Childhood residential mobility and poor mental health in adolescence and early adulthood: a record linkage study.

Childhood environment can have a long-term impact on the individual by initiating health trajectories that either protect or increase vulnerability over the lifespan (Wadsworth ME, 1997). Change of residence can be an emotionally distressing experience, especially for children, as it can lead to the discontinuation of both familial life and social networks (Qin P, 2009). Stressful changes the individual has no control of, can be difficult to cope with and thus affect emotional well-being.

There are a number of studies that have explored the role of residential stability on later mental health, however, such findings have been reported either as a parameter of the general health status of the offspring (Jelleyman T, 2008), as a specific finding on certain outcome variables such as drug-related behaviours (Dewit DJ, 1998) or as a proximal factor of mental health outcomes (Lix LM, 2007). Besides findings on associations with recent residential movement, mental health conditions need to be considered as an outcome of the accumulation of both distal and proximal factors, thus including the impact of similar changes in early life.

This study will utilize data extracted from the Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study to identify young people suffering from emotional and behavioural problems. By linking 2001 and 2011 Censuses, Birth records and migration data from the Health card registration database, we can explore the effect of residential mobility on mental health outcomes, as well as other potential factors including the impact of a critical age of move and number of changes.

Publications and Outputs:

Tseliou, F., O’Reilly D., Maguire, A. & Donnelly, M. (2014) ‘ The impact of childhood residential mobility on mental health outcomes in adolescence and early adulthood: a record linkage study’ – presented at the Centre of Excellence for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast Away Day on 28th November 2014. [085]

Research Team: Miss Foteini Tseliou, Dr Dermot O’Reilly, Dr Aideen Maguire, Dr David Wright and Dr Michael Donnelly
Database: NILS
Project Status: Complete
Organisation(s): Queen’s University Belfast