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Families across borders : the effects of migration on family members remaining at home

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library
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Abstract

This paper examines the effects of migration on the well-being of migrants’ family members remaining in the country of origin. Previous literature discusses the processes of family separation and adjustment to new surroundings as being very trying for immigrants in host countries, but very few studies address the effects of migration on family members in home communities. Acknowledging the hardships faced by family members of migrants remaining at home, I use the Mexican Family Life Survey to empirically assess the effects of migration on the emotional well-being of migrants’ family members in Mexican communities of origin. Results indicate that the migration of close family members to the U.S., especially spouses and children, significantly increases the depressive symptoms and feelings of loneliness reported by family members remaining in Mexico. Women, especially mothers and wives, are the most adversely affected by family member migration.

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