"There’s kind of a wall I have to stay inside of"

A Qualitative Understanding of Children’s Independent Mobility Range, Destination, Time and Expansion


  • Christina Han
  • Yingyi Lin
  • Louise Mâsse
  • Mariana Brussoni


independent mobility, territorial boundaries, utilized places, children's curfews, qualitative research methods


Children’s independent mobility (IM) is profoundly connected to their healthy development and wellbeing, and plays a critical role in promoting their further territorial expansion in their neighborhood. In this paper, we explore perspectives of Canadian children aged 10-13 years on their IM in their neighborhood, using interpretive description analysis. This paper discusses three themes yielded from the children’s data: 1) their perceived boundaries for their IM range, 2) utilized places for their IM destinations, and 3) temporal boundaries on their IM created by curfews and check-ins. Our iterative process of data triangulation allowed us to expand beyond the identified themes and original frameworks towards a novel conceptualization of children’s territorial boundary expansion in the context of IM development.