Sat 5 Jun, 2010 09:31 pm
Moving repeatedly in childhood...?
I'm not sure I agree with this: Moving repeatedly in childhood linked with poorer quality-of-life years later
. I feel it improved my quality-of-life.
Re: Moving repeatedly in childhood...?
Thorwald, you are an N of 1 living in GB. There are always exceptions to the generalizations made in a behavioral science study. This study generalizes findings from an N of 7,108 US citizens. There may have been somone in the study who answered all the questions exactly like you would, but that person could be an outlier or represent the outer range of normal variability within the population. In addition, there are lots of culturally-bound variables in the study, such as "quality social relationships" and "psychological well-being." Maybe Brits & Yanks are more alike than different on these measures, but I'm always hesitant to assume findings from a study done in one country will generalize to the population of another.
I moved a lot during childhood--also during much of my adult life up to age 44. Since settling down in one place for the last 14 years, the biggest thing I've worked on is developing what I would define as "quality social relationships" and increasing my sense of psychological well-being. Moving around in childhood did enrich me in many ways--I think it accounts for my open-mindedness and generally nonjudgmental attitudes toward different people and their worldviews, as well a my intense curiosity about people, culture and society.
That said, I still have a hard time making friends and staying connected to people over a long period of time. I tend to isolate socially (I'm introverted) and have a longstanding problem with depression. Moving around in childhood didn't necessarily cause these adult quality of life issues, because people who grew up in one place can also be introverted, isolate socially. and experience depression. The study is saying that people in the US who moved around a lot in childhood are more likely than people who didn't move around to have these kinds of issues in adulthood. It's a probability finding, and you may have beaten the odds. The report doesn't cite any significance levels, but for social science, the probability that the associations are in error is usually between 1%-5%. I'm not sure the study you cited claimed causality, btw. I think it just showed a pattern of association.
This can go either way. I think moving around a lot in my childhood gave me a certain skill set that is useful in my last 2 careers ( public relations and now security and investigations) but with my son I have seen the opposite. He moved around a lot with me ( 8 countries) but since bringing him to the States I am having to train him to put down roots, to build a foundation and get connected to the community. He resists this because he is used to moving but I see the benefits of a sense of belonging, knowing that you fit in, relating to people, routines and so forth. I'm trying to teach him that it's okay to be different but we also found clubs and social groups with similar hobbies so that he can find his circle. If you move every year, you do miss out on that. But you gain other ways. Some kids I used to babysit in the family reached out to me recently because they wanted someone who understood them to talk to. Their dad left the family when they were small but then kept them isolated from all kids. This meant moving a lot but not making friends and this is damaging.