This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Relationship Between Geographic Mobility and Feelings of Mastery During Adolescence




Jensen, Laura

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


The purpose of this study was to explore the influence of geographic mobility and demographic characteristics on feelings of mastery in adolescents. Participants (N = 1,268) were part of the second wave of the National Survey of Families and Households which assessed the life-history of participants and members of their family (Sweet and Bumpass, 1996). The participants in this study ranged in age from 10 to 17 years (M = 13.3). Males and females were eq ually represented in the sample and 71.2% were Caucasian. The adolescents were interviewed via the telephone and provided demographic information and rated their feelings of mastery over the environment. Parents reported on the frequency of moves, as well as the dates of moving since wave 1. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that age (older adolescents) and race (Caucasian) were associated with higher levels of mastery. Frequency of moves exerted a small, but significant, negative effect on mastery, controlling for recency. No effect, however, was found for recency of moves. Based on these findings, the discussion focused on the importance of conducting research that examines the complex family processes that occur over the course of a move.