Third culture kid
Third culture kid (TCK) is a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years. The definition is not constrained to describing only children, but can also be used to describe adults who have had the experience of being an ATCK (Adult Third Culture Kid). The experience of being a TCK is unique in that these individuals are moving between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity. The first culture of children refers to the culture of the country from which the parents originated, the second culture refers to the culture in which the family currently resides, and the third culture refers to the amalgamation of these two cultures. The third culture is further reinforced with the interaction of the third culture individual with another expatriate community one would come to encounter.
Today, the population of third culture kids, also referred to as "third culture individuals" (TCIs), is increasing with globalization, transnational migration, numerous job opportunities and work overseas, accessibility of international education, and various other factors. The number of people who are currently living outside the old nation-state categories is increasing rapidly, by 64 million just within 12 years, reaching up to 220 million people (2013). Since TCKs' international experience is characterized by a sense of high mobility, they have also been referred as global nomads. Furthermore, their multicultural experiences away from their motherland at a young age, give them other unique nicknames such as "cultural hybrids" and "cultural chameleons". Some well-known TCIs include the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, and Abby Huntsman, daughter of former U.S. Ambassador to China and former Governor of Utah Jon Huntsman, Jr., who lived in Beijing and various other Asian cities due to his father's career path. Currently, there are as many bilingual children in the world as there are monolingual children. TCIs are often exposed to a second (or third, fourth, etc.) language while living in their host culture. "TCKs learn some languages in schools abroad and some in their homes or in the marketplaces of a foreign land. . . . Some pick up languages from the servants in the home or from playmates in the neighborhood" (Bell-Villada et al. 23). This means that TCKs obtain language skills by being physically exposed to the environment where the native language is used in practical life. This is why TCKs are often bilingual, and sometimes even multilingual.
- 1 Origins
- 2 General characteristics
- 3 Racism and stereotypes
- 4 Psychological impact
- 5 Research
- 6 Education and counseling
- 7 Careers that lead to TCIs
- 8 Career decisions
- 9 Language and third culture individuals
- 10 Statistics (U.S. TCIs)
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References and further reading
- 14 External links
The term "third culture kid" was first coined by researchers John and Ruth Useem in the 1950s, who used it to describe the children of American citizens working and living abroad. Dr. Ruth Useem first used the term after her second year-long visit to India with her fellow sociologist/anthropologist husband and three children. At the time, it applied to the children of Foreign Service Officers, military personnel, missionaries, businessmen, educators, media representatives, and aid workers but has since expanded to be applicable to any individual of any country who has undergone these same experiences. The term is not limited to Americans but rather can be used to describe any individuals who have had significant living experience in a culture besides their own. TCKs are sometimes referred to as "third culture individuals" as being a third culture kid does not necessarily constitute being a child.
Useem et al. (1963) depicted individuals who have undergone such an experience as having distinct standards of interpersonal behavior, work-related norms, codes of lifestyle and perspectives, and communication. This creates a new cultural group that does not fall into their home or host culture, but rather share a culture with all other TCIs. In 1993 she wrote:
In summarizing that which we had observed in our cross-cultural encounters, we began to use the term "third culture" as a generic term to cover the styles of life created, shared, and learned by persons who are in the process of relating their societies, or sections thereof, to each other. The term "Third Culture Kids" or TCKs was coined to refer to the children who accompany their parents into another society.—Ruth Hill Useem, TCK World: The Official Home of Third Culture Kids
Kay Branaman Eakin, the former Education Counselor for the United States Department of State, worked with American families returning to the United States after having lived abroad. She described a TCI as "someone who, as a child, has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than [his/her] own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture." In 1984, author and researcher Norma McCaig used the term "global nomad," which is synonymous with TCI, but was used in order to take into account that the child's situation was as a result of a parent or parents' career or life choice(s).
Third culture individuals can also be referred to as cultural hybrids, cultural chameleons, and global nomads. TCIs are particularly adept at building relationships with other cultures while not possessing a cultural identity of their own. It has been discussed in the past that the characteristics that have been put forth by prominent researchers in the TCI field have only been discussed when referring to American children who have lived abroad. However, there has been further research done on TCIs that shows that the same characteristics described by Pollock and Useem in the most prominent TCI literature also apply to individuals from other nations who have also lived abroad for extended periods of time during their developmental years. There are benefits and challenges to being a TCI according to various researchers on the subject. The term TCKs may be applied to all social classes and includes immigrant and refugee students (Dewaele 8c van Oudenhoven, 2009).
- Expanded worldview: TCIs have an understanding that there is more than one way to look at situations that they are exposed to or experience. This can also be a challenge however, when third culture individuals return to a culture that is homogenous in their belief system, as an expanded worldview is perceived as offensive or useless.
- Third-dimensional view of the world: With an increased amount of hands-on experiences in multiple cultures, there is a difference in the way that the world is perceived. For example, there has been an increase in cross-cultural authors, such as Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, who have received awards for their works that are written from a multicultural perspective. These authors are able to provide vivid descriptions about the cultures they have directly experienced and thus their work appears to be "three-dimensional."
- Interpersonal sensitivity: Increased exposure to a variety of perceptions and lifestyles allow TCIs to monitor their emotions, and register societal norms and cues more adeptly so as to produce higher sensitivity to other cultures and ways of life.
- Cross-cultural competence or cultural intelligence : the capacity to function effectively across national, ethnic, and organizational cultures
- TCK have been found to have higher levels of general adjustment as opposed to mono cultural children.
- Confused loyalties: Third culture kids can experience confusion with politics, patriotism, and values. This is especially the case when moving from collectivist to individualist cultures, or vice versa, as the values within each culture are different from the other. This issue is also related with the identity crisis, on a cultural level, not being able to feel a sense of oneness with any one nationality or culture.
- Painful awareness of reality: difficulty adjusting to cultures where the only culture that is discussed or focused on is itself.
- Ignorance of home culture: TCIs are often lacking in knowledge about their home nation, culture, town, and/or family. With current technology leading to the globalization of information, this is becoming increasingly less of a challenge provided the TCIs use modern technology in their host cultures to connect to their home culture. Understanding a culture’s sense of humor, however, is a commonly cited difficulty with the transition back to a home culture. There are also general societal norms and practices that will not be known when a TCI is first re-introduced to his/her home culture but those are eventually learned.
- Difficulties with adjusting to adult life: the mixture of influences from the various cultures that the individual has lived can create challenges in developing an identity as well as with a sense of belonging. Feelings of rootlessness and restlessness can make the transition to adulthood a challenging period for TCIs.
- "American ATCKs reported significantly higher levels of prejudice than non-American ATCKs on the Cognitive subscale of the QDI and the Social Dominance Orientation scale (SDO)." 
- There is a need for special attention of young TCK in educational settings to make sure they are supported when and if entering a new school. This would allow for an optimal learning experience for the child.
- TCK, although highly adaptable to a new environment, can experience dysfunctional identity development because they are focused on adapting to their changing environment.
- TCK may have challenges constructing a concept of "home".
- "Walters and Auton-Cuff (2009) found that female TCKs hesitate to develop relationships and have less emotional affect as compared to non-TCKs. Furthermore, female TCKs' identity development was delayed because of their focus on adjusting rather than creating a sense of belonging (Walters & Auton-Cuff, 2009)."
Racism and stereotypes
TCK is in reference to anyone who’s raised outside of their parents culture for a significant part of their developmental years. This includes anyone from children of immigrants to missionary kids. A third culture kid who is a child of an immigrant deals with their own set of racism and stereotypes. Justin Allen Burg illustrates symbolic racism in relation to the immigrant community, he further talks about the "restrictions on undocumented immigrants from using social services" (Berg 2013). Burg mentions this being a symbol of negative attitudes toward the immigrant community. Not only is racism seen within public policy but it is also seen in the media. In the article "Media Exposure and Attitudes towards Immigrants" Galvez talks about minorities being portrayed in American television with poverty, crime, and violence (Alvarez-Galvez 20).This is directly stereotyping minorities, which includes immigrants, and placing them in boxes of what they are supposed to be.
One of the challenges of being a third culture individual is developing a sense of belonging, commitment, and attachment to a culture. These factors play a strong role in one's self-esteem and identity, and are especially apparent as present or not present among TCIs. There are psychological benefits to being a bi-culturally competent individual, meaning that adjustment to the host culture and repatriation do not pose a difficulty for the individual. Individuals who do not experience this same smooth transition into the new culture are referred to as "culturally rootless" and "cultural homelessness." Culturally homeless (CH) individuals often experience confusion over their identity and especially because the TCI is frequently abroad during the adolescent development years when identity is most solidified psychologically.
There are four possible identities that can be internalized by TCIs according to some researchers.
- Subtractive identity shift: when individuals are not able to have a concrete identity and therefore self-esteem and perception of self-concept become threatened and are more likely to be negative upon the individual's return home.
- Additive identity shift: this type of shift occurs when an individual feels at ease adapting to the host culture and that the home and host cultures are more similar and therefore transition between the two is not challenging.
- Affirmative culturally identity shift: in this shift an individual maintains his/her home culture identity and therefore does not adapt substantially into the host culture. This means that repatriation into the home culture is relatively seamless and the home identity allows for re-integration into the home culture's society.
- Intercultural identity shift: while maintaining a strong self-concept, an individual in this shift is able to adapt to their new environment. Upon returning to the home country, the individual is able to reintegrate into their society as well as be open to new experiences. These individuals are able to maintain and incorporate multiple cultural viewpoints in their daily lives after having returned to the home culture.
When individuals who have spent a significant amount of their developmental years in a host culture and have not been able to adapt, develop an identity, and do not feel as though they belong, they are considered "culturally homeless". Cultural homelessness has been found to have both advantages and disadvantages. Some advantages include CH individuals recognize and respect the cultural differences within cultures, are often multilingual, and report themselves as cross-culturally competent. The disadvantages are a lack of a sense of belonging to any one culture or group, feeling alone in one's differences, and experiencing disorientation from frequent switching of cultures, norms, and homes. The disadvantages have been reported in surveys of TCIs from many different cultures as having left individuals feeling marginalized and as part of outgroups for the majority of their life because they are unable to identify with a specific group.
Cultural homelessness has been found at times to be associated with low self-esteem, perceiving less control over one's own life, and an unsatisfactory level of experience with belonging and attachment. The latter, belongingness and attachment, are both important for development and for feeling mentally healthy. Research has shown that some of the ways that the negative effects of cultural homelessness can be buffered is when an individual has adopted a cross-cultural identity (CCI). An individual is best able to adopt a CCI when the individual is made aware of the social category they belong to given his/her experience abroad, feels as though he/she belong to this category, and possesses a strong social network of friends and family that have a similar experience as the individual. The first factor is important for buffering the negative effects because it allows for the individual to understand that his/her cross-cultural experience is shared by others and therefore is not something that is unique to just them. This experience becomes more normalized and it allows for connection with others to create an even more defined social category. The second allows for attachment and commitment to be formed to this category and self-labeling occurs. The last factor fulfills what are commonly considered as some of humanity's basic needs, as can be seen in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. This emotional attachment and belongingness have been found to be key components to the psychological well-being of TCIs and have been linked to higher for self-esteem among the TCI population.
TCIs have the unique experience of being exposed to and living in cultures different from their home culture for extended periods of time. This has been found to have an impact on their level of authoritarianism, both positively and negatively depending on the circumstance of the TCI. Authoritarianism measurements have been used by researchers on individuals and high scores on the right-wing authoritarian scale (RWA) have been found to possess the following three personality characteristics: a tendency to submit themselves to authority figures, a willingness to commit an act of aggression for the sake of this authority or authorities, and possessing significant concern with acting according to the rules and norms of their group. Scoring high on the RWA has been correlated with prejudice, discrimination, lack of openness and tolerance, lack of political knowledge or interest in international affairs, and feeling superior to those not belonging to the individual's group. Levels of authoritarianism differ in TCIs depending on number of assignments and of times repatriation occurred. Individuals who had positive experiences abroad, did not have more than a few different assignments, and did not have to frequently re-establish themselves and their entire social network in those new locations were found to have lower scores on the RWA than the general population. These individuals demonstrated an ease with entering new environments and circumstances. Individuals who had negative experiences while living abroad, had to move frequently, and had to rebuild their lives repeatedly were found to score higher on the RWA and become more attached to their home culture. This individual does not leave the experience of living abroad having created and experienced a third culture because of his/her rejecting the new environment.
Though research initially largely focused on children in missionary families or children of diplomats, it has since expanded to other populations, including non-U.S. citizens. The researchers who pioneered the TCI research, such as Dr. Ruth Useem, were not expecting to find as many participants as they did. Useem and Cottrell, for example, were seeking at least 100 participants to respond to a survey that they believed to be "unconsciously long" but instead had 680 participants (ranging in age from 25–84 years) respond to the questionnaire. Instances like this one indicate to researchers the potential in exploring a subject matter that is still open to much research.
From the research that has been conducted on TCIs, it has been found that subjects are generally more tolerant of different cultures and of people of different backgrounds than subjects from the same home country who are not TCIs. In addition, TCIs generally feel that they are better able to adapt to new cultures and understand how to behave appropriately in these new environments. Researcher and teacher Wenda Sheard surveyed some of her multi-cultural students, most of whom were either fluent in two or more languages, and found that many felt that they had an increased tolerance of other cultures. However, as one student explained, part of this tolerance was out of necessity for maintaining a healthy social life in one's new environment and culture.
In a study by Dewaele and van Oudenhoven (2009), it was found that TCIs scored higher on the open-mindedness scale on the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ). According to the study, "this dimension [of the test] evaluates for open and unprejudiced attitudes toward out-group members, as well as diverse cultural norms and values."
Though the intellectual impact of being a TCI has not yet been widely explored, there has been such research in the area. One particular study by Lee and Bain (2007) that was found to have significant findings was conducted on young native Koreans who had recently moved to the United States and were attending school in America. The researchers were looking to see how these students would respond to explicit instruction aimed to work with their originality and fluency and that is specific to TCIs. This was measured through the level of creativity demonstrated in assigned tasks given to the students. TCIs were found to be able to demonstrate significantly higher levels of creativity and originality for problem solving than TCIs not given this same explicit instruction. This study has implications for the ways that TCIs can be instructed differently from the traditional curriculum to enhance their creativity and problem solving abilities because of their third culture experience.
Intellectual impact is also possible through differences in choosing to continue studies in higher education after high school. In 2001, it was found by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that 61.7 percent of 2001 high school graduates were enrolled in college. That same year, it was found that 95 percent of the TCI population were either enrolled or had some college education. Twenty-nine percent of this population had received an advanced degree, which is also higher than the percentage of the general population. However, it has been found that TCIs also have more "untraditional" educational paths in that a significant portion of TCIs choose to attend multiple colleges or take time off before or during college to travel or explore other opportunities.
Much of the literature and research surrounding TCIs has found that these individuals are more open to learning new languages, demonstrate more flexibility when interacting with a novel culture than their monoculture peers, and a greater interest in continuing a global nomad lifestyle, which includes an interest in international careers. It has been found that women are more inclined to seek out interpersonal relationships while men are more task-oriented in their relationships and choices. Such findings were used in the hypothesis of a study conducted by Gerner & Perry (2000) that predicted that gender differences would also be found in the cultural acceptance and experiences of TCIs. In this study that looked at over 1000 adolescents with multi-cultural experience and those with none (the control), it was found that females were found to be generally more accepting of other cultures and less prone to issuing stereotypes. American males who had experience living abroad for a substantial amount of their developmental years, however, were found to have significantly higher cultural acceptance and openness to travel and to learning new languages.
The Gerner & Perry (2000) study also found gender differences between the males and females differed depending on the countries that had been lived in by the TCIs. The participants who had spent a significant amount of time living in Thailand did not show many gender differences in terms of cultural acceptance, international career interest, and openness to communicating and/or learning a new language. However, female participants who had lived in Egypt and females living in the U.S. were rated to be more open to other cultures, languages, international careers, and rated a myriad of given nationalities more favorably. Females who have had experience living abroad showed differences in their interest in international careers when compared to their female counterparts living in the United States. The females with experience abroad were demonstrated more interest in international careers, suggesting that this interest was in part spurred on by their international experiences.
Both non-U.S. citizen females and U.S. citizen females were found to have more positive ratings of cultural acceptance, acquisition or exposure to a new language, travel, and interest in going into an international career in the future and were less prone to stereotypes.
Education and counseling
With the growing number of international business, military placements, and immigration there has been a growing number of TCKS. Third culture kids are being educated in a culture that is not their own. Schools and teachers need to be aware of the culture differences these students face. Studies have found that educators and counselors should be culturally competent and possess the knowledge to properly educate these type of students. This would create an effective and optimal environment for their learning and adjusting abilities. Research conducted on TCKs have been found to need special attention during their transition phase. The stress and grief students feel during transitional phases can distort their psycho-social development which can impact their grades and school work. Therefore, Third Culture Kid students need a comfortable and inviting school setting to offset the impact of their transition. The best way for counselors to work with TCKs is to have sound knowledge about the students and their unique characteristics.
An empirical research was done by Katholiki Georgiades, Michael H. Boyle, and Kelly A. Fife over the Emotional and Behavior Problems Among Adolescent Students, in specific immigrant students. They examined the relationship between immigrants and racial/ethnic congruence in school. They hypothesized that school belonging is the connection between the congruency and the emotional problems. Although their study was unable to find enough evidence to support their hypothesis they agree they school belonging will influence emotional behavioral problems.
Careers that lead to TCIs
TCIs' exposure to foreign countries depends on parent or parents' sponsoring organization(s). The career of the parent(s) in a family can affect variables such as how long a family stays in the host culture, the family's interaction with the host country nationals, and where the family lives in the host country and/or city. For example, an individual whose parents are in the military may be more likely to live on a base or near other military families while an individuals whose parents were moved by a company may live in a neighborhood without other families from the home culture. Below are the possible careers that could lead to families living abroad for extended periods of time and to creating a third culture amongst the children in the family.
Children of parents in the military, sometimes referred to as military brats, are the most mobile of TCIs and spend an average of seven years abroad while growing up. Approximately 59% of military brats spend more than 5 years in foreign countries. TCIs who live on the military base, due to the self-sufficient nature of military bases, will have less exposure to local culture in comparison to other TCIs who either live off the base or are not affiliated with the military.
Non-military government TCIs are more likely to have longer-lasting experiences in foreign countries in comparison to TCIs who come from families with different careers. Of these individuals, 44 percent have lived in at least four countries and 44 percent have spent at least 10 years outside of their passport country. These TCIs' involvement with locals depends on the position of the parent(s) in the non-military government position. Some of these TCIs may grow up moving from country to country in the diplomatic corps (see Foreign Service Brat) while others may live their lives near military bases.
Missionary Kids (MKs) typically spend the most time overseas, of any TCKs, in one country. 85% of MKs spend more than 10 years in foreign countries and 72% lived in only one foreign country. Of all TCKs, MKs generally have the most interaction with the local populace and the least interaction with people from their passport country. They are also the most likely of the TCKs to integrate themselves into the local culture. 83% of missionary kids have at least one parent with an advanced degree. Missionary kids struggle adjusting to the parents culture; the majority of MKs identify mostly with the country in which their parents served.
Another career that can lead to TCIs is a career in business. Sixty-three percent of business TCIs have lived in foreign countries at least 10 years but are more likely than children in missionary families to live in multiple countries. Business TCIs have fairly high interaction with both their host nationals and people from their host country.
Not all TCI families have one of the fours careers listed above. Other careers include working for an intergovernmental agency (for example, the Nuclear Energy Agency, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the International Agency of the Francophonie), an international non-governmental organization (for example, an international school or serving as international staff of the United Nations or one of their agencies), and a local organization such as a hospital. Working in media and/or athletic industries (for example, Wally Szczerbiak) can also mean being moved abroad. Like most of the other careers that send employees abroad, involvement with the host culture can vary greatly. TCIs in this category also might live in an area with a certain ethnic majority other than their own, e.g. an Americanized Arab Muslim living in Chinatown.
Recent research into the 'other' category has identified a subgroup of TCIs now labelled EdKids. These are children who relocate to various countries with their parents who are educators in the international schools. This creates a unique paradigm of a nuclear family whose family-work-school-social experiences are intertwined.
Impact on the workforce
Third culture individuals, with their international experience, generally continue to value the international aspect of their lives. In a survey given to TCIs in 2001, there was a strong interest among TCI participants to continue to travel as they move into adulthood and their future careers, and many continued to maintain their internationally acquired languages. It was also found in these surveys that approximately half of the participants continue to travel at least once a year and that just a little under 15 percent travel for business. TCIs have also been found to report selecting to study majors while in college that could have the options of having international careers. Some of these fields of study include business, nursing, and teaching English as a foreign language.
Below are tables showing some of the fields that TCI go into.
|Type of Work||Missionary||Military||Government||Business||Other|
|Work Setting ||Missionary||Military||Government||Business||Other|
Language and third culture individuals
Most international TCIs are expected to speak English and some countries require their expatriate families to be proficient with the English language. This is largely because most international schools use the English language as the norm.
Families tend to seek out schools whose principal languages they share, and ideally one which mirrors their own educational system. Many countries have American schools, French schools, British schools, German Schools and 'International Schools' which often follow one of the three International Baccalaureate programs. These will be populated by expatriates' children and some children of the local upper middle class. They do this in an effort to maintain linguistic stability and to ensure that their children do not fall behind due to linguistic problems. Where their own language is not available, families will often choose English-speaking schools for their children. They do this because of the linguistic and cultural opportunities being immersed in English might provide their children when they are adults, and because their children are more likely to have prior exposure to English than to other international languages. This poses the potential for non-English speaking TCIs to have a significantly different experience from TCIs for whom English is a native language. Research on TCIs from Japan, Denmark, Italy, Germany, the United States and Africa has shown that TCIs from different countries share more in common with other TCIs than they do with their own peer group from their passport country.
A few sociologists studying TCIs, however, argue that the commonality found in international TCIs is not the result of true commonality, but rather the researcher's bias projecting expectations upon the studied subculture. They believe that some of the superficial attributes may mirror each other, but that TCIs from different countries are really different from one another. The exteriors may be the same, but that the understanding of the world around them differs.
In Japan, the use of the term "third culture kids" to refer to children returned from living overseas is not universally accepted; they are typically referred to both in Japanese and in English as kikokushijo, literally "returnee children", a term which has different implications. Public awareness of kikokushijo is much more widespread in Japan than awareness of TCIs in the United States, and government reports as early as 1966 recognised the need for the school system to adapt to them. However, views of kikokushijo have not always been positive; in the 1970s, especially, they were characterised in media reports and even by their own parents as "educational orphans" in need of "rescue" to reduce their foreignness and successfully reintegrate them into Japanese society.
Statistics (U.S. TCIs)
Cognitive and emotional development
- Teenage TCIs are more mature than non-TCIs, but in their twenties take longer than their peers to focus their aims.
- Depression is comparatively prevalent among TCIs.
- TCIs' sense of identity and well-being is directly and negatively affected by repatriation.
- TCIs are highly linguistically adept (not as true for military TCIs).
- A study whose subjects were all "career military brats"—those who had a parent in the military from birth through high school—shows that brats are linguistically adept.
- Like all children, TCIs may experience stress and even grief from the relocation experience.
Education and career
- TCIs are 4 times as likely as non-TCIs to earn a bachelor's degree (81% vs 21%)
- 44 percent earned undergraduate degree after the age of 22.
- Education, medicine, business management, self-employment, and highly skilled positions are the most common professions for TCIs.
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References and further reading
- Bell, Linda (1997). Hidden Immigrants: Legacies of Growing Up Abroad. Cross Cultural Publications/Crossroads. Notre Dame, IN. ISBN 0940121352
- Bell-Villada, Gene H., et al., eds. Writing out of Limbo: International Childhoods, Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids. Newcastle upon Tyne: UK: Cambridge Scholars, 2011. Print.
- Bikos, L. H.; Kocheleva, J.; King, D.; Chang, G. C.; McKenzie, A.; Roenicke, C.; Eckard, K. (2009). "A consensual qualitative investigation into the repatriation experiences of young adult, missionary kids". Mental Health, Religion & Culture 12 (7): 735–754. doi:10.1080/13674670903032637.
- Blair, Admiral Dennis, Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. "The Military Culture as an Exemplar of American Qualities" Prepared for Supporting the Military Child Annual Conference, Westin Horton Plaza Hotel, San Diego, California, (July 19, 2000). Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- Britten, Samuel (November 30, 1998) "TCK World: A Comparison of Different "Versions" Of TCKs" Third Culture Kid World. Retrieved December 3, 2006
- Cottrell, Ann Baker (2011). Explaining Differences: TCKs and Other CCKs, American and Japanese TCKs in Writing Out of Limbo:International Childhoods, Global Nomads and Third Culture Kids. Gene Bell-Villada and Nina Sichel, Editors. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 1-4438-3360-6.
- Cottrell, Ann and Ruth Hill Useem (1993). TCKs Experience Prolonged Adolescence. International Schools Services, 8(1) Accessed January 5, 2007.
- Davis, P.; Headley, K.; Bazemore, T.; Cervo, J.; Sinkinger, P.; Windham, M.; Rehfuss, M. (2010). "EVALUATING IMPACT OF TRANSITION SEMINARS ON MISSIONARY KIDS' DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, STRESS, AND WELL-BEING". Journal Of Psychology & Theology 38 (3): 186–194.
- Eakin, Kay (1996). "You can't go 'Home' Again" in Strangers at Home: Essays on the effects of living overseas and Coming 'home' to a strange land. Edited Carolyn Smith, Alethia Publications: New York. 1996
- Ender, Morten, "Growing up in the Military" in Strangers at Home: Essays on the effects of living overseas and Coming 'home' to a strange land. Edited Carolyn Smith, Alethia Publications: New York. 1996
- Gardner, Marilyn R. (July 1, 2014) Between Worlds: Essays on Culture and Belonging, Doorlight Publications ISBN 978-0983865384 http://amzn.com/0983865388
- Graham, Cork (2004) "The Bamboo Chest: An Adventure in Healing the Trauma of War" DPP 2004
- Hess DJ (1994). The Whole World Guide to Culture Learning. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME.
- Hervey, Emily (2009). "Cultural Transitions During Childhood and Adjustment to College"
- Jordan, Kathleen Finn (2002). "Identity Formation and the Adult Third Culture Kid " In Morten Ender, ed., "Military Brats and Other Global Nomads".
- Kalb R and Welch P (1992). Moving Your Family Overseas. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME.
- Kelley, Michelle (2002). "The Effects of Deployment on Traditional and Nontraditional Military Families: Navy Mothers and Their Children" in Morten Ender, ed., "Military Brats and Other Global Nomads"
- Kidd, Julie and Linda Lankenau (Undated) "Third Culture Kids: Returning to their Passport Country" US Department of State. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- Kim, Young Yun. "Intercultural Personhood: Globalization and a Way of Being." International Journal of Intercultural Relations 32.4 (2008): 359–68. ScienceDirect. Elsevier B.V., July 2008. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.
- Kohls RL (1996). Survival Kit for Overseas Living. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME.
- Lawlor, Mary (2013). "Fighter Pilot's Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War," Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-2200-7.
- Maffini, H. (2011). Sammy's Next Move. Third Culture Kids Press, NY.
- Morten G. Ender, ed. (2002). Military Brats and Other Global Nomads: Growing Up in Organization Families, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger. ISBN 0-275-97266-6
- Pascoe R (1993). Culture Shock: Successful Living Abroad. Graphic Arts, Portland, OR.
- Pearce, (2002). Children's International Relocation and the Development Process. in Morten Ender, ed., "Military Brats and Other Global Nomads"
- Plamondon, Laila. (2008). Third Culture Kids: Factors that Predict Psychological Health after Repatriation. Honors Thesis, Smith College.
- Pollock DC and Van Reken R (2001). Third Culture Kids. Nicholas Brealey Publishing/Intercultural Press. Yarmouth, Maine. ISBN 1-85788-295-4.
- Price, Phoebe. (2002). "Behavior of Civilian and Military High School Students in Movie Theaters", in Morten Ender, ed., "Military Brats and Other Global Nomads".
- Reken, Ruth (1996). Religious Culture Shock. in Carolyn Smith "STrangers at Home: Essays on The effects of Living Overseas and Coming Home/"
- Reken, Ruth and Paulette Bethel, Third Culture Kids: Prototypes for Understanding Other Cross-Cultural Kids Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- Reken, Ruth E. Van. "Obama's 'Third Culture' Team." The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 26 Nov. 2008. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.
- Seelye HN, Wasilewski JH (1996). Between Cultures: Developing Self-Identity in a World of Diversity. McGraw-Hill Companies. ISBN 0-8442-3305-6.
- Shames GW (1997). Transcultural Odysseys: The Evolving Global Consciousness. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME.
- Simens, Julia (2011). "Emotional Resilience and the Expat Child: practical storytelling techniques that will strengthen the global family". Summertime Publishing Company ISBN 1904881343 ISBN 978-1904881346
- Stalnaker, Stan (2002) "Hub Culture: The Next Wave of Urban Consumers", Wiley. ISBN 978-0-470-82072-8
- Storti C (1997). The Art of Coming Home. Intercultural Press, Yarmouth, ME.
- Smith, Carolyn (ed) (1996). World Citizens and "Rubberband Nationals" in Carolyn Smith Strangers at Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming 'Home' to a Strange Land, New York: Aletheia Publications. ISBN 0-9639260-4-7
- Stultz, Wendy. "Global and Domestic Nomads or Third Culture Kids." Journal of Student Affairs XII (2003) : n. pag. Journal of Student Affairs. Colorado State University, 2003. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
- Tyler, Mary (2002). "The Military Teenager in Europe: Perspectives for Health care Providers", in Morten Ender, ed., "Military Brats and Other Global Nomads".
- Useem, Ruth et al. (undated) "Third Culture Kids: Focus of Major Study". International Schools Services. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- Van Reken, Ruth and Bethel, Paulette M. "’Third Culture Kids: Prototypes for Understanding Other Cross-Cultural Kids". Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- Wertsch, Mary Edwards (1991). Military Brats: Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress, New York, New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-58400-X
- Williams, Karen and LisaMarie Mariglia, (2002) "Military Brats: Issues and Associations in Adulthood" in Morten Ender, ed., "Military Brats and Other Global Nomads
- TCK World – Official Home of Dr. Hill Useem's research, sociologist who coined the term "Third Culture Kid"
- Third Culture Kids on ABC News – An interview with Ruth Van Reken, Brice Royer, and Daniela Tudor from TCKID
- TCKID – Non-profit organization and community for Third Culture Kids
- TCKResearch – A resource and community database for researchers
- Worldwide Families | Third Culture Kids – Recent research and current resources
- Expatriates Magazine – Free printed publication for Expatriate professionals and families
- Denizen Magazine – Online magazine created by and dedicated to TCKs
- Cross Cultural Kids – Ruth Van Reken's Prototypes for understanding Third Culture Kids
- Trouble with TCKs – Children's Mental Health Network
- Blog on TCKs
- Struggles TCKs Deal With
- Dealing with Depression as a TCK
- Family & Relationships – TCKs