I Felt Like My Heart Was Staying Behind: Psychological Implications of Family Separations & Reunifications for Immigrant Youth

Carola Suárez-Orozco, Ha Yeon Kim, Hee Jin Bang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Though many transnational families undergo profound transformations that are often complicated by extended periods of separation between loved ones, it is challenging to establish a sense of prevalence of family separations as well as their effects on youth. Utilizing the Longitudinal Immigrant Student Adaptation data with 282 newcomer adolescents from China, Central America, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Mexico, the authors report that nearly three quarters of the participants had been separated from one or both parents for extended periods. Results of general linear model (GLM) analyses indicate that children who were separated from their parents were more likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression in the initial years after migrating than children who had not been separated; follow-up analyses 5 years later show that symptoms had abated. Qualitative data from youth and parents shed light on the experience of separations and reunifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-257
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Adolescent Research
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

Keywords

  • family relationships
  • immigration
  • mixed-methods
  • psychological outcomes
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'I Felt Like My Heart Was Staying Behind: Psychological Implications of Family Separations & Reunifications for Immigrant Youth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this