Are left-behind wives of overseas migrants more mentally vulnerable? Evidence from CHAMPSEA - Thailand

Aree Jampaklay, Mahidol University
Patama Vapattanawong, Mahidol University
Abdun-Aziz Prasithima, Mahidol University

Compared to other Asian countries, overseas migration is relatively less feminized in Thailand. Thus, mother carer remains the norm for both migrant and non-migrant households. Impacts of parental overseas migration on left-behind family are little understood in the Thai context. As the phenomenon of transnational migration is not universally in similar patterns across contexts, it is important to understand transnational migration and its effects on a context-specific basis. Our study is an initial attempt to tackle questions of how the wellbeing of left behind wives is and whether they are more or less vulnerable compared to wives of non-migrant husband. We are particularly interested in the psychological aspect of women’s wellbeing. We employ data from CHAMPSEA-Thailand, a comparative study in 4 countries, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were employed. For the quantitative method, the survey covered roughly 1,000 households including equal number of overseas migrant households of which one parent or both work abroad and usually-resident households where both parents live with children. For qualitative method, 41 carers were in-depth interviews. Included in our analysis are mothers of the children of 2 age-groups, young child (aged 3-5) and older child (aged 9-11). We use SRQ-20 (Self Reporting Questionnaire- 20) to measure mental health of these mothers.

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Presented in Poster Session 1