative research, the committee evaluated whether the data were appropriately analyzed and interpreted.

The committee does not present magnitudes of differences, which should be determined by consulting individual studies. In some cases, the committee used secondary sources such as reports. However, it always referred back to the original citations to evaluate the evidence.

In understanding the health of LGBT populations, multiple frameworks can be used to examine how multiple identities and structural arrangements intersect to influence health care access, health status, and health outcomes. This section provides an overview of each of the conceptual frameworks used for this study.

First, recognizing that there are a number of ways to present the information contained in this report, the committee found it helpful to apply a life-course perspective. A life-course perspective provides a useful framework for the above-noted varying health needs and experiences of an LGBT individual over the course of his or her life. Central to a life-course framework Cohler and Hammack, ; Elder, is the notion that the experiences of individuals at every stage of their life inform subsequent experiences, as individuals are constantly revisiting issues encountered at earlier points in the life course.

This interrelationship among experiences starts before birth and in fact, before conception. A life-course framework has four key dimensions:. From the perspective of LGBT populations, these four dimensions have particular salience because together they provide a framework for considering a range of issues that shape these individuals' experiences and their health disparities.

The committee relied on this framework and on recognized differences in age cohorts, such as those discussed earlier, in presenting information about the health status of LGBT populations. Along with a life-course framework, the committee drew on the minority stress model Brooks, ; Meyer, , a.

While this model was originally developed by Brooks for lesbians, Meyer expanded it to include gay men and subsequently applied it to lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals Meyer, b. This model originates in the premise that sexual minorities, like other minority groups, experience chronic stress arising from their stigmatization.

Within the context of an individual's environmental circumstances, Meyer conceptualizes distal and proximal stress processes. A distal process is an objective stressor that does not depend on an individual's perspective. In this model, actual experiences of discrimination and violence also referred to as enacted stigma are distal stress processes.

Proximal, or subjective, stress processes depend on an individual's perception. They include internalized homophobia a term referring to an individual's self-directed stigma, reflecting the adoption of society's negative attitudes about homosexuality and the application of them to oneself , perceived stigma which relates to the expectation that one will be rejected and discriminated against and leads to a state of continuous vigilance that can require considerable energy to maintain; it is also referred to as felt stigma , and concealment of one's sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Related to this taxonomy is the categorization of minority stress processes as both external enacted stigma and internal felt stigma, self-stigma Herek, ; Scambler and Hopkins, There is also supporting evidence for the validity of this model for transgender individuals. Some qualitative studies strongly suggest that stigma can negatively affect the mental health of transgender people Bockting et al. The minority stress model attributes the higher prevalence of anxiety, depression, and substance use found among LGB as compared with heterosexual populations to the additive stress resulting from nonconformity with prevailing sexual orientation and gender norms.

The committee's use of this framework is reflected in the discussion of stigma as a common experience for LGBT populations and, in the context of this study, one that affects health. An intersectional perspective is useful because it acknowledges simultaneous dimensions of inequality and focuses on understanding how they are interrelated and how they shape and influence one another.

Intersectionality encompasses a set of foundational claims and organizing principles for understanding social inequality and its relationship to individuals' marginalized status based on such dimensions as race, ethnicity, and social class Dill and Zambrana, ; Weber, These include the following:. Nevertheless, in a hierarchically organized society, some statuses become more important than others at any given historical moment and in specific geographic locations.

Race, ethnicity, class, and community context matter; they are all powerful determinants of access to social capital—the resources that improve educational, economic, and social position in society.

Thus, this framework reflects the committee's belief that the health status of LGBT individuals cannot be examined in terms of a one-dimensional sexual- or gender-minority category, but must be seen as shaped by their multiple identities and the simultaneous intersection of many characteristics.

Finally, the social ecology model McLeroy et al. This viewpoint is reflected in Healthy People In developing objectives to improve the health of all Americans, including LGBT individuals, Healthy People used an ecological approach that focused on both individual-and population-level determinants of health HHS, , With respect to LGBT health in particular, the social ecology model is helpful in conceptualizing that behavior both affects the social environment and, in turn, is affected by it.

A social ecological model has multiple levels, each of which influences the individual; beyond the individual, these may include families, relationships, community, and society. It is worth noting that for LGBT people, stigma can and does take place at all of these levels.

The committee found this framework useful in thinking about the effects of environment on an individual's health, as well as ways in which to structure health interventions. Each of the above four frameworks provides conceptual tools that can help increase our understanding of health status, health needs, and health disparities in LGBT populations. Each complements the others to yield a more comprehensive approach to understanding lived experiences and their impact on LGBT health.

The life-course perspective focuses on development between and within age cohorts, conceptualized within a historical context. Sexual minority stress theory examines individuals within a social and community context and emphasizes the impact of stigma on lived experiences.

Intersectionality brings attention to the importance of multiple stigmatized identities race, ethnicity, and low socioeconomic status and to the ways in which these factors adversely affect health. The social ecology perspective emphasizes the influences on individuals' lives, including social ties and societal factors, and how these influences affect health. The chapters that follow draw on all these conceptualizations in an effort to provide a comprehensive overview of what is known, as well as to identify the knowledge gaps.

This report is organized into seven chapters. Chapter 3 addresses the topic of conducting research on the health of LGBT people.

Specifically, it reviews the major challenges associated with the conduct of research with LGBT populations, presents some commonly used research methods, provides information about available data sources, and comments on best practices for conducting research on the health of LGBT people.

As noted, in preparing this report, the committee found it helpful to discuss health issues within a life-course framework.

Each of these chapters addresses the following by age cohort: the development of sexual orientation and gender identity, mental and physical health status, risk and protective factors, health services, and contextual influences affecting LGBT health. Chapter 7 reviews the gaps in research on LGBT health, outlines a research agenda, and offers recommendations based on the committee's findings. Therefore, health encompasses multiple dimensions including physical, emotional, and social well-being and quality of life.

Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. Commonalities Among LGBT Populations What do lesbians, gay men, bisexual women and men, and transgender people have in common that makes them, as a combined population, an appropriate focus for this report? Differences Within LGBT Populations Not only are lesbians, gay men, bisexual women and men, and transgender people distinct populations, but each of these groups is itself a diverse population whose members vary widely in age, race and ethnicity, geographic location, social background, religiosity, and other demographic characteristics.

Since many of these variables are centrally related to health status, health concerns, and access to care, this report explicitly considers a few key subgroupings of the LGBT population in each chapter: Age cohort —One's age influences one's experiences and needs. Bisexual adolescents who are wrestling with coming out in a nonsupportive environment have different health needs than gay adult men who lack access to health insurance or older lesbians who are unable to find appropriate grief counseling services.

In addition, development does not follow the same course for people of all ages. Similarly, as discussed further below, experiences across the life course differ according to the time period in which individuals are born. For example, an adolescent coming out in would do so in a different environment than an adolescent coming out in the s. Moreover, some people experience changes in their sexual attractions and relationships over the course of their life.

Socio-ecological models were developed to further the understanding of the dynamic interrelations among various personal and environmental factors. Socioecological models were introduced to urban studies by sociologists associated with the Chicago School after the First World War as a reaction to the narrow scope of most research conducted by developmental psychologists. These models bridge the gap between behavioral theories that focus on small settings and anthropological theories.

Introduced as a conceptual model in the s, formalized as a theory in the s, and continually revised by Bronfenbrenner until his death in , Urie Bronfenbrenner 's Ecological Framework for Human Development applies socioecological models to human development.

In his initial theory, Bronfenbrenner postulated that in order to understand human development, the entire ecological system in which growth occurs needs to be taken into account. In subsequent revisions, Bronfenbrenner acknowledged the relevance of biological and genetic aspects of the person in human development.

Other broader social, political and economic conditions exosystem influence the structure and availability of microsystems and the manner in which they affect the child.

Finally, social, political, and economic conditions are themselves influenced by the general beliefs and attitudes macrosystems shared by members of the society. A system can be defined as a comparatively bounded structure consisting of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements that form a whole.

Thus, systems thinking, which is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole, is central to ecological models. Generally, a system is a community situated within an environment. Examples of systems are health systems, education systems, food systems, and economic systems. Drawing from natural ecosystems which are defined as the network of interactions among organisms and between organisms and their environment, social ecology is a framework or set of theoretical principles for understanding the dynamic interrelations among various personal and environmental factors.

This perspective emphasizes the multiple dimensions example: physical environment, social and cultural environment, personal attributes , multiple levels example: individuals, groups, organizations , and complexity of human situations example: cumulative impact of events over time. Individuals are key agents in ecological systems. From an ecological perspective, the individual is both a postulate a basic entity whose existence is taken for granted and a unit of measurement.

As a postulate, an individual has several characteristics. Second, he is interdependent with other humans; that is, is always part of a population and cannot exist otherwise. Third, he is time bound, or has a finite life cycle. Fourth, he has an innate tendency to preserve and expand life. Fifth, he has capacity for behavioral variability.

Ecological systems theory considers a child's development within the context of the systems of relationship that form his or her environment. Bronfenbrenner's ecological framework for human development was first introduced in the s as a conceptual model and became a theoretical model in the s.

Two distinct phases of the theory can be identified. Bronfenbrenner [9] stated that "it is useful to distinguish two periods: the first ending with the publication of the Ecology of Human Development , and the second characterized by a series of papers that called the original model into question.

The Bronfenbrenner ecological model examines human development by studying how human beings create the specific environments in which they live. In other words, human beings develop according to their environment; this can include society as a whole and the period in which they live, which will impact behavior and development. In his original theory, Bronfenbrenner postulated that in order to understand human development, the entire ecological system in which growth occurs needs to be taken into account.

This system is composed of five socially organized subsystems that support and guide human development. Each system depends on the contextual nature of the person's life and offers an evergrowing diversity of options and sources of growth. Furthermore, within and between each system are bi-directional influences.

These bi-directional influences imply that relationships have impact in two directions, both away from the individual and towards the individual. Because we potentially have access to these subsystems we are able to have more social knowledge, an increased set of possibilities for learning problem solving, and access to new dimensions of self-exploration.

The microsystem is the layer closest to the child and contains the structures with which the child has direct contact. The microsystem encompasses the relationships and interactions a child has with his or her immediate surroundings such as family, school, neighborhood, or childcare environments. However, interactions at outer levels can still impact the inner structures. This core environment stands as the child's venue for initially learning about the world. As the child's most intimate learning setting, it offers him or her a reference point for the world.

The microsystem may provide the nurturing centerpiece for the child or become a haunting set of memories. The caring relations between child and parents or other caregivers can help to influence a healthy personality. The mesosystem moves us beyond the dyad or two-party relation. The exosystem defines the larger social system in which the child does not directly function. The child may not be directly involved at this level, but they do feel the positive or negative force involved with the interaction with their own system.

The main exosystems that indirectly influence youth through their family include: school and peers, parents' workplace, family social networks and neighborhood community contexts, local politics and industry. Furthermore, absence from a system makes it no less powerful in a life. For example, many children realise the stress of their parent's workplaces without ever physically being in these places. The macrosystem is composed of cultural values, customs and laws.

Macrosystems can be used to describe the cultural or social context of various societal groups such as social classes, ethnic groups, or religious affiliates. The effects of larger principles defined by the macrosystem have a cascading influence throughout the interactions of all other layers. It may empower her life so that she, in turn, is more effective and caring with her newborn.

The chronosystem encompasses the dimension of time as it relates to a child's environment. Family dynamics need to be framed in the historical context as they occur within each system.

Bronfenbrenner [17] suggests that, in many cases, families respond to different stressors within the societal parameters existent in their lives. Bronfenbrenner's most significant departure from his original theory is the inclusion of processes of human development.

Processes, per Bronfenbrenner, explain the connection between some aspect of the context or some aspect of the individual and an outcome of interest. The full, revised theory deals with the interaction among processes, person, context and time, and is labeled the Process—Person—Context—Time model PPCT. Two interdependent propositions define the properties of the model.

Furthermore, contrary to the original model, the Process—Person—Context—Time model is more suitable for scientific investigation. Per Bronfenbrenner: [24]. Processes play a crucial role in development. Proximal processes are fundamental to the theory. They constitute the engines of development because it is by engaging in activities and interactions that individuals come to make sense of their world, understand their place in it, and both play their part in changing the prevailing order while fitting into the existing one.

Bronfenbrenner acknowledges here the relevance of biological and genetic aspects of the person. Demand characteristics are those that act as an immediate stimulus to another person, such as age, gender, skin color, and physical appearance.

These types of characteristics may influence initial interactions because of the expectations formed immediately. Resource characteristics are those that relate partly to mental and emotional resources such as past experiences, skills, and intelligence, and also to social and material resources access to good food, housing, caring parents, and educational opportunities appropriate to the needs of the particular society.

Finally, force characteristics are those that have to do with differences of temperament, motivation, and persistence. According to Bronfenbrenner, two children may have equal resource characteristics, but their developmental trajectories will be quite different if one is motivated to succeed and persists in tasks and the other is not motivated and does not persist.

As such, Bronfenbrenner provided a clearer view of individuals' roles in changing their context. The change can be relatively passive a person changes the environment simply by being in it , to more active the ways in which the person changes the environment are linked to his or her resource characteristics, whether physical, mental, or emotional , to most active the extent to which the person changes the environment is linked, in part, to the desire and drive to do so, or force characteristics.

The context , or environment, involves four of the five interrelated systems of the original theory: the microsystem, the mesosystem, the exosystem, and the macrosystem. The final element of the PPCT model is time. Time plays a crucial role in human development. In the same way that both context and individual factors are divided into sub-factors or sub-systems, Bronfenbrenner and Morris wrote about time as constituting micro-time what is occurring during the course of some specific activity or interaction , meso-time the extent to which activities and interactions occur with some consistency in the developing person's environment , and macro-time the chronosystem.

Time and timing are equally important because all aspects of the PPCT model can be thought of in terms of relative constancy and change. The application of social ecological theories and models focus on several goals: to explain the person-environment interaction, to improve people-environment transactions, to nurture human growth and development in particular environments, and to improve environments so they support expression of individual's system's dispositions.

Some examples are:. Although generally well received, Urie Bronfenbrenner's models have encountered some criticism throughout the years. Most criticism center around the difficulties to empirically test the theory and model and the broadness of the theory that makes it challenging to intervene at an any given level [ citation needed ]. Some examples of critiques of the theory are:. Bronfenbrenner, U.

Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychologist, 32, Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives.

Developmental Psychology, 22 6 , Interacting systems in human development. Research paradigms: Present and future. Bolger, A. Caspi, G. Moorehouse Eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ecological systems theory. Vasta Ed. The ecology of cognitive development: Research models and fugitive findings. Fischer Eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Ecological models of human development. Postlethwaite Eds. Oxford, England: Pergamon Press.

Transgender students and the ecological perspective