Restorative Experience, Self-Regulation, and Children’s Place Preferences

We examined the role of restorative experience and self-regulation in the formation of place preferences by Finnish children. Girls and boys aged 8-9 or 12-13 and living in downtown Tampere or Helsinki answered open- and closed-ended questions in a structured interview. One or both parents completed a questionnaire. We did not find statistically significant associations between age or gender and type of favourite place, nor was a particular type of favourite place named disproportionately often, independent of age and gender. The latter result contrasts with previous findings with young adults. However, like young adults, over half of the children appeared to use their favourite places for cognitive restoration. One-third of the children reported using their favourite places for emotion-regulation. Use of the favourite place for restoration and emotion- regulation did not necessarily imply visiting the favourite place alone; however, 12/13-year-olds were more likely than the younger age group to visit the favourite place with friends. Surprisingly, many parents did not know their child’s favourite place.

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