Mobile, AL – Social scientists from the University of Alabama say they've found a disturbing trend among low-income youth in Mobile. The report shows only 55 percent of those surveyed said they had the same mother figure over the three-year period from 1998-to-2000. Three senior researchers at Alabama's Institute for Social Science Research conducted a 12-week project that ended in August. The survey includes 25-hundred children and teenagers between the ages of 10 and 18 in Mobile and Prichard. The results indicate considerable instability in home life. Researchers say it's not necessarily good for a child to be passed around to several homes, but they say if the mother is not able to care for the child, a different home setting may be ideal. The Department of Human Resources reports the number of children in state foster care has increased since 1999.