Transnational families and the subjective well-being of migrant parents: Angolan and Nigerian parents in the Netherlands

Author(s): Karlijn HAAGSMAN ; Valentina MAZZUCATO ; Bilisuma B. DITO


Studies on transnational families argue that the subjective well-being of migrant parents is negatively affected by living separated from their children. Most studies employ qualitative methods without a control group and hence are not able to distinguish whether the effects found are associated with separation only or with other factors. This paper investigates the association between parental subjective well-being and parent–child separation by comparing migrant parents who have at least one child in their country of origin with those who live with all their children in the Netherlands. The paper further investigates whether the same associations are found between migrant groups from Angola and Nigeria. Results indicate that transnational parents indeed report lower subjective well-being, as measured by happiness, life satisfaction and mental health for both groups and additionally, self-assessed health for Angolans. However, legal status, socio-economic status and the quality of the parent–child relationship are found to be important mediators.

Keywords: transnational familiesmigrant parentssubjective well-beingAngolansNigeriansthe Netherlands

Tags: Angola, Nigeria, Netherlands, Well-being, Transnational families, Parent-child separation

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