Urie and final level of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological

Urie Bronfenbrenner is a famous developmental psychologists known for his ecological systems theory. Learn more about Bronfenbrenner’s theory and the role of the chronosystem in childhood development.


The chronosystem is made up of the environmental events and transitions that occur throughout a child’s life, including any sociohistorical events. The chronosystem is one of five systems in Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory.

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Introduction to Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory

In 1979, Urie Bronfenbrenner created his ecological systems theory to explain how their immediate and surrounding environment affects the way in which children grow and develop. There are five different environmental systems that influence childhood development. If there is a change in any one of the five environmental systems, it can potentially cause a change in the others. The name of the five systems are:

  • Microsystem
  • Mesosystem
  • Exosystem
  • Macrosystem
  • Chronosystem

Here you can see a visual description of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory:

Other examples of chronosystems include:
  • The birth of a new sibling when the child is 8 years old
  • The separation and remarriage of the child’s parents to other people when the child is a teenager
  • The child being diagnosed with leukemia at age 4
  • Moving to a new state when the child is 10 years old

Lesson Summary

The chronosystem is the final environmental system that was introduced by Urie Bronfenbrenner in 1979.

According to Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, the environment plays a significant role in childhood development. The chronosystem contains the environmental experiences and life transitions throughout a person’s lifetime, including the separation of parents, moving to a new location, and growing up during the Civil Rights era.

Learning Outcomes

After you are done with this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Summarize Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory
  • Explain the chronosystem and how it affects child development

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