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Proximal Systemic Influences on Development

As for all children and youth, local circumstances and interactions at the proximal level occurring within neighborhoods, schools and families, for example, have profound implications for development (see Brofenbrenner & Morris, 2006).

Proximal Levels of Development

Fostering Spaces of Possibility

While proximal developmental spaces can become what Lois Weiss and Michelle Fine (2012) have termed “spaces of possibility” all too often they present missed opportunities to foster belonging and provide bridges to opportunity. At the Immigration Initiative at Harvard, over the months and years to come we will gather research and resources that highlight models of practice across a variety of settings that foster the flourishing of immigrant origin children and youth. We will expand on the resources provided around families, neighborhoods, and schools and consider, for example, after-school settings; mentoring; and faith based organizations.

Please watch for the release of these materials over time.

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Distal Systemic Influences on Development

An ecological perspective on development posits that distal influences on development have an indirect though nonetheless crucial influence on development (see Brofenbrenner & Morris, 1998). For immigrant origin children and youth, five influences are particularly salient: 1-the global forces that precipitate (im)migration; 2-political and social contexts of reception; 3- national and local immigration policies; and 4-refugee and asylee policies and programs; and 5-social attitudes towards (im)migrants.

Distal Levels of Development