Moving Homes Often in Childhood Might Affect Long-Term
TUESDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Children who move frequently
may be at greater risk for worse health and psychological distress
later on in life, according to a new study.
Researchers also found kids who changed homes frequently were
more likely to drink heavily and smoke as teens and adults.
In the study, researchers followed 850 people in Scotland aged
15, 35 and 55 over 20 years.
One in five people had lived at the same address throughout
childhood; 59 percent had moved once or twice; and about 21 percent
had moved at least three times.
Children in single-parent homes or those with a stepparent were
more likely to move than others. Families with two or three
children were also much more likely to move than families with four
or more kids.
Frequent moves during childhood were associated with an
increased risk of poorer overall health, psychological distress,
and heavy drinking and smoking during adolescence and
The study was published online Feb. 6 in the
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
While the study uncovered an association between being
frequently uprooted and poorer health later on, it did not prove
that the frequent moves were the cause of the poorer health.
The study's authors pointed out in a journal news release that
having to change schools could disrupt children's family or social
lives, which may explain some of the negative effects.
The U.S. National Network for Childcare provides more
information on how to
prepare children for a move.
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