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Reflection paper #1 (5 pts.)

During the first two class sessions we discussed two main theoretical frameworks that can be

used to understand the important role of family functioning and the influence of socio-structural

factors on developmental outcomes: family systems theory and social-ecological theory,

respectively. In addition, we talked about (four) parenting styles.

The purpose of this paper is to reflect on and present your own views while integrating course

content and applying theoretical thinking, as follows:

1. Briefly explain each of the aforementioned theoretical formulations and, extracting from their

tenets and concepts, relate the influence of these perspectives to your upbringing (i.e. family

systems theory–influence of the home environment; and the larger socio-structural context of

your community, neighborhood, and schools as described by social-ecological theory). 2pts.

2. Discuss how the parenting style/practices used by your parents have influenced your overall

development as a young adult including your social skills and ability to cope with life

experiences (positive and/or negative events, relationships) and your interests/passions (e.g.

education, sports). 2pts.

3. Drawing from your own upbringing. Which parenting style would you use to rise your own

children? Explain why. 1pt.

Note: Please keep in mind that you can share your own personal experiences or, if preferable,

you can draw from your observations and experiences shared by friends, families, or relatives.

Resources (posted on Beachboard)- refer to the highlighted sections on: Parenting Knowledge,

Attitudes, and Practices (chap. 2, p. 45-81) of the following report:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). Parenting Matters:

Supporting Parents of Children Ages 0-8. Washington, DC: The National Academies

Press. doi: 10.17226/21868.

Guidelines for Writing a Reflective Essay (approx. 800 words)


Common elements in a reflective writing introduction include:

– identify the focus of your reflection (e.g. your experience, a specific situation or story, an

overview of a collection of experiences)

– introduce the main themes that you will address in the body of the paper

– identify course material and theories that you will discuss to explore your experience more

deeply and strengthen content depth


The body of a reflective piece of writing can be quite varied. Regardless, you should relate the

body to the points and themes you identified in the introduction.

Each theme may account for one or more paragraphs in the body. For each theme, you should:

– identify the theme

– share a personal experience (or several) that support the theme

– connect your experience clearly to course material, study findings, and theories to support the



As you end your reflective writing, you may:

– review the importance of your experiences within the context of learning

– address how you have or will move forward from the specific experience

– suggest additional opportunities for future growth or engagement

Bibliography (not required when the paper is an in-class activity)

– include a bibliography using the style adopted by your discipline (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago)

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