A disproportionate number of impoverished families live in housing which does not allow easy access to safe outdoor play. This paper uses Bowlby’s theory of attachment as a framework for considering the implications of a lack of outdoor access for parental strategies and for the interaction of parents and children. The situation of one family is discussed in detail in order to clarify how a lack of outdoor play opportunities may contribute to anxious and overprotective parenting, or to a fatalistic abdication of responsibility. Especially in situations o poverty where alternative opportunities are likely to be limited, the availability of outdoor play space can be a significant factor in supporting healthy development and flexible, responsive parenting, and it should be a priority in the planning and management of low-income housing intended for families with young children.
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Title: No place to play: Implications for the interaction of parents and children
Author(s): Sheridan Bartlett
Publication Date: 1997
Publisher: Journal for Children and Poverty