Migrant parents and the psychological well-being of leftbehind children in South-East Asia

Graham, Elspeth and Jordan, Lucy P. (2011) Migrant parents and the psychological well-being of leftbehind children in South-East Asia. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 763-787. (doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00844.x).


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Several million children currently live in transnational families, yet little is known about impacts on their health. We investigate the psychological well-being of left-behind children in four Southeast Asian countries. Data are drawn from the CHAMPSEA study. Caregiver reports from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) are used to examine differences among children under age 12 by the migration status of their household (N = 3,876). We find no general pattern across the four study countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. Multivariate models show that children of migrant fathers in Indonesia and Thailand are more likely to have poor psychological well-being, compared to children in nonmigrant households. This finding is not replicated for the Philippines or Vietnam. The paper concludes by arguing for more contextualized understandings.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00844.x
ISSNs: 0022-2445 (print)
1741-3737 (electronic)
Keywords: asian/pacific islander families, childhood/ children, cross-national, immigration/migrant families, mental health/well-being
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Social Work Studies
ePrint ID: 193175
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
15 July 2011Published
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2011 13:26
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:42
Centre for Population Change: Understanding Population Change in the 21st Century
Funded by: ESRC National Centre for Research Methods (RES-625-28-0001)
Led by: Jane Cecelia Falkingham
1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/193175

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