Caution and Hope for International Business Families
When TCK Training released our white paper, Caution and Hope: The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Globally Mobile Third Culture Kids, we knew we were only beginning to scratch the surface of what we could learn from the data we had collected from 1,904 individuals who completed our 2021 survey on developmental trauma in globally mobile Third Culture Kids. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will look a little deeper at certain sub-groups represented in the data.
Caution and Hope For International Business Families
In our survey of nearly 2,000 people who grew up internationally, we discovered that 29% (nearly 1 in 3) of those who grew up in international business families were at high risk of adverse outcomes in adulthood. In this blog post, we go through the data from our white paper "Caution and Hope" that applies specifically to international business families: things that are hard to hear, along with what we can do to cultivate long term thriving for children growing up globally due to corporate transfers.
Age and Education
The business kids we surveyed came from a range of ages, similar to other sectors (other than the military sector, which was older than the rest). Very few were born before 1960, but this was not a significant difference from other non-military sectors.
Experiences of mobility among business kids were interesting. They were more likely to live in multiple countries than other TCKs, but less likely to experience extreme mobility.
This is significant, as our research found that extreme mobility was correlated with higher ACE scores among the TCKs we surveyed.
What are ACE scores? This formula, which has been researched around the world for around 25 years, is a way to quantify the number of types of childhood trauma an individual experienced. A score of 0-10 is assigned based on their experiences, and a score of 4 or higher is associated with higher risk of negative behavioral, psychological, and physical health outcomes.
While high mobility was not as prevalent in Business Kids as other sectors, the Business sector had the highest rate of high risk ACE scores of any sector we surveyed.
Positive Childhood Experiences
Our white paper is titled Caution and Hope because while these statistics can be a bit scary, they are not the end of the story. Existing research demonstrates that even when high ACEs are present, the risk they represent can be mitigated through Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs).
Caution and Hope:
The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Globally Mobile Third Culture Kids
Providing adequate preventive care and education of protective factors is a must for all international businesses. Corporate HR should be trained in how to equip families to care for their children before (and while) they go abroad on assignment. Families left on their own without help from the companies sending them on assignment need to know there is information and support available to them.
TCK Training is here to help. We have curricula, workshops, training, memberships, and everything else you need to support families working abroad.
Related blog post:
Mitigating Risk Factors for International Business Kids
Other blog posts in this series: