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Social Ecological Model

In 1979, psychologist Urie Bronfenbrenner developed the Ecological Systems Theory, now more commonly known as the Social Ecological Model, to explain the idea that people live in overlapping, multilayered contexts. The Social Ecological Model helps us understand that an individual's behaviors are impacted by their friends, family, places of work, school, social norms, policies, and other influences that affect their life. The four factors that make up the Social Ecological Model (Society, Community, Relationship, and Individual) interact and reinforce each other to change someone's behavior. This one-page color figure of the Social Ecological Model includes a description of each of its 4 levels and gives example prevention strategies to help you compare how your program fits into this holistic model. To take advantage of this model you must implement programs and activities at each level. You can use this figure to determine how comprehensive your programming is across the social ecology and what you can do to make sure you are reaching each level.

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