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12-05-2020 | Original Article | Uitgave 2/2021

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 2/2021

Who is Taking Care of Central American Immigrant Youth? Preliminary Data on Caregiving Arrangements and Emotional-Behavioral Symptoms Post-Migration

Tijdschrift:
Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 2/2021
Auteurs:
Jesse Walker, Amanda Venta, Betsy Galicia
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Abstract

Migrant youth are at increased risk for mental health problems. Given increases in families migrating to the U.S. and family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border, understanding migrant youth home environments and impacts of family disruption are growing concerns. This study assessed caregiver arrangements and reports of youth emotional and behavioral symptoms from recently immigrated adolescents (N = 111) and respective caregivers (n = 64). 47.7% of youth indicated living with their mother, father, or both; 24.3% another relative, 2.7% a non-relative, and 25.2% reported no caregiver. 25% indicated caretaking responsibilities of their own. Caregiving arrangements were related to emotional and behavioral symptoms. Caregiver documentation status was related to caregiver-reported conduct problems, prosocial behavior, and total symptoms. The migration process is disruptive for youth and home environments. Many youth experience disrupted caregiving post-migration and caregiver features are significant to youth emotional and behavioral symptoms—which were elevated in this sample. The study provides novel insight into effects of family disruption on migrant youth post-migration.

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