The article is a literature-study focusing on the nature of identity development and self perception of third culture kids. A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is “a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents` culture” (Pollock and Van Reken 2001: 19).
On the basis of identity theories from the fields of clinical psychology, developmental psychology and psychology of the self, the article offers an interdisciplinary discussion on whether a third culture experience has long term implications on identity development, mainly based on Norwegian, but also international studies.
Findings suggest that the identity development and identity experiences amongst TCKs are diverse. Some researchers suggest that TCKs experience will delay or prolong adolescence (Cottrell and Useem 1993, Øen 2005), while others believe that the identity development may be on schedule, but with a different trajectory (Skjerven 2006, Hoaas 2006). It seems that the transition experience from host country to home country is especially important for the identity development of these individuals (Skjerven 2006, Ellingsrud og Lørum 2003, Hoaas 2006).