Volume 33 - Article 32 | Pages 939–950

Residential mobility in early childhood: Household and neighborhood characteristics of movers and non-movers

By Elizabeth M. Lawrence, Elisabeth Root, Stefanie Mollborn

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Date received:20 Jan 2015
Date published:03 Nov 2015
Word count:1986
Keywords:early childhood, Early Childhood Longitudinal Study: Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), race/ethnicity, residential mobility, socioeconomic status


Background: Understanding residential mobility in early childhood is important for contextualizing influences on child health and well-being.

Objective: This study describes individual, household, and neighborhood characteristics associated with residential mobility for children aged 0-5.

Methods: We examined longitudinal data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort (ECLS-B), a nationally representative sample of children born in 2001. Frequencies described the prevalence of characteristics for four waves of data and adjusted Wald tests compared means.

Results: Moving was common for these families with young children, as nearly three-quarters of children moved at least once. Movers transitioned to neighborhoods with residents of higher socioeconomic status but experienced no improved household socioeconomic position relative to non-movers.

Conclusions: Both the high prevalence and unique implications of early childhood residential mobility suggest the need for further research.

Author's Affiliation

Elizabeth M. Lawrence - University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States of America [Email]
Elisabeth Root - University of Colorado Boulder, United States of America [Email]
Stefanie Mollborn - University of Colorado Boulder, United States of America [Email]

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