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Word Count: 1,375
Ecological theories of human development consider the complex interactions between humans and their changing social and physical environments Every member of society experiences these interactions in a different manner depending on factors such as the amount of resources available to them or the interconnectedness of their support system at birth As people age and as the macrosystem itself changes in response to events people within the system shift to occupy different positions in society Peoples psychological reactions to their evolving statuses reflect the culmination of a lifetimes worth of experiences At each juncture within peoples lives their statuses are subject to norms and rules belonging to society Understood from the vantage of Bronfenbrenners ecolological systems approach initial transactions in a persons life are the result of direct interrelationships between the infant and members of the microsystem church family peers school neighborhood play area and health services Microsystems in turn are shaped by a host of higher-up systems which are also acting on each other at the same time When the children in Bronfenbrenners model mature into adulthood they are likely to occupy new roles within the macrosystem These acquired roles may be transient because familial roles career placement financial status and other factors may vary throughout peoples lifetimes Age however is one factor that invariably affects peoples lives and society - to a large part - determines the extent of that effect Deep-rooted in the mentality of members of a system are beliefs about which members are suited to which roles If a society assigns a value to the knowledge gained through a lifetime of experience then people in late adulthood and beyond will perceive themselves as vital Alternatively if a society chooses not to recognize that elders have an important contribution to make in society then the elders of that society may internalize those beliefs and feel valueless In the United States common stereotypes of the elderly are that they are poorly able to
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