Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Bronfenbrenner, Urie

  • David HauserEmail author
  • Dan Gill
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_816


Urie Bronfenbrenner was a psychologist and human development theorist. His theory and writing evolved into what became known as “the ecology of human development.” Bronfenbrenner also notably had a significant impact in public policy as it relates child development in the United States, consulting with congress in the 1960s to help design and construct the Head Start program which has provided hundreds of thousands of under-resourced children access to early childhood education.


Bronfenbrenner was born in Moscow, but he and his family moved to the United States when he was 6 years old. His father was a neuropathologist, who spent a good deal of his career advocating for under-resourced children in New York City. Bronfenbrenner went on to attend Cornell University for undergraduate study, majoring in music and psychology. He then earned a master’s in education at Harvard University and finally a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Michigan. He...

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  1. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1970). Two worlds of childhood: U.S. and U.S.S.R. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
  2. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiment by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Fox, M. (2005, September 27). Urie Bronfenbrenner, 88, an authority on child development. New York Times.Google Scholar
  4. Woo, E. (2005, September 27). Urie Bronfenbrenner, 88; co-founder of Head Start urged closer family ties. Los Angeles Times.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Family Institute at Northwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David Kearns
    • 1
  1. 1.Iowa CityUSA