When moving matters: Unpacking patterns and consequences of childhood residential mobility

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    Moving house can have a major impact on a child's life. Moving is not only a stressful and disruptive event in itself, it’s often compounded by the adjustment to a new environment and this instability can have negative consequences. However, moving can also bring positive changes, for example when a family moves to a better house or neighbourhood. In this dissertation the diversity in childhood residential mobility patterns is studied by migrant background and the socioeconomic composition of the neighbourhood. Subsequently, it examines the extent to which various moving patterns influence educational outcomes in young adulthood. The research focuses on the Netherlands and Sweden, analysing the number of moves, age, distance, and changes in the residential context.

    The findings show that children of migrants and children born in disadvantaged neighbourhoods move more often, but also that the type of move differs between migrant origin groups and within neighbourhoods. Children who move frequently - three or more moves - are less likely to complete secondary and higher education. This type of move is also often accompanied by instability in other domains, such as poverty and parental separation. The beneficial impact of moving to a better neighbourhood is only partially supported by the findings as it seems primarily explained by a more advantaged group of children moving to better environments. In conclusion, the findings show hat moving is an important factor in the accumulation of advantages and disadvantages over a child’s life course, with potential implications for educational inequalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • de Valk, Helga, Supervisor
    • Haandrikman, Karen, Supervisor
    • Das, Marjolijn, Supervisor, External person
    Award date8-Jul-2024
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publication statusPublished - 2024


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