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Foundations of Human Development in the Social Environment Essay

Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper in which you examine the foundations of human development in the social environment. Address the following in your paper:

Describe the interactions between the bio-psycho-social dimensions of development. Explain the concept of human diversity and cultural competence. Explain the connection between general systems theory and social order. The bio-psycho-social dimensions of human behavior are made up of biological, psychological and, social factors that explain human behavior. The biological dimension refers to the role of biological systems—meaning our bodies. The psychological dimension refers to the role of thoughts, emotion, and behavior on others. The social dimension refers to how individuals relate to various groups and institutions in society–and how groups and institutions relate to individuals, or classes of individuals. Social workers can understand a person’s behavior through subjective development. Viewing problems through a bio-psycho-social lens allows a social worker to help clients solve problems and learn coping skills through an understanding of behaviors and how biological, psychological and social aspects of ones life plays a role in behavior.

When a Social worker has a better understanding of a client and the relationships in which the client is incorporated in, the social worker can set up a plan of action and the healing process can begin (Dale, Smith, Norlin,, Chess, ,2009).. The strengths perspective is a tool that helps aids in the understanding of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds; diversity. Different segments of society interpret things such as hand motion, eye contact and, other non-verbal communications in different ways. When a social worker can become proficient in cross cultural interaction, they will be much better able to help clients that are from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. This proficiency requires intense observation, superior listening skills, and a true desire to learn about different cultures, beliefs and traditions.

The concept of human diversity can be described as a person or organization clearly understanding different cultures, languages, and beliefs of people and families from all around the world. Cultural competence can be described as skills, behaviors, attitudes, and policies implemented that assist social workers and organizations to efficiently deal with cross-cultural (, 2014). “Culture refers to integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, beliefs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups. ‘Competence’ implies having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities. ( ,Adapted from Cross, 1989).”

According to, cultural competence also focuses on population specific issues such as health related beliefs, cultural values, disease prevalence, and treatment efficiency. A culturally proficient social worker can make the difference in the success and failure of their clients. In the human service field when a social worker has an understanding of human diversity and cultural competence he or she can better understand clients from diverse backgrounds such as those with disabilities, the elderly, and the gay and lesbian community (, 2014). General systems theory is comparable to business and industry in the manner in which it is structured. In the business world, inputs are managed by organizational systems to produce outputs. In the field of social work, social workers use resources (inputs) to develop processes and procedures to produce services (outputs).

Systems theory can help social work professionals comprehend how systems establish and the order of that social system. When explaining the connection between general systems theory and social order one must describe the two individually. General systems theory can be defined as components, which are in transaction and bounded. The components complement a system that functions within an environment. A component can be anything and exchanges are any relationship that exists between the components. A person is able to be aware of the boundaries because it is what he or she can see, hear, feel, or sense. Social order is described as the demeanor in which a culture is organized and the standards that are required to manage the organization. Looking at what general systems theory and social order are separately one can see that both deal with groups and environments when working in human services both can work hand in hand when trying to find help and create goals for clients.

The general systems theory is used in all aspects of social work, such as children and families, policymaking, and advocacy. Social order refers to a relatively stable system; institution, pattern of interactions, customs, and facts regarding society. To have a systems theory there must be social order. Without social order, one cannot determine the causes and factors within an environment that are causing a problem. Without social order we cannot provide proper treatment. Social order gives us a set of norms within a system. Without social order one cannot use systems theory (Mosby, 2009). In social services, bio-psycho-social dimensions, human diversity, cultural competence, general systems theory, and social order all work together to create a better environment for their clients, and enable social work professionals to better serve their clients.

Dale, O., Smith, R., Norlin, J., & Chess, W. (2009). Human behavior and the social environment: Social systems theory. (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon Zastrow, C., & Ashman, K. (1990). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (2nd ed.). Chicago: Nelson-Hall., 2014

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