Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Free Range Kids 7

This is a follow up to Free Range Kids 6.  I did some searching in my memory archives and in search engines and found How children lost the right to roam in four generations.  Here's the money shot:

While there are many journal articles going back decades, I don't have access to them.  Perhaps a reader with university library access can read and summarize some of them?  Here are a couple of recent ones:

Sex Differences in Spatial Competence: the ability of young children to map ‘primed’ unfamiliar environments

Spatial Ability and Home-Range Size: Examining the Relationship in Western Men and Women


  1. This is sad; when I was a kid the only rule was be home by dark. In the summer we' d play kick the can til late at night. the rule then was to stay in our cul de sac. Both parents worked so we would also do laundry and start dinner. Plus the usual homework, etc. They assign too much homework now for this to happen. Also, it is difficult to be to be the only free range kid. It is safer and more fun if there are many kids.

  2. @LHC That's the crux of the problem. The more kids on the street, the safer the kids. Not only do you have more eyes on the street, but you also spread out the (very low) risk from stranger abductions among more subjects. Even with fewer kids out and about, they are still relatively safer than kids in the 1970s.

  3. I'm not surprised. I had far more roaming freedom over a larger space than my husband did in his childhood, and I am much better at making mental maps of places I've been and mentally converting 2-dimensional drawings to 3 dimensions.


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