The Influence of the External Environment on Child Development

A child becomes a personality only in the process of socialization through communication and interaction with other people. Outside of society, spiritual, social, and mental development and learning cannot take place. The reality in which the development of the child takes place is called the environment. Therefore, nowadays, the study of the concept of the environment and its influence on a child is an urgent issue.

The home environment has a considerable impact on the development of the child. The family largely determines the range of his interests and needs, views, and value orientations. Hertler et al. (2018) affirm that the family also provides conditions, including material ones, to develop natural inclinations. The moral and social qualities of the individual are also laid down in the family. Explanations and teachings of parents, their example, the whole way of life in the house, and the family atmosphere develop in children the habits of behavior and criteria for assessing good and evil, permissible and condemned, fair and unfair.

However, it should be noted that the conditions of family upbringing are not the primary factor in both successful and deviant child development. Gan and Biswas (2020) assert that no less significant than the family, the growing child is influenced by the social environment of adults and peers. The fundamental importance of this factor is seen in the example of the personalities of monozygotic twins, who have identical genetic material and the same conditions of family upbringing but grow up as entirely different personalities. Based on this, one can consider their contact with society as a factor that significantly mediates the individual development path.

A significant aspect of children’s development is their interaction with peers. Lucas et al. (2018) note that the effectiveness of a child’s communication with peers largely depends on the attitude of adults towards them. Thus, children abused by their parents were more likely than others to be rejected by their peers. As they age, their social isolation usually only increases. Conversely, adults can create favorable conditions for the child to communicate with peers: comfortable space for playing and toys. Another aspect of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory is the chronosystem. Evans (2021) examined the impact of children’s environmental stability on their later life as adults. Thus, frequent moves, school changes, temporary absences, divorces, and parents’ remarriages have a detrimental effect on children. They become anxious and aggressive adults with social problems that cross the line of legality.

The culture in which they grow up also influences the development of children. According to Packer (2021), there is a relationship between the culturally accepted normative variant of the passage of developmental stages and its parameters identified by G. Hofstede. Firstly, collectivism and individualism have the most significant influence on infancy and the formation in a child of such qualities as emotional closeness to others or detachment. Secondly, a high power distance determines to overcontrol in the educational influences of parents, and a low one contributes to the education of early independence. Thirdly, a low level of uncertainty avoidance, which is characteristic of the United States, contributes to forming initiative and free search activities in children. On the contrary, a high level contributes to the development of the activity, limited by social rules and the authority of elders. Thus, in the presence of general patterns of development of children, culture significantly influences the process and results of their socialization. It requires individualization of the approach on the part of the teacher since the class will be heterogeneous.

Sharing information about the child from the family will help the educator better understand the child’s needs and lay the foundation for collaboration. The most critical informational aspects include health status, family problems, personality and behavioral problems, strengths and weaknesses, learning habits, and special interests. For example, by knowing about the student’s problems in any area, the teacher will be able to help the child to eliminate existing gaps without wasting time on finding them. Such information may be collected as part of a survey of parents by signing a confidentiality agreement.


Evans, G. W. (2021). The physical context of child development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 30(1), 41-48.

Gan, B., & Biswas, S. K. (2020). Understanding the influence of social environments on child development: A case study. Man, Environment and Society, 1(1), 19-36.

Hertler, S. C., Figueredo, A. J., Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., & Fernandes, H. B. (2018). Urie Bronfenbrenner: Toward an evolutionary ecological systems theory. In Life history evolution (pp. 323-339). Palgrave Macmillan.

Lucas, J. E., Richter, L. M., & Daelmans, B. (2018). Care for child development: an intervention in support of responsive caregiving and early child development. Child: Care, health and development, 44(1), 41-49.

Packer, M. J. (2021). Child development: Understanding a cultural perspective. Sage.

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1. PsychologyWriting. "The Influence of the External Environment on Child Development." April 22, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "The Influence of the External Environment on Child Development." April 22, 2023.