Parental Incarceration, Transnational Migration, and Military Deployment: Family Process Mechanisms of Youth Adjustment to Temporary Parent Absence
- 1.7k Downloads
The temporary absence of a parent (e.g., due to incarceration, migration, or military deployment) is experienced by many youth and can have profound effects. Available research within these disparate literatures primarily has catalogued contextual and individual variables that influence youth adaptation, which are integrated and summarized here. In addition, we present a systematic review of proximal family process mechanisms by which youth and their family members adapt to periods of temporary parent absence. This systematic review across the different types of parent absence produced four themes: communication among family members, parenting characteristics during absence, negotiation of decision-making power and authority, and shifts in family roles. By juxtaposing the three types of temporary parent absence, we aim to bridge the separate research silos of parent absence due to incarceration, deployment, and migration, and to bring wide-ranging characteristics and processes of temporary parent-absent families into sharper focus. The review highlights possibilities for fuller integration of these literatures, and emphasizes the clinical value of considering these types of experiences from a family and relational perspective, rather than an individual coping perspective.
KeywordsTemporary parent absence Family relations Incarceration Migration Military deployment
This research was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health [Grant NRSA F31 MH094035] and the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation [Dissertation Research Award] both awarded to Rodriguez and by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [Grants R01 HD046807 and R21 HD072170] both awarded to Margolin.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest with respect to authorship of this article.
* Reference included in systematic review of family processes
- * Aguilera-Guzman, R. M., Salgado de Snyder, V. N., Romero, M., & Medina-Mora, M. E. (2004). Paternal absence and international migration: Stressors and compensators associated with the mental health of Mexican teenagers of rural origin. Adolescence, 39, 711–723.Google Scholar
- * Baker, J., McHale, J., Strozier, A., & Cecil, D. (2010). Mother-grandmother coparenting relationships in families with incarcerated mothers: A pilot investigation. Family Process, 49, 165–184. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01316.x.
- * Bernhard, J. K., Landolt, P., & Goldring, L. (2009). Transnationalizing families: Canadian immigration policy and the spatial fragmentation of care-giving among Latin American newcomers. International Migration, 47, 3–31. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2008.00479.x.
- * Bockneck, E. L., Sanderson, J., & Britner, P. A. (2009). Ambiguous loss and posttraumatic stress of school-aged children of prisoners. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 18, 323–333. doi: 10.1007/s10826-008-9233-y.
- Boss, P. (1999). Ambiguous loss. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Bowen, M. (1978). Family therapy in clinical practice. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
- Card, N. A., Bosch, L., Casper, D. M., Wiggs, C. B., Hawkins, S. A., Schlomer, G. L., et al. (2011). A meta-analytic review of internalizing, externalizing, and academic adjustment among children of deployed military service members. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 508–520. doi: 10.1037/a0024395.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- * Chandra, A., Lara-Cinisomo, L., Jaycox, L. H., Tanielian, T., Burns, R. M., Ruder, T., et al. (2010a). Children on the homefront: The experience of children from military families. Pediatrics, 125, 13–22. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-1180.
- * Chandra, A., Martin, L. T., Hawkins, S. A., & Richardson, A. (2010b). The impact of parental deployment on child social and emotional functioning: Perspectives of school staff. Journal of Adolescent Health, 46, 218–223. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2009.10.009.
- China Youth Research Center. (2006). China’s children and juveniles statistical handbook. Beijing: Science Press.Google Scholar
- * Coe, C. (2008). The structuring of feeling in Ghanian transnational families. City and Society, 20, 222–250. doi: 10.1111/j.1548-744X.2008.00018.x.
- * Dallaire, D. H., Ciccone, A., & Wilson, L. C. (2012). The family drawings of at-risk children: Concurrent relations with contact with incarcerated parents, caregiver behavior, and stress. Attachment and Human Development, 14, 161–183. doi: 10.1080/14616734.2012.661232.
- Demographics Profile of the Military Community (2012). Office of the deputy under secretary of defense (military community and family policy). Produced by Caliber, an ICF Consulting Company. Retrieved from http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil.
- * Dreby, J. (2006). Honor and virtue: Mexican parenting in the transnational context. Gender & Society, 20, 32–59. doi: 10.1177/0891243205282660.
- * Dreby, J. (2007). Children and power in Mexican transnational families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69, 1050–1064. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2007.00430.x.
- * Dreby, J. (2009). Gender and transnational gossip. Qualitative Sociology, 32, 33–52. doi: 10.1007/s11133-008-9117-x.
- * Echegoyen-Nava, G. M. (2013). Separation and emotional distance: Cases of Mexican undocumented transnational families. International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 5, 246–260.Google Scholar
- * Everson, R. B., Darling, C. A., & Herzog, J. R. (2013). Parenting stress among US Army spouses during combat-related deployments: The role of sense of coherence. Child and Family Social Work, 18, 168–178. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2206.2011.00818.x.
- * Folk, J. B., Nichols, E. B., Dallaire, D. H., & Loper, A. B. (2012). Evaluating the content and reception of messages from incarcerated parents to their children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 82, 529–541. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.2012.01179.x.
- * Foster, H. (2012). The strains of maternal imprisonment: Importation and deprivation stressors for women and children. Journal of Criminal Justice, 40, 221–229. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2012.01.005.
- Glaze, L. E., & Maruschak, L. M. (2008). Parents in prison and their minor children. Bureau of Justice Statistics Special Report. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
- * Graham, E., Jordan, L. P., Yeoh, B. S. A., Lam, T., Asis, M., & Su-kamdi, (2012). Transnational families and the family nexus: Perspectives of Indonesian and Filipino children left behind by migrant parent(s). Environment and Planning A, 44, 793–815. doi: 10.1068/a4445.
- * Hagen, K. A., & Myers, B. J. (2003). The effect of secrecy and social support on behavioral problems in children of incarcerated women. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 12, 229–242. doi: 10.1023/a:1022866917415.
- * Harper, S. E., & Martin, A. M. (2013). Transnational migratory labor and Filipino fathers: How families are affected when men work abroad. Journal of Family Issues, 34, 270–290. doi: 10.1177/0192513X12462364.
- * Hissel, S., Bijleveld, C., & Kruttschnitt, C. (2011). The well-being of children of incarcerated mothers: An exploratory study for the Netherlands. European Journal of Criminology, 8, 346–360. doi: 10.1177/1477370811415755.
- * Hoang, L. A., & Yeoh, B. S. A. (2012). Sustaining families across transnational spaces: Vietnamese migrant parents and their left-behind children. Asian Studies Review, 36, 307–325. doi: 10.1080/10357823.2012.711810.
- * Hondagneu-Sotelo, P., & Avila, E. (1997). “I’m here, but I’m there”: The meaning of Latina transnational motherhood. Gender and Society, 11, 548–571. doi: 10.1177/089124397011005003.
- * Horton, S. (2009). A mother’s heart is weighed down with stones: A phenomenological approach to the experience of transnational motherhood. Cultural and Medical Psychiatry, 33, 21–40. doi: 10.1007/s11013-008-9117-z.
- * Houston, J. B., Pfefferbaum, B., Sherman, M. D., Melson, A. G., & Brand, M. W. (2013). Family communication across the military deployment experience: Child and spouse report of communication frequency and quality and associated emotions, behaviors, and reactions. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 18, 103–119. doi: 10.1080/15325024.2012.684576.
- * Houston, J. B., Pfefferbaum, B., Sherman, M. D., Melson, A. G., Jeon-Slaughter, H., Brand, M. W., et al. (2009). Children of deployed National Guard troops: Perceptions of parental deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. Psychiatric Annals, 39, 805–811. doi: 10.3928/00485713-20090728-03.
- * Huebner, A. J., Mancini, J. A., Wilcox, R. M., Grass, S. R., & Grass, G. A. (2007). Parental deployment and youth in military families: Exploring uncertainty and ambiguous loss. Family Relations, 56, 112–122. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2007.00445.x.
- * Kelley, M. L. (1994). The effects of military-induced separation on family factors and child behavior. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 64, 103–111. doi: 10.1037/h0079499.
- * Lawrence-Wills, S. (2004). Incarcerated mothers reports of their daughters’ antisocial behavior, maternal supervision and mother–daughter relationship. Journal of Family Social Work, 8, 55–73. doi: 10.1300/J039v08n03_04.
- Leaper, C. (2002). Parenting girls and boys. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting: Vol. 1. Children and parenting (2nd ed., pp. 189–225). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- * Lee, Y. J., & Koo, H. (2006). ‘Wild geese fathers’ and a globalised family strategy for education in Korea. International Development Planning Review, 28, 533–553. doi: 10.3828/idpr.28.4.6.
- Lester, P., Peterson, K., Reeves, J., Knauss, L., et al. (2010). The long war and parental combat deployment: Effects on military children and at-home spouses. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 310–320. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.01.003.PubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- * Loper, A. B., Carlson, L. W., Levitt, L., & Sheffel, K. (2009). Parenting stress, alliance, child contact, and adjustment of imprisoned mothers and fathers. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 48, 483–503. doi: 10.1080/10509670903081300.
- * Loper, A. B., & Clarke, C. N. (2013). Attachment representations of imprisoned mothers as related to child contact and the caregiving alliance: The moderating effect of children’s placement with maternal grandmothers. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 78, 41–56. doi: 10.1111/mono.12020.
- MacDermid, S. M. (2006). Multiple transitions of deployment and reunion for military families. Retrieved from the Military Family Research Institute, Purdue University website: http://www.cfs.purdue.edu/mfri/DeployReunion.ppt.
- * Mackintosh, V., Myers, B., & Kennon, S. (2006). Children of incarcerated mothers and their caregivers: Factors affecting the quality of their relationship. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 15, 579–594. doi: 10.1007/s10826-006-9030-4.
- * Medway, F. J., Davis, K. E., Cafferty, T. P., Chappell, K. D., & O’Hearn, R. E. (1995). Family disruption and adult attachment correlates of spouse and child reactions to separation and reunion due to Operation Desert Storm. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 14, 97–118. doi: 10.1521/jscp.1918.104.22.168.
- Minuchin, S. (1974). Families and family therapy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- * Moran-Taylor, M. J. (2008). When mothers and fathers migrate north caretakers, children, and child rearing in Guatemala. Latin American Perspectives, 35, 79–95. doi: 10.1177/0094582X08318980.
- Murray, J., Farrington, D. P., & Sekol, I. (2012). Children’s antisocial behavior, mental health, drug use, and educational performance after parental incarceration: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 138, 175–210. doi: 10.1037/a0026407.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- * Nesmith, A., & Ruhland, E. (2008). Children of incarcerated parents: Challenges and resiliency, in their own words. Child and Youth Services Review, 30, 1119–1130. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2008.02.006.
- * Nobles, J. (2011). Parenting from abroad: Migration, nonresident father involvement, and children’s education in Mexico. Journal of Marriage and Family, 73, 729–746. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00842.x.
- * Pantea, M.-C. (2011). Young people’s perspectives on changing families’ dynamics of power in the context of parental migration. Young, 19, 375–395. doi: 10.1177/110330881101900402.
- * Pantea, M.-C. (2012). ‘I have a child and a garden’: Young people’s experiences of care giving in transnational families. Journal of Youth Studies, 15, 241–256. doi: 10.1080/_13676261.2011.634399.
- * Parrenas, R. (2001). Mothering from a distance: Emotions, gender, and inter-generational relations in Filipino transnational families. Feminist Studies, 27, 361–390. doi: 10.2307/3178765.
- Parreñas, R. (2005). Children of global migration: Transnational families and gendered woes. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
- * Pfefferbaum, B., Houston, J. B., Sherman, M. D., & Melson, A. G. (2011). Children of national guard troops deployed in the global war on terrorism. Journal of Loss and Trauma, 16, 291–305. doi: 10.1080/15325024.2010.519293.
- * Poehlmann, J. (2005a). Incarcerated mothers’ contact with children, perceived family relationships, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Family Psychology, 19, 350–357. doi: 10.1037/0893-322.214.171.1240.
- * Poehlmann, J. (2005b). Representations of attachment relationships in children of incarcerated mothers. Child Development, 76, 679–696. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2005.00871.x.
- * Poehlmann, J., Park, J., Bouffiou, L., Abrahams, J., Shlafer, R., & Hahn, E. (2008a). Representations of family relationships in children living with custodial grandparents. Attachment and Human Development, 10, 165–188. doi: 10.1080/14616730802113695.
- * Poehlmann, J., Shlafer, R. J., Maes, E., & Hanneman, A. (2008b). Factors associated with young children’s opportunities for maintaining family relationships during maternal incarceration. Family Relations, 57, 267–280. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3729.2008.00499.x.
- * Pottinger, A. M. (2005). Children’s experience of loss by parental migration in inner-city Jamaica. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75, 485–496. doi: 10.1037/0002-94126.96.36.1995.
- * Robila, M. (2011). Parental migration and children’s outcomes in Romania. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 20, 326–333. doi: 10.1007/s10826-010-9396-1.
- * Roy, K. M., & Dyson, O. L. (2005). Gatekeeping in context: Babymama drama and the involvement of incarcerated fathers. Fathering, 3, 289–310. doi: 10.3149/fth.0303.289.
- * Schmalzbauer, L. (2004). Searching for wages and mothering from afar: The case of Honduran transnational families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 66, 1317–1331. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2004.00095.x.
- * Schmalzbauer, L. (2008). Family divided: The class formation of Honduran transnational families. Global Networks, 8, 329–346. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-0374.2008.00198.x.
- * Shlafer, R. J., & Poehlmann, J. (2010). Attachment and caregiving relationships in families affected by parental incarceration. Attachment & Human Development, 12, 395–415. doi: 10.1080/14616730903417052.
- * Trice, A. D., & Brewster, J. (2004). The effects of maternal incarceration on adolescent children. Journal of Policy and Criminal Psychology, 19, 27–35. doi: 10.1007/BF02802572.
- * Turanovic, J. J., Rodriguez, N., & Pratt, T. C. (2012). The collateral consequences of incarceration revisited: A qualitative analysis of the effects on caregivers of children of incarcerated parents. Criminology, 50, 913–959. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2012.00283.x.
- UN News Centre (2013). Number of international migrants rises above 232 million, UN reports. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp/html/story.asp?NewsID=45819&Cr=migrants&Cr1=#.UvR9QP0yBg0.
- Vélez, C. E., Wolchik, S. A., Tein, J. Y., & Sandler, I. (2011). Protecting children from the consequences of divorce: A longitudinal study of the effects of parenting on children’s coping processes. Child Development, 82, 244–257. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2010.01553.x.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
- * Wen, M., & Lin, D. (2012). Child development in rural China: Children left behind by their migrant parents and children of nonmigrant families. Child Development, 83, 120–136. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01698.x.
- Wiens, T.W., & Boss, P. (2006). Maintaining family resiliency before, during, and after military separation. In C.A. Castro, A. B. Adler, & C.A. Britt (Eds.), Military life: The psychology of serving in peace and combat (4 Vols.). Bridgeport, CT: Praeger Security International.Google Scholar
- * Zeff, K. N., Lewis, S. J., & Hirsch, K. A. (1997). Military family adaptation to United Nations Operations in Somalia. Military Medicine, 162, 384–387.Google Scholar