International migration and the psychological well-being of children: The case of the Austro Region in Ecuador
5 June 2014
UAntwerp - Stadscampus - Building S-Nile room (first floor) - Lange Sint-Annastraat 7 - 2000 Antwerp
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Organization / co-organization:
Seminar by IOB professor German Calfat
Presentation of research cooperation between Flemish universities in Belgium and the Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador.
ith more than half a century of international migration experience , and high out-migration ratios, the Austro region in Ecuador has been the focus of research on the relationship between different
migration events and specific outcomes such as, poverty, economic well-being or classical indicators of child school performance. Data sources for carrying out these studies have primarily made use of
either aggregated official standard statistics, such as population census, labour market and living standard surveys or more specific case studies.
Despite the relevance of the migration phenomenon and its development implications, its study has never been undertaken on regular basis, and the establishment of the necessary statistical sources,
collected systematically, as a crucial ground of comparable information nationwide , is still inexistent. In this study, a spin-off of a research cooperative effort between Flemish universities in Belgium and
the Universidad de Cuenca in Ecuador aiming at alleviating this gap, we explore a survey collected from 1168 students in three schools representing 80 per cent of the total student population in a
representative parish –characterised by high outmigration ratios- of the Austro region in the province of Azuay.
In analysing the factors affecting children well-being, and in an attempt to depart from traditional indicators of material well-being, we made use of an indicator of child psychological health, including
five important aspects: emotions, conduct, peer relations, hyperactivity and pro-social behaviour.
Our results indicate that the absence of one of the parents leads to a deterioration on child welfare, particularly on those left behind by migrant parents. These results are robust when compared to a
more narrowly defined control group of families. Similarly, in terms of other correlates, age and gender –being a female-, play a negative role in terms of child/adolescents welfare. We also find
that the negative impact of parental absence can be mitigated in the event of parents-children communication on regular basis.
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