Gardiner and Kosmitzki (2008) acknowledge their use of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model as the basis for the coverage of human development from a cultural perspective. It is the first theory that I will elaborate on. It seems readily apparent, at least to me, that the relationship between an individual and his or her environment is dynamic and reciprocal in nature. A person reacts to his or her environment and in doing so alters the environment. Bronfenbrenner’s theory, according to Gardiner and Kosmitzki, is at its essence this simple a proposition. Bronfenbrenner expounds this theory further and posits specific levels of the environment such as the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem (Gardiner & Kosmitzki). Bronfenbrenner’s most recent advancement of this model is the bioecological model, in which Bronfenbrenner and Ceci (1994) incorporate the biological into the ecological, an acknowledgment that genetic material “interacts with environmental experience in determining developmental outcomes” (p. 571). Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model lends itself easily and naturally to looking at the role of culture in human development, although perhaps without the need to strictly define what the particular culture is, a concept somewhat similar to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s statement in 1964 (JACOBELLIS v. OHIO, 378 U.S. 184) on obscenity being defined as “I know it when I see it.” Rous, Hallam, Harbin, McCormick, and Jung (2007) used Bronfenbrenner’s model to examine the transition process for children with disabilities and their families as it concerns changes that occur across time in programs provided as a result of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Rous et al. advocate a synthesis of the bioecological model and organizational systems theory for future research concerning the transition process for children with disabilities in order to maximize outcomes and should focus “on understanding development and child outcomes as an interaction between the developing child, his/her environmental context, and the timing of the particular process being examined” (p. 138). The bioecological model is especially applicable at the microsystems level in designing transitional programs for individual children with disabilities. A child’s particular biological constitution must be taken into account, but almost as important is the child’s family and closely surrounding community. Cultural contexts are important as the role of culture in familial rituals and roles, as well as familial expectations concerning the child with a disability, must be taken into context. Super and Harkness’s developmental niche (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, 2008) aligns nicely with Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model, with “the physical and social setting of daily life” correlating to Bronfenbrenner’s microsystem level (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, p. 28). Levels two (“customs of child care and child rearing”) and levels three (“psychology of the caretakers” incorporating cultural elements (Gardiner & Kosmitzki, p. 29). Like Bronfenbrenner’s updated bioecological model which incorporates a child’s biological heritage (i.e. genetic makeup, specific biologically modulated traits, etc.), so too does the developmental niche theory involve a child’s “particular set of inherited dispositions” (Harkness et al., 2007, p. 34S). Super and Harkness (1986) contend that the developmental niche “provides a framework for examining the effects of cultural features on child rearing in interaction with general developmental parameters” (p. 546). In this sense, with its specific focus at the family level, it is somewhat narrower in scope than Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological model. Harkness et al. (2007) consider this theory of the developmental niche in their article concerning the successful development of a child with a disability. According to Harkness et al., an incomplete understanding of the three subsystems (settings, customs, and caretaker psychology) will interfere with the rehabilitation program devised for the child with a disability. Although all three subsystems are important when working towards rehabilitation or developmental progress (as not all children can achieve complete rehabilitation), it is important to note the role of the third subsystem, caretaker’s psychology, as the parents’ reaction towards and implementation of recommended treatments will depend a great deal on the parent’s psychological constitution, and the parent’s cultural identity will mediate the beliefs and values relating to the child’s disability. Harkness et al. in reviewing two case histories to illustrate this point note that “ the way that the parents thought about their child’s situation and abilities was key to the child’s opportunities for rehabilitation and participation” (p. 38S). In addition, Harkness et al. argue that what a parent considers to be successful participation is “culturally constructed” (p. 38S). References: Bronfenbrenner, U., & Ceci, S. (1994). Nature-nurture reconceptualized in developmental perspective: A bioecological model. Psychological Review, 101(4), 568-586. Retrieved doi:10.1037/0033-295X.101.4.568 Gardiner, Harry W., & Kosmitzki, C. (2008). Lives across cultures: Cross-cultural human development (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. Harkness, S., Super, C., Sutherland, M., Blom, M., Moscardino, U., Mavhdis, C., et al. (2007). Culture and the construction of habits in daily life: Implications for the successful development of children with disabilities. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 27, 33S-40s. Retrieved from PsycINFO database. JACOBELLIS v. OHIO, 378 U.S. 184. (1964). Retrieved from Rous, B., Hallam, R., Harbin, G., McCormick, K., & Jung, L. (2007). The transition process for young children with disabilities: A conceptual framework. Infants & Young Children: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Special Care Practices, 20(2), 135-148. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Super, C. M., & Harkness, S. (1986). The developmental niche: A conceptualization of the interface of child and culture. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 9, 545-570. Retrieved from Sage Publications.