Transnational Families and Educational Outcomes: Evidence from Immigrant Children in Italy

Francesca Tosi, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna
Roberto Impicciatore , Università di Bologna

International migrants often create transnational families to maximize resources and opportunities in the global economy to be shared among the household members. However, the impact of practicing the parent-child relationship at a distance on children’s well-being remains understudied. Recent research reports children’s emotional distress in relation to parental migration, especially when the absent parent is the mother. Still, little evidence exists on the relationship between parental absence via migration and children’s social and educational outcomes, all the more so in the context of second-generation migrants. To fill this gap, we exploit the Istat Survey on the Integration of Second Generation Immigrants in Italy 2015 to explore the linkages between school achievements of children with different migration backgrounds and parental care, distinguishing by family structure and country of origin. Besides usual controls, our analysis explicitly considers who is the main caregiver of the child and unfolds the relevance of the quality and quantity of contacts between the parents and the child and the degree of parental support to their educational career whenever their relationship is experienced across borders. Preliminary results show that a lack of support and parental control among students coming from transnational families lead to an (additional) educational penalty for children of immigrants.

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 Presented in Session 77. Immigrants' Structural Integration II: Education