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Moving, Effect on the Family

  • By: Thomas Olkowski
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Each year approximately 40 to 45 million Americans, including 8 million children, move to new homes, neighborhoods, or communities. The emotional strain moving creates has been ranked just behind death and divorce as one of the leading stressors in family life. In fact, elementary school-aged children cite moving to a new school among the 20 most stressful experiences of their lives. The primary reason for this reaction is that a family move is a lengthy process often filled with uncertainties that begins with a family's decision to move and ends only when all family members are emotionally settled into their new surroundings.

Family moves can trigger a wide spectrum of emotional responses that include sadness, feelings of loss, anger, fears of the unknown, and loneliness, ...

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