London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Parents’ labour migration: the link between adolescents’ perceptions of parental attitudes and their personal identity in the area of school and occupation

Author(s) Michałek, J. &Rostowska, T.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2014  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Innovative Practice and Research Trends in Identity, Citizenship and Education  
Age group -  
Labour migration has become typical phenomenon in Poland that generates new types of families and leads to ‘temporary abandoned’ children and other family members. Recent research discovered that transnational families are distinguished by specific patterns of communication or emotional climate and that parent-child separation influence on child’s psychosocial functioning, especially at a young age. Few studies concern the situation of adolescents. The aim of this papers is to examine the relationship between the perception of parental attitudes and the personal identity status in the area of school and occupation among adolescents from transnational families. Participants were 152 high school youth – 76 from transnational families (selected from a group of 99 students from such families), who satisfy the conditions: only one parent migrates – the father and come from nuclear family, and 76 from a nuclear families (comparison group). The following measures were used in the study: Parental Attitudes Scale (SPR-2) (Plopa, 2005), Identity Development Scale (U-GIDS) (Polish adaptation - Rostowski, 1997), interview questionnaire to collect information about parent’s migration. The results of the study showed that there are differences in perception of parental attitudes between adolescents from transnational families and from control families. Migration factor also differentiates: occurrence of personal identity statutes in the area of school and occupation – girls from transnational families more often have reached the status of identity achievement, whereas the adolescents from non-migratory families more often have reached identity diffusion. The results indicated associations between personal identity statuses and parental attitudes (mother and father separately) – especially for moratorium and identity achievement. Results can be used to promote good individual development and show the important role the family has on identity development – especially in context of parents’ migration.

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