The Effects of Transnational Parenting on the Subjective Health and Well-Being of Ghanaian Migrants in the Netherlands

Author(s): Bilisuma B. DITO ; Valentina MAZZUCATO ; Djamila SCHANS


Migrant parents from the Global South who migrate to the Global North often leave their children in the origin country either by choice or as a result of stringent migration policies in migrant-receiving countries that make family migration impracticable. Small-scale, qualitative studies have indicated that these transnational parents experience emotional and health difficulties due to separation. Few studies have investigated these effects on a larger scale using quantitative data, and no previous studies compared their findings with a control group. The current paper used a survey that was conducted with 303 Ghanaian migrant parents living in the Netherlands to examine the effects of transnational family life on self-reported health and subjective well-being (as measured through satisfaction with life and emotional well-being). The study shows that migrant parents who are separated from their children display worse outcomes than their counterparts who live with their children in the destination country. Importantly, however, these differences were mediated by these parents’ lower socio-economic and undocumented status.

Tags: Ghana, Netherlands, Transnational families, Families, Family separation, Parent-child separation, Parenting, Well-being

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