Volume 17 - Article 20 | Pages 591-622

Family migration and mobility sequences in the United States: Spatial mobility in the context of the life course

By William A.V. Clark, Suzanne Davies Withers

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Date received:19 Jul 2006
Date published:20 Dec 2007
Word count:7700
Keywords:children, family migration, households, life course, moving intentions, residential mobility, sequences


Significant changes in family composition in the past quarter-century raise important questions about life-course outcomes embedded in these family changes, especially in relation to the migratory and mobility patterns of individuals and families. The classic distinction between long-distance/employment and short-distance/housing-related moves may be eroding. Patterns of movement appear much less dichotomous and more diverse as family structures become more diverse.
Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics this study shows that the previous research, which suggested relatively simple links between long-distance and short-distance moves, is an over-simplification. Moreover, there is much more unintended movement at both migratory and mobility scales suggesting the economic models of employment migration may be missing important family dynamics in the migration mobility process.

Author's Affiliation

William A.V. Clark - University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America [Email]
Suzanne Davies Withers - University of Washington, Seattle, United States of America [Email]

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