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Dev Psychopathol. 1997 Fall;9(4):817-33.

A phenomenological variant of ecological systems theory (PVEST): a self-organization perspective in context.

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University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, Philadelphia 19104-6216, USA.


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 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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