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28 J. Soc. & Soc. Welfare 119 (2001)
Residential Mobility and Youth Well-Being: Research, Policy, and Practice Issues

handle is hein.journals/jrlsasw28 and id is 119 raw text is: Residential Mobility and Youth Well-Being:
Research, Policy, and Practice Issues
University of Washington
School of Social Work
Addictions Treatment Center
Veterans Administration Medical Center
Despite an extensive body of sociological work suggesting that residential
mobility reduces child well-being, the subject of relocation has been largely
overlooked in social work and social welfare literature. Recent social policies
threaten to increase the incidence of moving among low-income families in
the United States. This paper reviews theoretical and empirical literature
in this area and finds evidence that residential mobility reduces children's
academic functioning, and may negatively affect other aspects of child
well-being. These effects are especially strong for poor children from single
parent families, making this issue of particular relevance for social work.
The authors suggest implications for future research, propose policies to
increase residential stability, and provide directions for social work practice
with mobile children.
The United States has been described as a nation of movers,
with 15-20% of its population relocating each year (United States
Department of Commerce, 1998). The vast majority of these citi-
zens-renters in households earning less than $25,000 per year-
are economically disadvantaged both by tenure status and by
income (US Department of Commerce, 1998). Social scientific
inquiry demonstrates that moving can be a difficult transition
for household members due to the loss of familiar spatial envi-
ronments, social relationships, and social institutions (Pribesh &
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, March, 2001, Volume XXVIII, Number I

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