Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology

Izvestiya of Saratov University.

ISSN 2304-9790 (Print)
ISSN 2541-9013 (Online)

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Drobysheva T. V., Voytenko M. Y. Perception of the city in different groups of children residing in a megapolis: comparative analysis. Izvestiya of Saratov University. Educational Acmeology. Developmental Psychology, 2021, vol. 10, iss. 4, pp. 314-322. DOI: 10.18500/2304-9790-2021-10-4-314-322

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Perception of the city in different groups of children residing in a megapolis: comparative analysis

Voytenko Maria Yu., Institute of Psychology

The problem of interaction of preschool children with the urban environment is analyzed. The study appears to be of relevance due to its focus on children’s personal agency investigated through their perception of objects and phenomena of the social and physical space of the megalopolis. The study aims to perform a comparative analysis of how groups of children who differ in their modality and orientation of their attitude to the urban environment perceive the city. Presumably, there are differences in the perception of the megalopolis by preschool children. It is also assumed that there is correlation between the attitude of children to the city and the degree of their personal agency properties. The study involved 115 children aged 5.5 to 6.5 years old, living in full families, in two districts of Moscow (58% of them are girls, 42% of them are boys). The experts were teachers of preschool institutions attended by the respondents. Psychodiagnostic tools were used including a semi-structured interview, a drawing test "The City Where I Live", the methodology "Peculiarities of Manifestation of the Preschoolers’ Will" (R.M. Gevorkyan), the scale "autonomy" of the methodology "Typology of Subject Regulation of the Child" (S. V. Khusainova and G. S. Prygin), and a questionnaire. The results of the research demonstrate that children differ in their orientation and modality of attitude to objects and phenomena of the social, natural, objective and spatial environment of the city, and in their attitude to environmental problems of the city and orientation towards their solution. The selectivity and scope of the perception of the urban environment depends on the meaning which children attribute to these objects and phenomena, as well as on personal experience of interacting with them. The importance of the social environment of the city is associated with children’s pronounced independence and self-control; the negative modality of attitude to objects and phenomena of the social environment is associated with reduced self-control of behavior. The increased attention of children to the environmental problems of the city is due to the upbringing by grandparents. The research shows that in conditions of limited interaction with objects and phenomena of the urban environment, children compensate for the lack of experience with fantasies about a fabulous and ideal city. The results of the study can be used to identify priorities in the field of social policy in relation to children at the stage of early socialization, as well as when making decisions on optimizing the urban environment which is friendly to children.

The work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project No. 20-013-00461 “ValueAffective Component of the Vitality of Different Groups of Urban Community Living in a «Crisis city» and «Megalopolis»”).
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