Issues of interest to Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs)
Thank you for your interest in this survey of Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs)! ATCKs are adults who spent time living overseas before age 18, whether or not they live overseas as adults.
The survey should take 20-40 minutes to complete, depending on how long you take considering your answers, and whether you choose to add additional thoughts at the end. Please read the following introduction which will explain more about how to complete the survey, and what this information will be used for.
My name is Tanya Crossman, and I am the author of "Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century." This book explores the perspective of young people growing up overseas, and how an international childhood affects worldview. I am now preparing to write a second book, aimed at young adult TCKs. The goal is to provide support and advice for the journey from international childhood to independent adulthood. This survey is an early step in the research which will lead to the eventual publication of this book.
The issues covered in the survey come from interviews and conversations with young adult TCKs around the world. Several test surveys were used to craft questions effectively. I found that trying to condense the survey actually made it harder to complete. Asking more specific and targeted questions meant less confusion about how best to answer. Please don't agonise over answers. You don't have have be utterly accurate, but rather give a best estimate of your feelings. The goal of this survey is to learn what issues are of greatest concern to young adult TCKs (aged 18-30). Input from older ATCKs is also sought, to get a more balanced/long term view - what seems important in the moment, vs what seems important looking back. I hope to get responses from at least 300 ATCKs in their 20s, 200 ATCKs in their 30s, and 100 ATCKs in their 40s.
Included in this survey is a section on mental health. Anecdotally, I have been told of higher than normal levels of depression and anxiety among ATCKs, but there is little research on this. The goal of this section is to gauge how widespread these experiences are in the ATCK population, and to help guide how this topic will be treated in the book to follow. You will be asked if you have experienced grief, depression, anxiety, self harm, substance abuse, and whether you have accessed various professional mental health services. There are no specific details asked, and I will not be comparing answers to individuals. If you are at all uncomfortable about this, please keep in mind that you are under no obligation to complete the survey, and may choose to exit the survey at any time. I do encourage you to participate if you can, to help provide helpful statistics that represent the wide variety of TCK experiences.
At the end of the survey you will have an opportunity to sign up to receive further information on this survey, or volunteer to be interviewed individually. If you choose to receive updates you will need to enter an email address, but this is optional - not required.
If you have any questions about this survey, or my work in general, please feel free to contact me directly: