Family migration from Mexico to the United States and from Peru to Italy

  • Cecilia López Pozos Universidad Autónoma de Tlaxcala, Mexico


The purpose of this paper is to present the results of an investigation of a psychosocial nature, made with transnational families who migrate from Mexico to the United States and from Peru to Italy. These families are known in the literature on migration as transnational families, because they are characterized by the separation of its members in two countries and live, as a result of this split family in their internal structure, changes and alterations in the mental health of any of its members. The methodology used in this study was qualitative (ethnography and in-depth interview) with fifty families (twenty five Mexican and twenty Peruvian). The results obtained in this investigation indicate that the traditional structures of Mexican families can be modified, as a result of male migration, resulting in a new form of transnational family characterized by the distance of the couple, the peripheral father's absence and adjustment problems of both children and wife at the time of family reunification.In the case of the traditional families of Peru, the results indicate that the transformation process begins with the separation from the mother's home, which assumes the role of provider and manager of the family still in the distance, while the father remains as caretaker of the children in the place of origin. When family reunification is achieved, by the wife becomes more employment and economic role, leaving the husband to a position of distance and passivity. The experience of living apart, husband/wife and daughters/sons long-living "here" and "there" - are circumstances which may favour the disappearance of traditional patriarchal structures of the past that have shaped the family life of the countries of Latin America. In such circumstances, members of transnational families – both Peruvian and Mexican – are exposed to the deterioration of their mental health. Economic gains migration have provided an emotional toll, as evidenced in certain conditions such as depression, stress and psychological pain, conditions that are maximized by the conditions of secrecy, solitude, racial discrimination, rejection, job segregation and overcrowding migrants living in the host society.

How to Cite
López Pozos, C. (2015) “Family migration from Mexico to the United States and from Peru to Italy”, Anuac, 1(1), pp. 70-88. doi: 10.7340/anuac2239-625X-26.