Frequent house moves during childhood ups risk of subsequent poor health

February 6, 2012, British Medical Journal

Frequent house moves during childhood seem to increase the risk of poor health in later life, suggests research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

The researchers assessed the health of 850 people, taking part in the West of Scotland Twenty-O7 Study. This has tracked the , based on postcodes, of those aged 15, 35, and 55 in 1987/8 over a period of 20 years.

The analysis included physical health, such as weight, waist: hip ratio, and ; overall health—meaning a limiting long term illness and subjective assessment of general health; psychological health; and unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking and heavy drinking or illicit drug use.

One in five people had lived at the same address throughout childhood; six out of 10 (59%) had moved once or twice; and a further one in five (21%) had moved at least three times.

Those in single parent/step parent households and those with two or three siblings were significantly more likely to move home. But those with at least four siblings were more likely to stay put during childhood.

There was no obvious association between parental housing tenure or social class and an increased number of moves.

There was no association between the frequency of house moves and measures.

But frequent house moves during childhood were associated with an increased risk of poorer overall health, psychological distress, and heavy drinking and smoking during adolescence and adulthood.

And while some of these effects may be attributable to moving schools, which may disrupt family life and social networks more than a house move alone, this was not the case for the risk of illicit drug use, say the authors.

Illicit drug use during adolescence and adulthood was independently associated with the frequency of house moves during childhood, even after taking account of parental background and levels of affluence and the number of school moves.

Explore further: Smoking during pregnancy factor in childhood behavioural disorders

Related Stories

Smoking during pregnancy factor in childhood behavioural disorders

April 27, 2011
(PhysOrg.com) -- New University of Otago, Christchurch, research has identified common factors in the far-reaching childhood behavioural conditions, Conduct Disorder (CD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), including ...

High childhood IQ linked to subsequent illicit drug use

November 15, 2011
A high childhood IQ may be linked to subsequent illegal drug use, particularly among women, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Childhood cancer survivors in poor health at greater risk for unemployment in adulthood

August 15, 2011
Childhood cancer survivors with poor physical health and neurocognitive deficits are more likely to be unemployed or work part-time in adulthood, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, ...

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.