Health and Quality of Life of Transnational Families in Switzerland

Roxane Gerber , University of Geneva
Laura Ravazzini, University of Neuchatel

New ways of living have emerged with globalization, increasing mobility and the development of new ways of communication. In line with these societal changes, transnational families whose members are dispersed across national boundaries are currently challenging the nation-state paradigm. This paper provides an added value to the (limited) quantitative research that already exists on transnational families by using two new Swiss surveys on migration and mobilities that take into account the multiplicity of transnational ties among different types of families (e.g. long-distance partners, transnational retirees, flying grannies and transnational parents). On the one hand, the paper aims at understanding the determinants of those family configurations in Switzerland, a country with historically high migration rates. On the other hand, it analyses the consequences of these voluntary or involuntary living arrangements on the (mental) health and the quality of life of different family members. Several age groups are studied to encompass the plurality of phases of the life course of individuals, from early adulthood until late retirement age. Preliminary results suggest that a gender dimension exists both in the reasons for these family arrangements and in the consequences on the health and quality of life of different transnational families’ members. Results are explained in line with migration experiences, mobility intentions, and family expectations of men and women at different stages of their life-cycle.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course