This is an interesting article from the Christian Science Monitor and more related to “sociocultural” factors, but I thought I would post it anyway to see if it was of interest to others.
An American by birth and parentage, Rachel has lived in Germany, Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt, and now Thailand, all before graduating from high school. Experts call Rachel and her classmates third culture kids (TCKs) - part of a growing league of young people who feel like outsiders both in the country on their passport (the first culture) and in the country of their residence (the second culture).
Instead, their greatest sense of belonging is found in a “third culture” of peers for whom everywhere, and nowhere, is home.
Such children reside in every corner of the globe, from Italy to Indonesia, Brazil to Botswana - any country where American parents are working as military officers, missionaries, embassy officials, journalists, factory managers, or business executives.
With 7 million US passports issued in foreign countries each year, estimates suggest roughly 4 million American youngsters are growing up overseas. A typical expat family is on the move every two or three years.
What is the long-term impact of such an exotic, rootless childhood? That question is debated today as new websites, support groups, research studies, and dozens of books seek to advise and analyze this expanding group of global nomads.
The experts agree that TCKs are multilingual, highly adaptable, broad-minded, often untouched by racial stereotypes, and more culturally aware than their peers back home. They are self-reliant and socially mature. In one sense, they are the ideal citizens in a globalized world. But American peers are more likely to view them as pampered misfits.