A systems framework for understanding social settings

Vivian Tseng, Edward Seidman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we argue that attempts to change social settings have been hindered by lack of theoretical advances in understanding key aspects of social settings and how they work in a dynamic system. We present a systems framework for understanding youths' social settings. We focus on three aspects of settings that represent intervention targets: social processes (i.e., patterns of transactions between two or more people or groups of people), resources (i.e., human, economic, physical, temporal resources), and organization of resources (i.e., how resources are arranged and allocated). We postulate that these setting aspects are in dynamic transaction with each other, resulting in setting outcomes. Discussion focuses on the implications of our theoretical framework for setting intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-228
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Prevention
  • Promotion
  • Social settings
  • Systems theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A systems framework for understanding social settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this