Intergenerational Relationships among Latino Immigrant Families in Spain: Conflict and Emotional Intimacy

Intergenerational Relationships among Latino Immigrant Families in Spain: Conflict and Emotional Intimacy

Amparo González Ferrer, Spanish Scientific Research Council

Friday, February 02, 2018

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Bunche Hall, Room 10383

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Relationships with parents have been identified as a major factor in shaping adolescents’ well-being and cognitive development. Compared to adolescents in native families, immigrant children face multiple stressors associated with international migration that may cause the relationship with their parents to be more conflictive or emotionally distant. In this paper, we compare the levels of mother-child conflict and emotional intimacy among Latino immigrant and Spanish native families living in Spain. Our analysis shows that Latino adolescents do not describe the relationship with their mothers as more conflictive than natives do. However, they report more emotional distance with their mothers than native adolescents. This differential with natives cannot be fully attributed to migration-related factors like physical separation from parents due to staggered family migration, to the lower life satisfaction of Latino mothers’ in their new destination or to an acculturation gap between mother and child. However, the fact that immigrant mothers spend less time doing activities with their children, probably due to their harder working conditions, explains part of the differential in emotional intimacy with native families. Finally, our analyses clearly establish an equally negative relationship between conflict and emotional intimacy for both native and Latino immigrant families.


Amparo González-Ferrer is Senior Research Fellow at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and member of the Research Group on Demographic Dynamics. She has extensively worked on international migration to Europe, with special attention to family-linked migration, political integration of migrants and determinants of international migration. She is currently coordinating an EU project titled TEMPER-Temporary versus Permanent Migration, and was main investigator of the Spanish team of MAFE-Migration between Africa and Europe, both funded by the VII Framework Program of the EU Commission. 

Sponsor(s): Center for the Study of International Migration, California Center for Population Research

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