Relocation and the Family: A Crisis in Adolescent Development

  • Elaine Ruth Goldberg
Part of the Current Topics in Mental Health book series (CTMH)


When adolescents move, they face the combined stresses of adaptation to a new environment and the pressures of adolescent development. Although either transition can produce dramatic upheavals in individuals and family systems, the double stress of moving and growing up is an extreme challenge to an adolescent’s security and well-being. The long-term effects of academic and social status on his or her self-concept and the urgency of college and career choices raise the stakes of uprooting.


Early Adolescent Personal Accomplishment Adolescent Development Garden City School Adjustment 
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Additional Reading Suggestions

  1. Bower, E. M. American children and families in overseas communities. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1967, 37, 787–796.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Coelho, G. V., Hamburg, D. A., & Adams, J. E. (Eds.). Coping and adaptation. New York: Basic Books, 1974. Recommended for more specific information about stress, stress-producing situations and conditions, stress-induced behavior, and stress management.Google Scholar
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  4. Duhl, L. J. (Ed.). The urban condition: People and policy in the metropolis. New York: Basic Books, 1963. See chapters: Grieving for a lost home, by Fried, Population mobility in the American middle class, by Gutman, & Effects of the move from city to suburb, by Gans.Google Scholar
  5. Fensterheim, H., & Baer, J. Don’t say yes when you want to say no: How assertiveness training can change your life. New York: McKay, 1975. Discusses people with deficient social networks and offers specific advice on how to overcome isolation and achieve a satisfying social network. Breaks the idea of making friends and developing intimacy into learnable concepts.Google Scholar
  6. Giammattei, H., & Slaughter, K. Help your family make a better move. Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday, 1970. Advice from experienced mothers.Google Scholar
  7. Gordon, R. E., Gordon, K. K., & Gunther, M. The split-level trap. New York: Geis Associates, 1961. Chapter 1 describes the sensitizers, the pressurizers, and the precipitators—the kinds of stress that the authors have found attack mobile people.Google Scholar
  8. Hall, E. T. The silent language. Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday, 1959.Google Scholar
  9. Hall, E. T. The hidden dimension. Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday, 1966.Google Scholar
  10. Hall, E. T. Beyond culture. Garden City, N.Y. Doubleday Anchor, 1976. These three books by Hall describe those elements of culture and communication that are below awareness, and the importance of context for meaning.Google Scholar
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  12. Hopkins, R. I’ve had it: A practical guide to moving abroad. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston, 1972. A good discussion of moving and ways of coping. Discusses culture shock and adjustment. Suggests sources for more information.Google Scholar
  13. Kenniston, K.: The Carnegie Council on Children. All our children. New York: Harcourt Brace Javanovich, 1977. Contains a good discussion on the myth of the self-sufficient family, its history, and the social costs of perpetuating it.Google Scholar
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  18. Transplanting the executive family: how to minimize the shocks. Business Week, November 15, 1976.Google Scholar
  19. Werkman, S. Hazards of rearing children in foreign countries. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1972, 128, 992–997.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Werkman, S. Bringing up children overseas. New York: Basic Books, 1977. Includes a special chapter on adolescents.Google Scholar
  21. West, E., with J. P. Carter and members of the staff of the Boston Children’s Medical Center. Keeping your family healthy overseas. New York: Delacorte, 1971. Addressed to mothers because they feel that the family’s experience is based on the mother’s ability to manage and adjust. She is the focus of all frustrations and the source of alleviation. Useful discussion of culture shock, p. 65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine Ruth Goldberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational ConsultantBrightonUSA

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