When Moving May Matter for Children: An Exploration of the Role of Time and Place.
Abstract: Residential mobility is a common event in many children's lives, and
one that has links with a range of developmental outcomes; however it remains unclear if
children in certain developmental periods or from certain backgrounds are more or less
prone to these associations and how associations between residential mobility and child
development are transmitted. Using life course theory... read moreand the bioecological approach, this
dissertation expands on extant research, considering if, when, for whom, and how moving may
matter. Employing the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, I examined the
strength of associations between moving (one or multiple times) and children's achievement
and socioemotional functioning, if associations vary across developmental periods and among
subgroups of children, and potential pathways of associations. Pathways included the
family, neighborhood, school, and peer contexts, as indicated by observations or
perceptions of interactions between the child and his or her contexts. I employed OLS
multiple regression and propensity score matching (with four matching algorithms) to
examine associations between residential mobility with math and reading achievement and
internalizing, externalizing, and risk-taking behaviors. I also conducted analyses
stratified by gender, maternal education, family income, and marital status. Results
suggested that residential mobility was not associated with children's development, except
perhaps among some children from disadvantaged backgrounds. There were pathways suggesting
links between residential mobility and a range of developmental outcomes including the
family and neighborhood but not the school or peer group. Findings are discussed in terms
of reasons for the discrepancies with the extant literature and implications for programs
and policies, particularly among our nation's military, migrant, and homeless
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Child Development.
Advisor: Tama Leventhal.
Committee: Richard Lerner, Jonathan Zaff, and Eric Dearing.
Keyword: Psychology.read less