The Impact of Parental Migration on the Mental Health of Children Left Behind

Ramesh Adhikari, Tribhuvan University
Aree Jampaklay, Mahidol University
Aphichat Chamratrithirong, Mahidol University
Umaporn Pattaravanich, Mahidol University
Patama Vapattanawong, Mahidol University

This study aims to examine the impact of parental international migration on the mental health of children left behind. Data for this paper were taken from the “Child Health and Migrant Parents in South-East Asia (CHAMPSEA), 2008” project. A total of 1030 children (519 from emigrant parents and 511 from non-migrant parents) were covered. Data were collected from the caregivers of children using the extended versions of Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Multivariate analyses were performed to determine the association between parental migration and the mental health status of children left behind. Several factors were significantly associated with children’s mental health. After controlling for other variables, our study suggests that mothers’ past migration experience was a risk factor for mental health problems among children. This implies that mothers’ past migration experience can actually have long-lasting impacts on children’s lives. Therefore, strategies to prevent mental health problems among children are warranted.

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Presented in Session 130: New Directions in International Migration Research