The development of adolescent behavioral autonomy and parental control on the example of independent city movements



The article is centered on the disclosure of links between the formation of child behavioral autonomy (self-reliance), manifested in independent movements around the city, and parental practices, primarily – the practice of controlling and supporting the autonomy of the child. It has been found that a number of environmental factors influence the way parents perceive the environment and, as a result, how early and freely they allow children to move around the territory without adult supervision. Also, the socio-economic status of the family, the number of children, their gender, age and the subjective assessment of their maturity by parents have an impact on the accessibility of independent movements for children. Empirical evidence confirms that different forms of control – behavioral, providing the activity framework, and manipulative (psychological) aimed at tracking a child's thoughts and experiences – have different effects on a child's development. The perspective of empirical studies of independent movement of children is discussed.

General Information

Keywords: behavioral autonomy, self-reliance, adolescence, urban development, growing up, parental control, parental practices

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: review article


Funding. The study was conducted with the support of the Russian Foundation for Fundamental Research (RFBR), project number 19-113-505558.

For citation: Polivanova K.N., Bochaver A.A., Pavlenko K.V. The development of adolescent behavioral autonomy and parental control on the example of independent city movements [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2020. Vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 45–55. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2020090404. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Katerina N. Polivanova, Doctor of Psychology, Director of Contemporary Childhood Research Center, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Professor at the Chair of Developmental Psychology by L.F. Obukhova, Department of Psychology of Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Alexandra A. Bochaver, PhD in Psychology, Researcher, Center for Modern Childhood Studies, Institute of Education, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Kseniya V. Pavlenko, PhD in Sociology, Analyst, Centre for Modern Childhood Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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