Human Ecological Systems (HES)
The purpose of this model is to (1) demonstrate a way to represent human development that includes i
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The purpose of this model is to (1) demonstrate a way to represent human development that includes individual resources, social networks, and spatial relationships within a single model of a formal feedback theory of development, (2) provide an approach to theory development that begins with a simple model and gradually includes more complex facets of social reality (e.g., social networks, location), and (3) illustrate its application to formally testing and comparing a theory over a wider range of assumptions that can inform the design of data collection and analysis to more accurately reflect the dynamics of human development and outcomes. The approach has a wide range of possible applications in theory development and community intervention design, research, and evaluation. Examples include school-based and community based positive youth development interventions, drug use/addiction and treatment in rural settings, community responses to domestic violence, neighborhood effects and interventions, homelessness, supports for ex-offenders released from prison or jail, and health inequities.
Version 1.0 focuses on mainly working out a simple example of interactions between social networks and spatial relationships. The model (right) represents a formal theory of how people will move to be close to their nearest friend. Since friends are determined by a social network where people have different sets of friends, and people are in different locations, movement will depend on an interaction between each individual’s social network, the location of their friends, the distance to their friends, and identifying their nearest friend and comparing one’s present location to the location of one’s nearest friend. The model implements this with a random social network for 100 individuals randomly distributed in 100m by 100m coordinate space.