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Framing Childhood Resilience Through Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory: A Discussion Paper

Antony, E.M.



Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory (1979) conceptualises children’s development as a process of bi-directional and reciprocal relationships between a developing individual and those in surrounding environments, including teachers, parents, mass media and neighbouring communities. Using Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, this paper will argue that resilience can be taught during childhood, from the complex social interactions that children have with parents to the interactions they have in school. First, there will be a focus on how resilience emerges from children’s individual personality traits and emotional intelligence. Bi-directional and reciprocal relationships will be addressed by focusing on the effects of parental abandonment on children’s attachment styles, as well as parent-focused interventions. Following this, the role of teachers and school-based interventions (SBIs) will be explored as sources for bolstering resilience among children. Alternative perspectives on resilience pathways, including meaning-oriented approaches and those that recognise the impact of broader influences beyond the microsystem (e.g., culture and media), will also be addressed in this paper. Finally, implications of resilience research for play-based approaches and educational psychologists will be discussed.


Antony, E. (2022). Framing Childhood Resilience Through Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory: A Discussion Paper. Cambridge educational research e-journal, 9, 244-257.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 31, 2022
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2022
Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Jan 19, 2023
Publicly Available Date Aug 23, 2023
Journal Cambridge Educational Research e-Journal (CERJ)
Electronic ISSN 2634-9876
Publisher Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Pages 244-257
Public URL
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