The Influence of Parental Migration on the Psychosocial Development of Children Left Behind in South Wollo Zone

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Getnet Tesfaw
Abebaw Minaye (P.hD)

Abstract

Though the migration of parents contributes to poverty reduction and children's material well-being, the emotional and social turmoil are not yet well investigated. This article ex- plored the influence of the migration of parents on the psychosocial development of children left behind in Southern Wollo, Ethiopia and whose either one or both of their parents had mi- grated abroad. Accordingly, data were qualitatively gathered from 13 children whose par- ents migrated from Southern Wollo, Ethiopia. The data were gathered through interviews and observation checklists. The collected data were analyzed thematically. The results of the study demonstrated that despite children's awareness of the reasons for their parents' migration, children do not want their parents to migrate, leaving them behind. It was also found that left-behind children experienced feelings of rejection, lack of parental love, sad- ness, despair, lack of confidence, and lack of motivation in schooling following the migration of parent(s).To alleviate the problem of children left behind various forms of support such as from friends, families, and caregivers have to be implemented. Government and non-gov- ernment organizations have to create conducive environments for the left-behind children so that the children get psychosocial and other services from counselors, psychiatrists, social workers, and mental health professionals.

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