Advertisement

Study: Moving, even to a nicer neighborhood, puts children at risk of not graduating

"Housing policies and programs that promote mobility must consider potentially meaningful unintended consequences for youth and families," said study author Molly Metzger.

By
Brooks Hays
New research suggests moving during high school, even to a more affluent, safer neighborhood, puts a child at a greater risk of not graduating. Photo by karamysh/Shutterstock.
New research suggests moving during high school, even to a more affluent, safer neighborhood, puts a child at a greater risk of not graduating. Photo by karamysh/Shutterstock.

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Adults know how much moving stinks. It's the worst. But even if children are rarely employed to do much of the heavy lifting, moving is even worse for them.

New research suggests moving during high school, even to a more affluent, safer neighborhood, puts a child at a greater risk of not graduating.

Advertisement

Sociologists from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., looked at data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a survey that followed students in 7th through 12th grade during 1990s into their twenties. As part of the survey, students were asked whether they had moved in the last 12 months.

The new analysis showed that students who had moved at least once within a 12-month period were 50 percent less likely to earn a high school diploma by age 25.

The results were published this week in the journal Social Science Research.

"Our findings support prior research that demonstrates the strain mobility places on academic attainment after accounting for other academic risk factors," lead study author Molly Metzger, assistant professor at the Brown School, said in a press release.

Advertisement

"Evidence suggests that mobility in adolescence hampers chances of high school graduation regardless of whether youth move to a relatively poorer or less-poor neighborhood," Metzger added. "Our results suggest housing policies and programs that promote mobility must consider potentially meaningful unintended consequences for youth and families."

Latest Headlines