Background Parental absence is linked to increased vulnerability to violence among children. Migration of parents is a major source of parental absence in some countries in Latin America.
Aim To examine the relationship between parental migration and exposures to violence among children and adolescents.
Methods We used data from the Violence Against Children Surveys of Honduras, El Salvador, and Colombia to independently study the association of parental migration with violence in the lives of children and adolescents ages 13–24 years old in each country. We explored the reported prevalence of any violence, sexual violence, physical violence, and emotional violence. We examined the effects of parental migration and violence victimization separately for paternal, maternal, and parental migration relative to those whose parents did not migrate. Our analyses also considered the differential effect on prevalence of poly-victimization when parents migrated.
Results Results show that early parental migration (before children were age 5) is associated with increased prevalence of lifetime violence victimization among male and female respondents. Female and male respondents whose parents had both migrated were significantly more likely to experience any physical, sexual, or emotional violence during their lives compared to those whose parents had not migrated.
Conclusions Parental migration is associated with increased risk for violence among children who are left behind.
Learning Outcomes Learners will be able to: a) Link parental migration to violence exposures before age 18
b) Understand the magnitude of migration and violence against children associations in different geographic contexts c) Use the analyzed data for prevention of violence programs where parental migration of children is an issue
Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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