What helps people who grew up abroad THRIVE in adulthood? Help us find out!

We're doing research on adult TCKs who had a globally mobile childhood, and we want you represented!

The countdown is on! The survey is closing soon and we want you represented!

What This Research Is Looking Into:

  • How does a globally-mobile childhood impact adulthood wellness?
  • Do TCKs have better adulthood outcomes than monocultural populations, despite experiencing more adversity?
  • Do the supports we suggest and offer (like debriefing) make a measurable difference?
  • Is there a discrepancy between support and associated adulthood wellness based on passport country?   
  • What types of support made the biggest difference for those with the hardest stories?

2024 Survey on the Impact of Childhood Global Mobility on Adult Wellness

Who should take the survey

  • 18 years or older
  • Lived outside your passport country OR lived in more than one country before 18yrs
  • Diplomat kids, military kids, corporate kids, UN kids, NGO kids, missionary kids,  worldschoolers, children of international school educators - anyone who lived overseas for any reason!

What does the survey ask about

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Positive Childhood Experiences
  • Family, School, and Community
  • Strengths and Struggles in Adulthood

Safeguarding Measures

  • Independently reviewed by experts
  • Care resources provided
  • Not required to identify yourself
  • Data shared in aggregate only
  • Choose to withdraw your participation at any time
We need your help!
We need your help to ensure this survey represents the full diversity of ATCKs around the world. You know people we can't reach on our own - but together we can reach our goal of 5,000 participants from a wide variety of backgrounds!

Who can you share the survey with?
  • Friends around the world
  • International School Alumni
  • Boarding School Alumni
  • Employee networks abroad (corporate, diplomat, military, NGO, etc.)
  • Families living abroad
  • TCK/Expat community groups
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In 2021 TCK Training ran a survey on Adverse Childhood Experiences in globally mobile Adult Third Culture Kids, which received over 2,000 responses, 1,904 of which were included in the final data set. We subsequently published three white papers reporting on the data we collected. More information on this survey, including our methodology report, and all three white papers, are freely available (links to all can be found on this page).

This Survey
In this current survey, we are looking at both Adverse Childhood Experiences and Positive Childhood Experiences, as well as adult experiences. We are looking for connections between childhood experiences and adult wellness benchmarks in the globally mobile population, to compare with similar research that has been done in single-country populations. In order to be able to compare our results with existing research, we are using specific wording to mirror existing research. The full survey takes most participants about 30 minutes to complete. 

We anticipate that through this survey, the following objectives will be achieved:
  • High ACE scores in globally mobile children can be connected with wellness benchmarks in adulthood, and compared to risk levels in other populations.
  • The frequency with which globally mobile children experience positive family and community factors will be measured, and can be compared to adult wellness benchmarks in other populations.
  • The impact of Positive Childhood Experiences and other resilience factors on globally mobile children will be measured, and can be compared to resilience research in other populations.
  • Better-targeted resources for globally mobile families with a preventive care focus can be created.
While we are a private company and not an academic institution, we went through a testing phase including input from an Indepedent Review team, which included members with significant expertise in: academic research, psychology, international school counseling, education, globally mobile families, and missionary member care, along with Adult TCKs who experienced trauma during childhood. 
Use our template to share a childhood photo of you growing up as a TCK! 
Tag @tcktraining and we’ll post your photo in our stories!

2021 Survey of Developmental Trauma in Third Culture Kids

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October 2023 we released the most recent research findings in White Paper #3!


Following publication of Caution and Hope, we released “TCKs at Risk: Risk Factors and Risk Mitigation for Globally Mobile Families” on December 8th, 2022. 
This white paper provides deeper analysis of the research outlined in Caution and Hope, along with synthesis of research on preventive care. It is available to download for free. 


“Caution and Hope: The Prevalence of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Globally Mobile Third Culture Kids” is our first white paper on the 2021 survey. It was released June 7th 2022 and is available for free download.
This white paper explains our research on Adverse Childhood Experiences among TCKs, and different demographic factors used to sub-divide respondents.

Why Research?

One of our core values here at TCK Training is that all of our programs and services are grounded in research. At many times, we and other TCK Caregivers around the world are seeing things in our professional capacities that we find no research to speak into. For this reason we began to plan our own research projects, to answer questions that impact our work with Third Culture Kids of all ages, as well as their parents, other caregivers, and supporting entities.

In 2022 we created the position of Research Director and hired Tanya Crossman to fill the position. Tanya has researched TCKs for 10 years and was instrumental in the creation of both our 2021 and 2023-2024 surveys. Since the institution of our Intern program in February 2023, we have also had a Research Intern on our team.

Investing in on-going research through staff hours is part of our commitment to contributing new research insights to the global TCK caregiver community. Research is and will always be the foundation of what we do at TCK Training, and we want to share what we learn with the whole community.