Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Anthropology

Department name when degree awarded


Committee Chair(s)

Michael B. Toney


Michael B. Toney


Edna Berry


The primary objective of this research was to investigate the propensity to migrate the destination choices of young adults, and the importance of individual, household, and community characteristics in these migration choices. Using cohort data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth79 from 1980 to 1998, this study specifies the set of individual-, household-, and community-level of determinants on migration and then incorporates these variables in multivariate analyses to test their direct and relative effects on the migratory behavior of young adult groups. A Cox proportional hazard analysis suggests that among three levels of factors, individual characteristics are the most important determinants of migration, but the migratory behavior is more fully explained by multilevel variables rather than a single-level variable.

This research had three foci within the primary objective. First, at the individual level, this study is the first step in research that intended to suggest the usefulness of status inconsistency arguments on migration studies. Findings of the research indicate that underrewarded individuals are more likely to migrate than those who have balanced status, while overrewarded individuals are less likely to migrate than those who have balanced status.

Second, at the household-level investigation, this research focused on the effects of relative conjugal power between husbands and wives on migration. Results suggest that differences in relative power between husbands and wives has only minor effects on migration and the direction of migration, but the quantitative effects of relative power variables are greater for wives than for husbands.

Third, at the community-level investigation, this study focused on analyzing the interaction between the residential mobility of individuals and characteristics of the residential areas where they are located. The migration propensity of the most mobile types of people (the more educated whites) has responded more to differences in community characteristics than that of the least mobile types of people (the less educated blacks).



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