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Early Life Experiences and Potential

Free «Early Life Experiences and Potential» Essay Sample


The concept of early life experiences is guided significantly by four components, which are found in the PPCT model. The framework stands for process-person-context-time. The model simply and clearly conceptualizes and demonstrates an integrated development system, which may be used to design the research to study while pursuing to understand aspects of human development. The four components of this model provide data which is adequate for the writer to develop an understanding on the course of human development. More specifically, the context is within the early stages of development linked to early experiences.

Overview of the PPCT Model

With respect to the original model, Bronfenbrenner and Ceci (2013) suggest that human development is guided using an ecological systems theory. The first system is the microsystem, which presents the innermost layer of the model. A child, in this case, has different interpersonal relationships whilst one interacts with their intermediate surroundings. According to this assumption, it is clear that the early life experiences are closely connected with the microsystem because interpersonal relationships build the potential of the individual at the early phases. The early experiences within the microsystem comprise of family interactions with an individual as well as interactions with other children at school. Along with these experiences, the individuals develop significant potential from their environment due to that they are subjected to specific patterns (Lerner 2002). Another context within the ecosystem is the mesosystem, which includes the interactions between the person under development and other aspects within their microsystem. The process also involves the interactions between the individual with their family and people around the systems they interact with on a regular basis. For the early experiences, they may include school or church, which are social settings where individuals participate in significant interactions and early life experiences. The exosystem is another context of the ecological system. Within the exosystem, the individuals have early experiences, including events that are not directly connected to the individual. In this regard, these experiences are combined with factors that are from the microsystem. In this case, the individual’s early experiences and potential may be influenced by certain difficulties within the family setup (Najman, Arid, Bor, & O`Callaghan 2004). For example, although job loss for a parent does not involve the child, one’s early experiences are now subjected to the new event because they continue to be under the care of their parent. From this perspective, the child will undergo the situations that arise due to the challenges of job loss, such as the lack of adequate resources. Finally, the macrosystem presents the outermost layer within the model. Within this layer, the cultural and social ideologies are entrenched (Gorman, Fitzgerald, & Blow 2010). The social and cultural concepts also affect the early experiences of an individual in terms of the traditions that one is subjected to: for example, the beliefs and practices, such as immunization against certain diseases. The ideologies and beliefs present a system or culture that does not only guide the early experiences but also the subsequent experiences, thus forming the limits of the potential.

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The PPCT Model


The first component is the PPCT framework is process. This element involves fused and dynamic relations of the young individual as well as the context one lives in. The process, in this perspective, comprises of different transactions, which relate to the children and their immediate surroundings, hence become responsible for the potential and competencies of the child (Rumberger, & Lamb 2008). In this case, the early experiences are aspects that drive development and the general wellbeing of the child is resultant of these processes. For instance, if the children receive appropriate training and lessons regarding the right behavior, their early experiences enable them to be well behaved. Additionally, the strict and authoritative parenting will result to following the rules of instructions and authority. Furthermore, within the process, issues, such as protection from psychological and physical harms, presents part of the early experiences. Other significant approaches in the process include the child’s involvement by the parents in developing an understanding for the specific practices, including religion, diet, and nutrition. With the relevant support in these different contexts, the early experiences indirectly influence a child in developing a specific personality.


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The person of a child is another component of the PPCT model. In this regard, the concept refers to the child as well as his or her specific traits, which includes cognitive, biological, behavioral, and emotional characteristics. The influence that is sourced from the family, peers, and caregivers is a result of the features displayed by the child (Li, McMurray & Stanley 2008; Rumberger & Lamb 2008). For example, when a child is disabled, one’s early experiences in terms of relationships with other individuals will be greatly impacted. In this case, children with a disability stand a higher chance at having negative social relationships with other individuals. Furthermore, the social interaction and relationship between girls and boys varies due to the differences in coping skills, reasoning, and maturity and this aspect forms an influencing factor on the early experiences of the child. Other issues include temperament in the child, which also influences one’s practices and interactions during the early stages.

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The contexts also play a significant role within the PPCT model. This component of the analyzed framework is conceptualized in different nested levels and systems that are significant in the ecology of human development. As described earlier, the context is similar to the ecosystem and the environment within which an individual functions. The four components that have been discussed previously are the same systems in the context aspect. The context differs among children based on their diverse venues in modifying the proximal process. In this case, it may include the constant interaction of the child with different individuals. The micro, meso, exo as well as macro contexts have both a direct and indirect control on the manner in which the child’s development takes place (Green & Allison 2007). To illustrate, the school policy will affect a child within the macro context because it has an indirect effect on the child. School policy may impact the process of identity development of the child. The parent’s workplace schedule appears within the exosystem whereby the system has no direct impact on the individual during one’s development phases. In this perspective, the child’s potential and experiences do not entirely rely on this schedule. The teacher-parent relationship does not affect the child strongly because it exists within the mesosystem, which enables an interaction between the different systems that exist. However, the microsystem, which provides the structures which are closest to the child in terms of day care and family, affect the individual’s early experiences.

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The final concept in the analyzed model is time. In this regard, time appears as an aspect that involves multiple dimensions of a temporary state. According to Li (2008), early life experiences and potential have been greatly affected by the times at which the current generations grow up. Specifically, the scholars in developmental health have attributed the different early life experiences to the micro-level influences that draw from the social, psychological, and economic circumstances (Forster, Mclachlan, Rayner, Yelland, Gold, & Rayner 2012). Furthermore, these influential factors have a broader effect and a long-term effect on the inequalities across the lifespan of the children. Nonetheless, it is evident that a child’s poor development and early life experiences and life events are subsequent products of the wider context of the time they develop. Different experiences in the early development and potential are influenced by the times due to the economic and social advances within a specific period. For example, the difference in economic prosperity as well as advances in technology, including farming and medical technologies, may be attributed to the differences in potential on the grounds of the early life experiences. The variety of advances are inherent of the times and economic possibilities at different times.

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Meanwhile, dramatic expansions occur within market-based economies. This expansion has led to an increase in the capacity of wealth generation. As a result, the experiences in early development for individuals during this phase, such as abundance in wealth generation, provide greater early life experiences due to availability of resources; therefore, these individuals have a greater potential. However, within the indicated time aspect, there lies a concept of being within a macro system, which is majorly the backbone of the early experiences for an individual as well as one’s potential (Bronfenbrenner & Ceci 2013). At the initial phases of human development, the macro system involves such issues as culture and public policy that are set by the government. In this regard, the experiences, potential, and expectations are highly influenced by the public policy and factors surrounding the individual. An example involves the public policy on child education set by an administrative government that will affect the potential of individuals. In an environment where the education for children and individuals within their adolescent is emphasized, the potential of these individuals is higher than that where the policy of early education is not strict.

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Time will encompass different aspects that include the chronological age, nature of periodicity, and duration. Each event will have a varying degree of the impact on the development of an individual. In this perspective, each event will only have an equal significance given the difference in time, which is also closely related to the age of the individual. In this perspective, a child does not develop in an isolated environment, and thus, they will interact continuously with other individuals (Claessens & Chen 2001; Ratzan 2002). In this case, the development will be shaped both by the immediate environment and larger environment interactions. Therefore, the time aspect is considered as the age and period along which the individual is developing, either childhood or adolescence.

Strategies of Promoting Resilience

Resilience can generally be defined as the ability to succeed despite adversity. The PPCT model can effectively be used by adults in teaching and molding resilience in children. The effectiveness of the strategy highly depends on the environment (context) as well as the person. However, the best strategies are those which focus on the person as an element of PPCT framework: the person is primarily responsible for own response to the adversities one faces.

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Firstly, encouraging positive stress management techniques is an essential process in nurturing resilience in a person. Stress is a core component of human daily life. As such, mastering positive stress management empowers the person to overcome adversities (Gorman, Fitzgerald & Blow 2010). The techniques include talking out, physical work outs, meditation, etc. They provide a way of relaxing the mind from the tensions of stress and also fasten the solution-finding process.

In addition, fostering a positive attitude is another useful option. Attitude is the general mental disposition of someone towards a subject or life at large. Maintaining a positive attitude towards situations or circumstances reduces the stress levels for a person. Besides, one is able to identify opportunities which may come with an adversity and take advantage of them. Moreover, a child with a positive attitude grows into a more productive adult (Gorman, Fitzgerald & Blow 2010).

Lastly, promoting positive social connections is advisable. An individual’s social connections comprise his/her context and play a role in the development of the person. During early development, a person learns very fast from surroundings. Hence, fostering good social connections exposes the child to positivity and productivity early in life (Gorman, Fitzgerald & Blow 2010). During the growth of a child, school forms a major social connection. It is, therefore, imperative to enjoin the child in a school that is reputable for discipline and good performance in academics and extra curricula activities. In addition, the parents should consciously coach the child in forming beneficial friendships.

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