"Comparing spatial conceptualisation in young school children living in the countryside and in the city, the author has found that children living in the countryside seem firmly anchored in the places where they live, while children living centrally in big cities show an abstract attitude towards the environment displaying an interest in distant places (Nordström 2000a & b). These differences can be characterised from a developmental psychology perspective as a difference in mental orientation to on the one hand a place dependent concrete way of relating and on the other a spatial and abstract way of relating to the environment. The differences might have to do both with the norms and behaviour of the cultural/social group, to which the child belongs, and with the physical environment as reality with differences in accessibility. The social/cultural norms and behaviour of their parents can be seen as preparing the children for an environmental attitude that might serve them well as they later will choose a way of living. Having adopted an abstract attitude early in life towards the physical environment might make it easier for the child to lead a modern mobile life. At the same time an early, "precocious", development of an abstract attitude might put a strain on the individual child and hold back a more full development of a concrete environmental attitude, making the child less sensitive to tangible environmental qualities. Young children living in the countryside can be characterised as place dependent as they don't seem to be aware of the mental separation between themselves and the environment early in life. Their sense of place seems to have developed in close association with the physical place where they live as well as with the people in that place. For them to move away to and settle in new places might be difficult as they neither are prepared for the separation itself and the breaking away from their environment, nor are in the habit of applying cognitive skills to analysing environment, recognising different ways of getting attached to it. Taking places "for granted" does not profit the moving around that they might have to do later in life. Their social competence might also be weaker than that of city children as they have not had to be aware of differences between people, knowing most of the people that they meet. Striking differences in children's ways of establishing environmental relationships early in life, then, might mean that children are differently prepared for and predisposed to establish and re-establish environmental relationships later in life during different stages (Hay 1998)."