Educational performance of children of migrant parents in Ghana, Nigeria and Angola

Valentina Mazzucato, Victor Cebotari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

There is no empirical research on the school performance of children who live separated from their parents in sub-Saharan Africa-a major migrant sending region in the world. This study uses survey data from junior and secondary school children and youths in Ghana (N = 2760), Angola (N = 2243) and Nigeria (N = 2168) to examine how different transnational family formations such as internal or international parental absence accompanied by migration or divorce, who is the migrant parent and who is the caregiver, the stability of the caregiving arrangement and remittances relate with the school performance of children who stay behind. School performance is measured through an index of grades in language, mathematics and science. The results show that international parental migration (Ghana), the internal parental migration accompanied by divorce/separation (Nigeria) and migration of both parents (Ghana and Nigeria) are likely predictors for decreased school performance. No effects are observed when parents are abroad and divorced/separated, when only one parent migrates, when children are in a stable care arrangement or when children receive remittances or not. The analyses show that the overall relationship between parental absence and education varies by the transnational dimension being analysed and by context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)834-856
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume42
Issue number5
Early online date22 Dec 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • Africa
  • IMPACT
  • INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION
  • INVESTMENT
  • REMITTANCES
  • School performance
  • children left-behind
  • migrant parents
  • transnational families

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