The Hidden Costs of Migration: Social Networks, Gender, and Mental Health for Women in Mexico

Heather Edelblute MPH, PhD Candidate University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 - 11:45am


Maginnes Hall, Room 110

Most studies that examine migration from Mexico to the United States focus exclusively on the international migrant.   In the area of mental health, considerable research has examined the implications of the migration process on the well-being of Mexican migrants in the US.  This research offers insights into the stress associated with the migration process as well as
the role of social ties in buffering the stress of everyday life.  Much less, however, is known about the specific domains of social life that influence the mental health of those who remain in Mexico. This study examines how the composition of women's networks and interaction with network peers are connected to psychological well-being for women in a migrant-sending community in Guanajuato, Mexico. Using the Social Networks and Health Information Survey (n=343), this study
reveals how the gender, migration and kinship structure of networks operate to produce distinct levels of well-being for women.  Findings from this study can inform the development of culturally appropriate health interventions for non-migrant women, a group often overlooked in the global health and migration arena.