Families across Borders: the Effects of Migration on Family Members Remaining at Home
Alexis Silver, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This paper examines the effects of migration on the depressive symptoms of family members remaining in the country of origin. While previous literature discusses the processes of family separation and adaptation to new roles as being very trying for immigrants in host countries, very few studies address the effects of migration on non-migrants. The process of migration, however, is a transnational phenomenon that has profound effects of the lives of migrants’ family members. Members of transnational families remain linked to one another and experience the process of migration on both sides of the border. This study uses the Mexican Family Life Survey to empirically assess the effects of migration on the emotional well-being of migrants’ family members. Results indicate that the migration of close family members significantly increases the depressive symptoms reported by those family members remaining in Mexico.