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Final Research Paper

Christopher Colas

Pacific Oaks College


Research Paper Introduction:

Socrates said that life unexamined is not worth living, which is why I feel the need to do

this research paper on a topic that I feel I can relate to. A topic that affected my life and one that

I am very interested in seeing if it had affected the lives of other as well. I believe that it was a

compounding factor in many of the trials and struggles I have had in my life, as well as many of

the lifelong values and great experiences and lessons. I want to explore both sides of these pros

and cons and evaluate the other side of the spectrum as well.

My topic will be; what affect does the family that stays in the same community have on a

family’s life as opposed to a family that is constantly moving from place to place. What does the

family that stays in the same house their entire life the same neighborhood everyone goes to the

same school, have the same jobs forever, what does that family look like? And the family that

moves to different cities on a moment’s notice, changes jobs constantly, always have new

schools, I want to see what that family looks like as well. I want to know if a family that stays in

the same place is happier than the family that keeps moving or vice versa. Does the family that

constantly moves stay closer together throughout the years due to necessity, and does the other

drift apart having their own things and lives to occupy them in their lives? How does the constant

stress of moving and changing scenarios affect the parents? Do the parents stay stronger with a

nest and some sort of established secure location than the others? Are they more likely to stay

together? Do the children have better lives as children that have a base home, do they get the

homecoming dance experience? Do they have more friends? Better chances of going off to

college and becoming successful? Do the other children have these experiences? Are they more

likely to experience peer pressure to fit in? Will they struggle in school? How will both scenarios

affect the children of the families? How will financial status be an issue? Will the stable family

have more chances to get promotions and raises due to having the same jobs? Will the moving

family be forced to settle for any paying job, or will not being afraid to pick up and move allow

them to have a better paying one? I want to know what type of values and customs each family

has. I want to know if the customs of the moving family stay the same, or if they pick up things

and customs from everywhere they have been. Does this make their culture richer or more

diluted? Or does the same customs day in day out get to be too vanilla for the stable family

making their culture very bland and passé.

These are the questions I ask myself daily. If I had to look back I couldn’t even count the

times me and my family moved, but it would be more than 30. So I constantly ask myself, what

if? I see people I knew from my youth, or family members, who lived that stable type of life and

it seems so much different. Their lives seem so much different, I’m not saying their lives are

better not by any means, it just fascinates me how much different their lives are. And I can only

imagine how they would react to having been through my life or me having been through theirs.

I gained a certain skill of survival that they will never have or understand, and I’m certain that

they have certain things that I didn’t acquire in my life journey. This is why this topic is so

fascinating to me. How did it make two families so different and how these differences were

brought on by certain things?

I believe in human development people will come from all different walks of life and

these are the differences that we need to explore and understand in order to successfully work,

help, teach or whatever we choose as our focus will be in order to be effective. Family life is a

major part of the human development and in order to find out how these two types of families

will turn out we need to understand that it will be a major contributor to human development

study. I hope that the paper will help people understand how families work and the differences

and similarities every family has in the human race.


Research Paper Literature Review:

A family that moves frequently has been shown to have poor educational success. A

Cohort study in august of 2013 by Hayley Hutchings investigated the association between

moving homes and schools frequently and the early child educational progress. They carry out a

cohort of 121,422 kids with anonymous records. The details of the study were as follows A) the

number of housing moves as registered with a health care provider. B) the number of times the

family moved schools. The outcome of the study was an educational assessment of ages 6-7.

Binary regression was incorporated to observe housing moves in three time periods: zero to one

years, one to four years, and 4 to six years. Educational moves were also observed from ages

four to age six we made adjustments for demographics, residential moves at different times,

school moves and birth related variables. The children who did not move frequently were more

likely to achieve formal assessments from an educational standpoint than the ones that moved

frequently. There was adjusted ratios between the number of moves and the greater the number

of moves the greater the effect it had of the student’s educational assessment. This was the first

study done to examine the relationship that frequent moving of schools and residents can have on

a child’s educational success. Children who have been subjected to many moves in their lives are

at a disadvantage and should be monitored and looked after by their educators and parents closer

than a child who has not been subject to frequent relocations. Additional educational support

should be offered to those children especially those who have changed schools often. Moving is

one of the most stressful life events, it has been ranked as high as illness, loss of employment,

divorce, and even a family’s death. Today more than 50% of children have moved at least once

before their tenth birthday. The removal of familiar environments and the breakdown of social

networks that goes along with a big move can result in stress and adjustment problems for


Frequent moves are very hard on kids and can affect their lives in many ways. This is

especially true with kids who have already been showing signs of anxiety and introversion.

Adults who moved around more frequently as children also have been shown to have fewer high

quality relationships and have less life satisfaction. A major reason that kids are reason that kids

are mostly affected by moves is that moves are usually the result of some type of problem, like a

break up, or a lay off at work these are hard on the family and the kids always pick up on the

parent’s stress and wear it as well. This not only can affect these children’s education and social

future but it can have a negative effect on their health as well.

A close review of peer reviewed studies of residential mobility and health shows the

conclusions that when families constantly move around, their child’s health and their

adolescent’s health can suffer. Moving has been linked to alcohol and drug abuse, behavioral

issues, cognitive disabilities, juvenile delinquency, teen pregnancies, childhood obesity, and

many other issues all associated with constant changes in school and family residences. Families

that have been known to move allot have also been known to be visited by emergency services

more often. In a study named Residential Mobility, well-being and mortality done by Oishi

Shigehiro and Schimmach Ulrich for the journal of personality and social psychology they tested

the relationship between mobility and well-being. Here are their findings…

“We tested the relation between residential mobility and well-being in a sample of 7,108

American adults who were followed for 10 years. The more residential moves participants had

experienced as children, the lower the levels of well-being as adults. As predicted, however, the

negative association between the number of residential moves and well-being was observed

among introverts but not among extraverts. We further demonstrated that the negative

association between residential mobility and well-being among introverts was explained by the

relative lack of close social relationships. Finally, we found that introverts who had moved

frequently as children were more likely to have died during the 10-year follow-up. Among

extraverts, childhood residential mobility was unrelated to their mortality risk as adults. These

findings indicate that residential moves can be a risk factor for introverts and that extraversion

can be an interpersonal resource for social relationships and well-being in mobile societies”

A study recently published by the American journal of preventive medicine focused on

the negative effects that moving constantly at a young age would have on a child as he grows.

There were numerous negative effects such as attempted suicide, criminal activity, behavioral

and psychiatric disabilities, drug abuse and non-natural mortality. The higher the number of

moves made these outcomes even more likely. Early adolescents were shown to be the most

affected by the number of moves, kids between the ages of twelve to fourteen showed more signs

of negativity towards the family move than any other age group. A child who goes through a big

move at fourteen had double the risk of suicide by the time she is middle aged. The chances they

will be involved in a violent crime and be addicted to drugs more than double. The fact that a

move can be so stressful on the entire family often makes the parents forget that the stress level it

has on their children especially young adult children can have lifelong catastrophic outcomes.

This has been shown to be true with any social economic state. If the move is comfortable and

the family is uprooting to a better home the chances it will affect the child may not be as high,

but we still need to consider the fact that the child is still moving away from everything he or she

knows and has become comfortable with. The moving of schools is especially the hardest for

kids to cope with because they must change their entire social circle, friends who they have

become close with, teachers who they have grown to trust, activities that they have joined such

as sports and extracurricular things. Here is a graph showing these results provided by Webb,

Pedersen and Mok 2016…



Hutchings, H. A., Evans, A., Barnes, P., Demmler, J., Heaven, M., Hyatt, M. A., . . . Dunstan, F. (2013). Do
children who move home and school frequently have poorer educational outcomes in their early years
at school? an anonymised cohort study. PLoS One, 8(8), e70601.

JULIE, B. D. (1994, Oct 09). Roots vs. roaming while some would rather just stay put, others find moving
offers them a chance to spread their wings. Los Angeles Times (Pre-1997 Fulltext) Retrieved from

Oishi, S., & Schimmack, U. (2010). Residential mobility, well-being, and mortality. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology: Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 98(6), 980-994. Retrieved from

Nancy Darling Ph.D. (2010) Moving is tough for kids. Psychology today. Retrieved from:


Antwan Jones, GWU. 2015 The Health Consequences of Moving from Place to Place. Scholars
Strategy Network. Retrieved from; http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/brief/health-

Christopher Ingraham (2013) Moving as a Child can Change Who you are as an Adult. The
Washington Post. Retrieved from; link not provided

Research Paper Methodology:

In my research of the affects that living in a family that moves around constantly

vs. the more stable family that have better developed roots, I have been trying to get both sides of

the spectrum but am encountering a research snag. My research has proven a bit more difficult

than I had anticipated. Finding the right type of information that is relevant to what I am trying to

write about has proven to be a bit more difficult than I would have liked. The information that I

have been able to gather is only showing one side of my question and is focused on the affects

that a constantly moving household has on the family. I could just use this information and

assume that it’s the opposite for the family that is stable but that would not be real or ring true for

many instances. Another bump in the road has occurred in the research process in the way that

all my sources seem to be telling me the same things, so even though I have four or five different

sources it only comes out to about two or so pages worth of useful information without repeating

itself. But this is not going to stop me I am continuing to search for more useful resources and

have confidence that I will be able to come up with enough to finish my literary review. In the

meantime, I have lots of resources outside literature that I plan on turning to build my paper.

For starters I would like to base some of what I know about a family who moves

constantly and attempt to use it with information that I have gathered from others. I want to use

the experiences of many friends and family members to show the contrast of our lives and how

the effects of moving constantly may have had on us. But in order to do that I want to get

a perspective from other people as well.

First I plan on using what I have disposed to me, I live and manage a sober living

and plan on interviewing the men that live in my house. They come from all different

backgrounds and I have found out already that they all have different family dynamics, from

stable Brady bunch type households, to gang affiliated drug addicted family backgrounds. This I

s a perfect place to start. I will find out as much as I can about their family lives. And once I

know that I will ask them if they moved around or stayed in the same place during their

childhood. This should give me a deeper insight on some of the affects that moving has versus

the affects that not moving has.

I also want to interview children that grew up with a parent or parents in the military,

these families definitely move around more than most families do. I want to know whether it

affects the children the same way that a family that is not in the military that moves constantly

has. Do the children have the same hardships or do the military bases and camps shield them

from all of this, I feel this is a vital part of the relocating family culture and I would not be

finished without looking into it.

By taking the questions I have refined from my outline I want to ask several different

people from several different walks of life and backgrounds, people who have seen struggles as

well as people who have had good satisfying lives, I hope to find out the answer to my question.

And find out the true effects that living in a family that moves frequently has on a family

versus the effects of living in a family that does not.

Research Paper Data Collection:

Data Collected:

Subject number one:

John Barrios, 37-Year-Old, White male.

When you were growing up did your family move around allot or stay in one place?

We stayed I the same place.

So, you went to the same school and lived in the same neighborhood, tell me how

that was?

I mean it was cool, I didn’t think about it very much. Growing up was like your normal everyday

life. Me and my brothers and sisters had a good child hood.

Elaborate, tell me how your childhood was


It was kind of like a typical American childhood. We grew up together we’d spend the days

outside playing with the neighborhood kids running around, playing tag and shit like that I think,

you know it was a long time ago.

What about you and your family?

Yeah you know we were close, my dad worked at the electric company and my mom was a

teacher. I remember my mom would be home with us we’d go places, the beach and shit. When

she worked, we would be in school and we went to her school. We spent allot of time with mom.

Dad would get home and it was always the same routine, he would grab a beer change his

clothes and we knew better than to bother him until he was in the kitchen. He’d sit on the table

sipping his been smoking a cigarette and we would always bombard him with all kinds of shit.

Like what?

You know the regular day to day shit. Homework help, mom told me to ask you, can we go here,

can you take us there, that kind of stuff.

And he’d do it?

Oh, yeah my dad was the best he would always have time for all our crap. He was always taking

us fishing, dirt bike riding, I remember he was always my baseball coach and my brothers.

So, your family was close?

Oh, yeah like I said we were your typical American family.


Do you think being in the same place affected your family? Explain how?

Oh, yeah I do absolutely, the fact that we had that stability I think made things allot easier on all

of us. We had problems every family does but we always had a thing to look back at, it felt like

we had a pillar to hold us up during hard times. I remember when my little brother died I

thought it was going to tear our family apart. We were older and it shook us all to our core. But

you know the thing that got us all together was out family home.

Ok last question: do you feel that having that stable home and rooted life affected

your life? How?

Yes, I think it did. I grew lifelong friendships, I had a life that I can be proud of and I

truly believe that my family values and life would be the results of that. Having holidays at our

old family home brings us all closer. I mean I met my wife in high school in that house we went

to prom together. I still talk to the friends I made on my little league team. And now my kids go

there to be with their grandparents at the house I grew up at.

This is my rough draft and so far, I have been able to do only one interview. The second

interview was with my friend but she had a scheduling conflict so I haven’t gotten to do it yet. I

wanted the third interview to be my experience but I didn’t know if that was allowed or not.

For my next interview, I would like to state my experience in moving.

By the third grade not only did my family decide to move but we decided to move to an

entire different country. We packed up one suit case and moved to Mexico. There I had no

friends I had to learn how to survive a new school where I didn’t know the teachers and I didn’t

even know the language. People didn’t like me because I was an American, I was in a strange

place with only my family. I adjusted quickly but my family continued to move. While we were

in Mexico we moved approximately 10 times I remember one house we were only at for 10 days

we called it the 10-day house ironically it was my favorite. But I still made the most of it I made

lots of friends in Mexico, I had lots of things tying me down in Mexico I had roots in Mexico.

So, my family decide to move back to the united states. Once back in the united states I was once

again an outcast. All my old friends had moved on and the times did not stand still for me we

moved houses in California another 6 to ten times I was still in the same school and had become

used to my surroundings again. Moving so many time does that. But then we moved to Las

Vegas. I had to go through it all over again. Back and forth I’ve moved over 30 times. And I can

see how it has affected me. The studies have shown that people who move around prove to be

suicidal, drug abusers, alcoholics, social awkward, and have many other disabilities.

Unfortunately, I have shown many of these throughout my life as have my sister. I go more into

it in my lit review and analysis and would rather not talk about it anymore.

What have I learned while writing this paper? I must to say I learned allot about myself while

writing this paper I am a child who moved around a lot and have had to go through several

different schools. Before I was 18 I counted the time, I moved and if my memory severe me it

was more than 35 times more than 40 in my whole life. So, I can really relate to allot of what

these studies and articles that I have pulled out of the internet has to say. I especially was taken

back by how hard a person’s life is predicted or shown to turn our when moved around a few

times. The studies show that they have chances of suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal

activity, social anxiety and many other debilitating issues that affect their ways of life. When I

read about all these I thought to myself, shit this is only a few relocations I’ve moved more than

30 times. And then it hit me I have actually shown most of these results, I’ve never attempted

suicide but I’ve lived through all the rest. I am a drug addict and alcoholic, I was involved in

countless criminal activities, I lived on the streets, I have social anxiety I can probably count

more. So, what have I learned? I’ve learned that the statistics are true! People that are forced to

move put a great deal of misfortune on their children, I’ve learned that having to leave your

friends behind is a blow that is hard to come back from, I’ve learned that needing to learn how to

get along with new people and new teachers every year can put a great damper on your school

life and affect the way you perform in school. I’ve learned that when moving around constantly

your children are at risk of having lifelong issues in life that will greatly impair their abilities to

function in a normal society. But did I really learn all these things or did I always know them? I

didn’t need to learn them I know how hard it is to make new friends, and have all new teachers. I

know how kids who are subjected to moves while younger might turn to drugs or crime or have

social issues, I’ve lived through all of these things. So, what did I learn? Again, I ask myself the


I have learned that the statistics can be crippling. Only if you let them. I’ve learned that

no matter how many studies are done and how many charts are filled out people have the

capabilities to change their probabilities of life. When I was reading these statistics about my life

I started to get very depressed, this is one of the main reasons I took so long to get my literature

review done. I read how Fucked up my life mathematically and scientifically turned out because

of the way my family decided to live. I couldn’t fight it, it was all right there in black and white

and scholarly reviewed no less. I started thinking what this paper would do to my parents, I

dreaded them reading a paper that I had written basically pinpointing everything that every went

wrong in my life being boiled down to the fact that they moved us around so much. I pictured my

mother crying while reading these studies. As I read down the list of very serious affects that

moving so much has and had almost every single one I started to wonder how I was even alive to

write this paper. But then I snapped out of it. I could have really let all this data collection really

bring me down but instead I let it lift me up. So, what did I learn? I learned how strong I was,

how strong my family was. I learned that no matter what these scientists and doctors say and

predict I am not a slave to their results. I took the hardest blows that this subject must offer and

one would say that I am a prime example of what happens to children that move around allot, but

I say I am prime example of someone who doesn’t let his past define him. If I’ve learned one

thing from this paper it’s that no matter how hard I might have had it growing up, I was able, no

my entire family was able to pick ourselves up and get back in the race. And that is what I have

learned. It has been one of the most valuable lessons ever, and I will take it with me for the rest

of my life.