Exosystem is defined as a social settings that a person may not experience first-hand but that still influence development ; social systems that children and adolescents do not directly experience but that may nonetheless influence their development.

It is the third of Bronfenbrenner’s environmental layers or contexts It is defined also as one or more settings that do not involve the developing person as an active participant but in which events occur that affect or are affected by what happens in the setting containing the developing person. It is a community institutions and settings in which children do not actually participate, but which affects them in one of their microsystems that indirectly influence the child, such as the school board and the parents' workplaces/jobs, city council, etc. Exo is from the Greek word which means "outside".

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