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Children's Experiences of Separation from Parents as a Consequence of Migration

By Adele Jones, Jacqueline Sharpe and Michele Sogren


This paper discusses the findings of a study highlighting the impact of parental migration on children in Trinidad & Tobago. Both qualitative & quantitative methods were used to measure depression indicators with a population of 146 children aged 12-16 years. In-depth structured interviews were also conducted with 24 children & their caregivers. The study demonstrated that children separated from parents because of migration were more than twice as likely as other children to have emotional problems although their economic status was improved. One-third had serious levels of depression or interpersonal difficulties affecting schooling & leading in some cases to suicidal ideation. Differences were found in relation to gender & ethnicity. In addition to separation through migration, several children had experienced serial losses, e.g. bereavement, parental divorce, parental imprisonment, or change of caregiver. Resiliency factors included school performance & belief in family reunification. This investigation identifies the implications for Social Work Education & Policy Reform. It points to the discursive possibilities of child-centred approaches to the construction of knowledge & argues for the inclusion of such approaches within a theory & practice framework based on empowerment. 2 Charts, 18 References. Adapted from the source document

Topics: HQ, HN, RJ101
Publisher: Arawak Publications
Year: 2004
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