Article

The effects of house moves during early childhood on child mental health at age 9 years.

BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.08). 08/2012; 12(1):583. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-583
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Residential mobility is common in families with young children; however, its impact on the social development of children is unclear. We examined associations between the number, timing and type of house moves in childhood and child behaviour problems using data from an ongoing longitudinal study. METHODS: Complete data on residential mobility and child behaviour was available for 403 families. Three aspects of mobility were considered: (a) number of house moves from birth to <2 years, 2 to <5 years and 5 to 9 years; (b) lifetime number of house moves; and (c) moves associated with different housing trajectories characterized by changes in housing tenure. The primary outcomes were internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems at 9 years derived from Achenbach's Child Behaviour Checklist. Linear regression analyses were used to investigate the effect of the housing variables on internalizing and externalizing behaviour problem scores with adjustment for a range of sociodemographic and household covariates. RESULTS: Moving house 2 or more times before 2 years of age was associated with an increased internalizing behaviour score at age 9 years. This association remained after adjustment for sociodemographic and household factors. There was no association between increased residential mobility in other time periods and internalizing behaviour, or mobility in any period and externalizing behaviour. There was no effect of lifetime number of moves, or of an upwardly or downwardly mobile housing trajectory. However, a housing trajectory characterized by continuous rental occupancy was associated with an increased externalizing behaviour score. CONCLUSIONS: These findings may suggest that there is a sensitive period, in the first few years of life, in which exposure to increased residential mobility has a detrimental effect on mental health in later childhood.

1 Bookmark
 · 
86 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There are concerns about negative effects of relocations between asylum-seeker centres on the mental health of asylum-seeking children. However, empirical evidence comes from cross-sectional studies only. In this longitudinal medical record study, we aimed to assess: (i) whether relocations during the asylum process are associated with the incidence of newly recorded mental distress in asylum-seeking children; and (ii) whether this association is stronger among vulnerable children. Data were extracted from the electronic medical records database of the Community Health Services for Asylum Seekers in The Netherlands (study period: 1 January 2000-31 December 2008). Included were 8047 children aged 4 to 17 years. Case attribution was done using International Classification of Primary Care codes for mental, behavioural or psychosocial problems. The association between annual relocation rate and incidence of mental distress was measured using relative risks (RR) estimated with multivariate Cox regression models. A high annual relocation rate (>1 relocation/year) was associated with increased incidence of mental distress [RR = 2.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.30-3.17]. The relative risk associated with a high annual relocation rate was larger in children who had experienced violence (RR = 3.87; 95% CI 2.79-5.37) and in children whose mothers had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder or depression (RR = 3.40; 95% CI 2.50-4.63). The risk of mental distress was greater in asylum-seeking children who had undergone a high annual relocation rate. This risk increase was stronger in vulnerable children. These findings contribute to the appeal for policies that minimize the relocation of asylum seekers.
    International Journal of Epidemiology 12/2013; · 6.98 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Epidemiology 01/2014; · 6.98 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
14 Downloads
Available from
May 28, 2014