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Children left behind during immigration: repercussions on the mental health of Latin-American mothers and fathers
Kirchner, Teresa; Patiño, C.; Forns, Maria, 1946-
Universitat de Barcelona
Emigrating and having to leave children behind may be a risk factor for the mental health of immigrants. This study aimed to compare the psychological symptoms reported by immigrants mothers and fathers who took their children with them with those who left their children behind. The sample comprised 213 Latin American immigrants (123 women and 90 men). The results showed that mothers who did not have children with them reported more psychological symptoms than those who did. Few differences were observed in the case of fathers, except that those who had their children with them reported more symptoms related with somatization. After controlling for possible confounding variables ('time since immigration', ·having a job', 'legal status', and social support') it is concluded that for mothers not being accompanied by own's children explains the largest proportion of the psychological synptoms analyzed, although the time since immigration also accounts for some of the variance in the case of depressive sympthomatology and general distress. It is likely that the despair and frustation felt by mothers grows as time goes on and they remain unable to reunite the family. These results may be useful in terms of designing prevention and intervention programs with immigrants mothers.
Emigració i immigració
Salut mental
Emigration and immigration
Mental health
Latin Americans
(c) Universitat de Barcelona, 2011
Universitat de Barcelona

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