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Household migration, social support, and psychosocial health: The perspective from migrant-sending areas

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  • Lu, Yao

Abstract

An extensive literature demonstrates various negative health consequences of family disruption in Western societies, which is largely due to marital dissolution. In developing settings, family disruption commonly arises in the context of labor out-migration. However, studies on household emigration often focus on the economic benefits from remittances, overlooking emigration as a source of stress and loss of social support. This research examines the psychosocial consequences of internal out-migration using longitudinal survey data collected in Indonesia between 1993 and 2007. Results demonstrate considerable psychosocial costs of out-migration, with adults left behind by migrants more susceptible to stress-related health impairments such as hypertension and to psychological distress such as depressive symptoms. These findings largely hold when specific relations are investigated, including spouses left behind and parents left behind by adult children. This study also finds some support for the stress-buffering role of social support from extended families and the differential psychosocial processes for men and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Lu, Yao, 2012. "Household migration, social support, and psychosocial health: The perspective from migrant-sending areas," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 135-142.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:74:y:2012:i:2:p:135-142
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.10.020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jean-Paul Azam & Flore Gubert, 2006. "Migrants' Remittances and the Household in Africa: A Review of Evidence," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 426-462, December.
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    4. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Steven Stillman, 2011. "The Impacts of International Migration on Remaining Household Members: Omnibus Results from a Migration Lottery Program," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(4), pages 1297-1318, November.
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    8. Partha Deb & Papa Seck, 2009. "Internal Migration, Selection Bias and Human Development: Evidence from Indonesia and Mexico," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2009-31, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), revised Jul 2009.
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    10. John Gibson & David McKenzie & Steven Stillman, 2013. "Accounting for Selectivity and Duration-Dependent Heterogeneity When Estimating the Impact of Emigration on Incomes and Poverty in Sending Areas," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(2), pages 247-280.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolova, Milena & Roman, Monica & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2017. "Left behind but doing good? Civic engagement in two post-socialist countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 658-684.
    2. Graham, Elspeth & Jordan, Lucy P. & Yeoh, Brenda S.A., 2015. "Parental migration and the mental health of those who stay behind to care for children in South-East Asia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 225-235.

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