Paternal Absence and International Migration: Stressors and Compensators Associated with the Mental Health of Mexican Teenagers of Rural Origin

By Aguilera-Guzman, Rosa Maria; de Snyder, V. Nelly Salgado et al. | Adolescence, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

Paternal Absence and International Migration: Stressors and Compensators Associated with the Mental Health of Mexican Teenagers of Rural Origin


Aguilera-Guzman, Rosa Maria, de Snyder, V. Nelly Salgado, Romero, Martha, Medina-Mora, Maria Elena, Adolescence


Studies have reported that labor migration from Mexico to the United States is a dynamic process that has an economic and social basis in the structures of both the communities of origin and those of migrants' destination. This process is perpetuated through networks of social relations that facilitate movement from one country to another as a survival strategy at various stages of the family cycle (Massey, Alarcon, Durand, & Gonzalez, 1991). The spread of globalization has shown that migratory flows reflect economic oscillations in specific sectors of the receiving economy and the needs of its labor market more than any other factors. From the perspective of the sending country, "migration is a cruel manifestation of misery: the need to survive requires the uprooting and modification of personal, family, community, cultural, linguistic, and religious links" (Maza, 1997).

Male labor migration to the U.S. has changed traditional family dynamics in the communities of origin in Mexico. One of these changes involves the emergence of a semi-present father who is able to participate in his children's upbringing only for short periods of time (De Keijzer, 1998). In fact, many children and adolescents in rural and urban areas of some Mexican states grow up without the everyday physical presence of their biological fathers.

Studies have also reported that the U.S. is regarded by the inhabitants of the communities of origin as a "necessary evil" due to the fact that local economies depend largely on money sent by migrants (Moctezuma, 1999; Padilla, 1998). Paradoxically, in communities with a high incidence of sending, male migration as a strategy for supporting the family's goal of financial independence often leads to a weakening of the paternal sense of obligation (D'Aubeterre, 2000) while the father's absence may become a risk factor for the healthy psychological development of his offspring (Sanchez-Sosa & Hernandez-Guzman, 1992).

In a more recent theoretical approach to migration, Golring (quoted by D'Aubeterre, 2000), regards migrants as "creative social actors" since they not only manage to transcend the limitations of their economic and social positions but participate in the transformation of the social and political practices around them. The literature on migration and families emphasizes the reconfiguration of the limits of migrant communities and the reorganization of social and family life in more than one geographical space, giving rise to transnational social spaces and families with more than one place of residence (Salgado de Snyder, Diaz-Perez, Acevedo, & Natera, 1996; Salgado de Snyder & Diaz-Guerrero, 2002; Moctezuma, 1999).

These historical, cultural and social processes, however, produce stressors that may expose migrants to the risk of illness. Stressors emerge from contextual limitations and demands, due either to class, gender or ethnic group and are the result of the simultaneous confluence of demands from the environment and insufficient or inadequate resources for adaptation. Within this process, the socially molded significance of the demands of a person's surroundings, and the resources and supports available for dealing with them is crucial. These factors must be analyzed together since demands and resources exert a mutual influence on each other (Dressler, 1996).

With regard to the role played by men as fathers in Mexican families, migrants' families constitute a microcosm in which members live outside the norms of the conjugal nuclear family (De Keijzer, 1998). However, as in any family, the intimate sphere of these families is the scene of consensus and support as well as conflict and struggle (Salles & Tuiran, 1998). The specific importance of fathers' physical absence due to international migration translates into more familial, social, and labor responsibilities for migrants' wives and children (Salgado de Snyder, 1992; Salgado de Snyder et al. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Paternal Absence and International Migration: Stressors and Compensators Associated with the Mental Health of Mexican Teenagers of Rural Origin
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.