Environment and environment factors are often extremely important influences in an individual’s life and development. There are numerous environmental factors that affect both psychological and social aspects of a persons’s life. These can include the home and family environment in which one lives; or the social and neighborhood environment that have a profound affect on the way we perceive others and view the world. Other environmental factors can include the school or educational environments and later the working environment that can influence and determine the way we interact and react to others. The central aim of this essay it is show the ways that environment plays an extremely important part in understanding our world and ourselves. This essay will also attempt to show that environmental factors are largely responsible for an individual’s development and identity.
The term environment therefore refers to the various factors in a certain place or situation that combine to affect and influence our lives and the way we view the word around us. The word environment refers basically to that which surrounds us. Environment is usually understood as something “outside” the individual that impinges or interacts with the person and in the process influences that person. In essence the individual is to a great extent shaped and motivated by the environment in which he or he grows up, lives, works and plays.
One of the most important and fundamental environments that affects us all is the home and family environment. This is the first environment that we encounter and it has a profound and long lasting effect on the individual in terms of identity and individuality. There are many studies and research reports that show that home and family environment is a crucial factor which influences the developing child.
The influence of this environment can also have an affect on the individual that lasts into later life. For example, there are numerous studies that have shown that many juvenile delinquents come from a home environment that is often characterized by breakdown or tension. This refers to a home or family background that is dysfunctional or extremely unsettled. On the other hand this does not man that all broken home lead to delinquency. Rather the findings point to the fact that a negative or poor home environment can influence a child negatively. For instance it is commonly accepted that in many cases a home or family environment that is filled with conflict and a lack of care can have a negative psychological impact on child development. A negative home environment can lead to problems such as learning dysfunctions and other issues related to child development.
On the other hand there are also many studies that show the opposite influence of environmental factors. These studies show development and growth is usually positive and normal in a home environment where there is sufficient care and/or love and in an environment that positively motivates learning and development. Conversely, the problems that can be experienced in a dysfunctional family can lead to problems even later in life. This is shown by the fact that juvenile criminals who become repeat offenders often come for broken or dysfunctional family environments.
The home and family are not the only environments that can have a profound influence on the individual. The school and educational environment is another environmental “space” that is important in normal human development. The school is an area that is particularly important in that it is an environment in which we first learn to interact and encounter the outside world. Therefore it is a crucial factor in social development. This can be seen in the fact that school environments that are negative and violent or which lack discipline and supervision can have an extremely negative and detrimental effect on the individual.
The influence of neighborhood environments is also another important area of concern. One often hears of the struggle and desire of those individuals who live in poor or crime ridden neighborhoods to escape the influences of their surroundings. This aspect is also related to peer influences. The friends and acquaintances in a neighborhood can also have an influential affect on individual growth and actions. An environment where positive peer influences are experiences is usually one that leads to healthy growth and development. This also refers to the issue of influences that shape individual identity. The sense of whom and what we are is very often shaped by the views and opinions of our friends and peers.
The workplace is another environment that plays a vital role in later development. It is common knowledge that a business or concern that has a positive and motivating working environment is usually more successful and productive. Another less obvious environmental factor but one which affect us all each day is the physical environment around us. This can have a profound affect on out lives and development. For example, polluted and unhealthy environments can have a detrimental effect on both psychological and physical health.
The above are a few examples of the environments that we encounter and which influence us. The environment in which we live, work and play therefore has a profound effect on out lives. While environments do not solely determine the human identity and experience, they do exert an enormous influence on the way we see ourselves and the world around us.