Colloquium Claudia Brunori (Researcher. European University Institute)
Organitza: Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics
Hora: 12:00 - 13:00
Títol.- The scarring effect of having been left behind: Experience of transnational family separation and mental health of immigrant adults.
Abstract.- Transnational separation is a reality for many families in and from high-emigration countries, and has been consistently found to be an emotionally straining experience for both migrant and left-behind family members. Studies on the association between transnational family separation and children’s mental health have focused on left-behind children during separation or shortly after reunification, showing that both processes are associated with worse mental health outcomes. In this study, I advance this literature by investigating long-term effects of experiences of transnational family separation in childhood on the mental health of adult immigrants living in the UK, using data from Understanding Society. I find that most adult immigrants whose parents also migrated to the UK were at some point transnationally separated from a parent during childhood. Experience of transnational family separation during childhood is associated with significantly worse mental health in adulthood among women, but not among men. Differences by age at separation and length of separation are explored. These findings highlight the importance of considering family migration trajectories in the study of immigrant’s wellbeing, and of reducing direct and indirect costs of family migration and reunification in immigration policymaking.