Context of Psychosocial Development: Family Processes, Peer Relationships, and Culture
An ecological developmental perspective views human development from a person-in-environment context, emphasizing the principle that all growth and development take place within the context of relationships. With regard to power and breadth of influence, the family is the most influential developmental context. As children grow older, the peer contexts (friends, classmates) become increasingly important. However, family and peers may have different implications for children in different cultural and ecological contexts. Therefore, it is also important to consider the role of cultural factors and cultural differences in socialization processes and development.
In the small (max 20 students) truly international classroom, through lecture (given by the students themselves)s, discussions and assignments, students gain an understanding of the variability of child rearing, family processes, peer relationships and developmental outcomes across different cultural contexts. In addition, they are trained in skills in the area of critical thinking, analyzing both theories and empirical work, writing and oral presentation.