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The MYMOVE project

The proportion of youth with an immigrant background is increasing all across Europe. Scientific studies have mainly focused on the effects that the international migration move has for these individuals, while ignoring their subsequent moves. Some descriptive studies, however, suggest that immigrant children are also more likely than their native-born peers to move within the country of settlement after their initial international migration. Research across disciplines has, however, documented that moving is a key and potentially disruptive life event that is often stressful for the family and children involved. Notwithstanding the potential relevance of childhood internal mobility for individual life chances in adulthood we still know very little regarding if, how and for whom childhood internal mobility matters, and whether it has (mid- and long-term) consequences in adult life.

The main objective of the MYMOVE project is therefore to develop a better understanding of the relationship between internal mobility in childhood and later life chances as defined by demographic family life choices, health and well-being. To date, the scientific literature on internal mobility and international migration has developed in parallel but hardly any cross-fertilization has occurred. This has resulted in the study of either international migration or internal mobility without looking at the essential linkages between the two types of moves and their accumulation over the individual life course. In addition, childhood internal mobility has often been studied in a rather simplified way (being mobile or immobile), without taking different relevant dimensions of the move into account, such as the number of moves, the reason for the move, or the age at which the move takes place. Up until recently more advanced simultaneous analyses were also hampered by the lack of suitable longitudinal data that include both immigrants of diverse origins and native born.

 

The project makes five innovative contributions to the so far scattered literature. It will 1) comprehensively map childhood internal mobility patterns; 2) study its mid- and long-term consequences for diverse immigrant groups and the native-born; 3) cover two key outcomes that are crucial in the individual life path (demographic family behaviour and health and well-being); 4) simultaneously study different dimensions of internal mobility (number, reason, timing, distance), and 5), distinguish three levels of influence that may moderate the effect of internal mobility (the neighbourhood of origin and destination, family background, and individual characteristics). The MYMOVE project will break new ground by using unique and new longitudinal (full-) population register and survey panel data from across Europe.​

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