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Soc Sci Med. 2016 Nov;168:63-71. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.09.009. Epub 2016 Sep 9.

Transnational ties and the health of sub-Saharan African migrants: The moderating role of gender and family separation.

Author information

1
School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, United States. Electronic address: Patience.Afulani@ucsf.edu.
2
Center for Health and Community, University of California, San Francisco, United States.
3
School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, United States.
4
Hewlett Foundation, Menlo Park, United States.

Abstract

Recent scholarship has focused on the role that cross-border social and economic ties play in shaping health outcomes for migrant populations. Nevertheless, the extant empirical work on this topic has paid little attention to the health impacts of cross-border separation from close family members. In this paper we examine the association between cross-border ties-and cross-border separation-with the health of sub-Saharan African (SSA) migrant adults living in metropolitan France using data from the nationally representative "Trajectoire et Origines" survey (n = 1980 SSA migrants). In logistic regression analyses we find that remitting money and having a child abroad are each associated with poor health among women, but not men. The effect of remittances on health is also modified by the location of one's children: remittance sending is associated with poor health only for SSA-migrants separated from their children. These findings underscore the importance of examining both cross-border connection and cross-border separation in studies of immigrant health, and also underscore the heterogeneous relationships between cross-border ties and health for men and women. This is the first study to our knowledge that examines the relationship between cross-border ties and health for migrants in Europe, with a focus on SSA-migrants in France. These findings have important implications for the health of the growing immigrant and refugee populations in Europe and around the globe.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic disease; Cross-border ties; France; Health; Social ties; Sub-Saharan African migrants; Transnationalism

PMID:
27639482
DOI:
10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.09.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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