Written by Vanessa Vieites and Narrated by Marie T. Russell

The distance from home that kids are allowed to roam and play has shrunk significantly over the last 50 years. That’s largely due to parents’ concerns over safety, especially in cities. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has further restricted children’s independent activity.

As a Ph.D. student in psychology, I studied factors that affect people’s spatial navigation skills – or how they understand their location and the features within their surroundings. I was also curious about the possible childhood origins of gender differences in how men and women navigate, and why women feel more anxious when trying to find their way around unfamiliar areas.

My findings suggest that children who are allowed to roam by themselves farther away from their homes are likely to become better, more confident navigators as adults than children who are more restricted.

Continue Reading at InnerSelf.com (plus audio/mp3 version of article)

Music By Caffeine Creek Band, Pixabay

About the AuthorThe Conversation

photo of Vanessa VieitesVanessa Vieites, Postdoctoral Associate, Rutgers University. Vanessa Vieites is an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow at The Conversation US sponsored by AAAS.


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This article originally appeared on The Conversation