Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Coming and going: Explaining the effects of residential and school mobility on adolescent delinquency

TitleComing and going: Explaining the effects of residential and school mobility on adolescent delinquency
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsGasper, J, Deluca, S, Estacion, A
JournalSocial science research
Date PublishedMay
ISBN Number0049-089X
Accession NumberWOS:000276514300009
Keywordsadolescence, behavior, children, delinquency, drug-use, family-structure, impact, Mobility, Neighborhoods, performance, premarital birth, random effects, sexual-activity, social-class, substance use

Over the past half century, a large body of theoretical and empirical work in sociology and other social sciences has emphasized the negative consequences of mobility for human development in general, and youth outcomes in particular. In criminology, decades of research have documented a link between residential mobility and crime at both the macro and micro levels. At the micro level, mobility is associated with delinquency, substance use, and other deviant behaviors among adolescents. However, it is possible that the relationship between mobility and delinquency may be due to selection on pre-existing differences between mobile and non-mobile youth in their propensity for delinquency, and prior studies have not adequately addressed this issue. Specifically, the families that are most likely to move are also the most disadvantaged and may be characterized by dynamics and processes that are conducive to the development of delinquency and problem behavior in their children. This study uses data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 to assess the impact of residential and school mobility between the ages of 12 and 17 on delinquency and substance use. Random effects models control for selection on both observed and unobserved differences. Results show that mobility and delinquency are indeed spuriously related. Implications for future research on mobility and outcomes are discussed. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.