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The Consequences of Husband’s International Migration on Family Left-Behind in Tamil Nadu, India


This article examines the challenges faced by left-behind wives in parenting during their husband’s absence due to international migration. Further, financial remittances contribute in children well-being. Both quantitative and qualitative interview gathered among wives in Tamil Nadu, India gives insights on how migrant father’s absence have implications on left-behind wives (mothers). The positive outcomes of husbands’ international migration on their children showed strong preference given on private schooling, private health care, children food consumption and clothing. Wives expressed that some of the problems arising from their husbands’ international migration were children’s lack of interest in studies, misbehaviour, disobedience and other related issues, which heightened wives’ parenting stress levels. Inferential statistical analysis highlighted the scores of the wives’ parental stress scores were the dependent variables, and problems with children, the independent variables, gave a very strong statistically significant degree of association between wives’ parental stress and problems with their children. In the absence of father, it is the mothers’ responsibilities to pay more attention in child-raising. On the other hand, the influx of support from family members created a family environment where wives are not distressed while providing baby care.

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  1. United Arab Emirates (UAE), The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon, Thailand, Iraq (emigration banned).

  2. The goal of the Public Distribution System in Tamil Nadu is to ensure food security to all citizens, particularly poor people, by making available essential commodities of good quality at affordable prices every month, through fair price shops which are easily accessible. (Retrieved from


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Correspondence to Arokkiaraj Heller or Archana Kaushik.

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Heller, A., Kaushik, A. The Consequences of Husband’s International Migration on Family Left-Behind in Tamil Nadu, India. Int. Migration & Integration 21, 1149–1163 (2020).

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  • International migration
  • Left-behind wives
  • Children
  • Remittances
  • Parental stress