TCKs move between cultures before they have had the opportunity to fully develop their personal and cultural identity.The first culture of such individuals 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.
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 TCKs.
Individuals who do not experience a 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.