A Phenomenological Variant of Ecological Systems Theory (PVEST): A self-organization perspective in context


A framework that emphasizes and integrates individuals' intersubjective experiences with Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory (PVEST) is introduced and compared with self-organizational perspectives. Similarities, differences and advantages of each framework are described. In a demonstration of PVEST's utility, a subset of data from the 3rd year of a longitudinal study (14- to 16-year-old middle adolescent African-Americans) is used for examining an achievement variable: negative learning attitude. Explored separately by gender, a regression model that contained risk, stress, and a reactive coping variable for the prediction of negative learning attitudes was investigated. For boys, stress was an independent stressor across steps independent of the other variables entered; social support was particularly important for males. For girls, not only was stress not important but it was also only the social support variable, perceived unpopularity with peers, that was a significant predictor of girls' negative learning attitude. Particularly for boys, the findings suggest critically important roles for teachers and peers in the negative learning attitude of midadolescent economically disadvantaged African-American students.

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M. Beale Spencer
D. Dupree
T. Hartmann
Development and Psychopathology
Cultural Relevance, Equity, and Diversity
DEI Advisory Resource
Publication Year