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The Impact of an Adult Child’s Emigration on the Mental Health of Older Parents Alan Barrett and Irene Mosca 31 January 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "The Impact of an Adult Child’s Emigration on the Mental Health of Older Parents Alan Barrett and Irene Mosca 31 January 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Impact of an Adult Child’s Emigration on the Mental Health of Older Parents Alan Barrett and Irene Mosca 31 January 2014

2 Structure of the talk Motivation – why are we interested in the question of whether a child’s emigration might impact upon the mental health of parents? – where is this paper placed in the literature? The data, the method and the variables – TILDA, a fixed effects approach and the mental health measures The sample and descriptive stats Results Conclusions

3 Motivation (1) Why is the research question of interest? From a national (Irish) perspective – Emigration is often characterised as a consequence of recession that affects younger people; but maybe there is an effect on older people too From an international perspective – A growing literature on the impact of migration on the family members left behind (Antman, 2013)

4 Motivation (2) What are the impacts of migration on the family members left behind? On children’s education On children’s health On spouse’s labour supply On parents’ health This is where we come in

5 Data, method and variables (1) TILDA Wave 1 collected between 2009 and 2011 Extensive information collected on 8,500 people aged 50 and over; response rate 62% The data covers economic, social and health circumstances Intensive efforts to keep people engaged between Wave 1 and Wave 2: birthday cards, newsletters, certificate of participation TILDA Wave 2 collected in 2012 Response rate was 90% (including an end-of-life interview and proxy interview)

6 Data, method and variables (2) Critically for our purposes, we have measures of mental health for the respondents and we know where their children were living in Waves 1 and 2 We also know a lot about other changes between Waves 1 and 2 such as bereavement, retirement, onset of illness Hence, we can explore whether mental health changed in response to a child’s emigration controlling for other changes over this period

7 Data, method and variables (3) By focusing on changes, we difference away time-invariant unobservables which may be correlated with both the child’s emigration and parental mental health We follow Lindeboom et al (2003) and Wooldridge and estimate a fixed effects model by differencing the basic equation and applying OLS

8 Data, method and variables (4) Measuring mental health Depression – CESD is 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. It measures the degree to which respondents have experienced a wide variety of depressive symptoms within the past week. Each of the 20 items is measured on a 4 point scale leading to a min score of 0 and a max score of 60. – Self-rated emotional/mental health on a 1 (excellent)-5 (poor) scale Loneliness – UCLA Loneliness Scale. Cross-sectional score ranges between 0 (not lonely) to 10 (extremely lonely).

9 The sample We select people who are parents of children aged 16 and over at Wave 1; we exclude parents with children who are younger than 16 We only look at parents all of whose children were living in Ireland at Wave 1 This gives a sample of 2,912 parents Of this group, 361 had seen a child emigrate between Waves 1 and 2

10 Descriptive Stats – Variables in regressions Men & Women together No children emigrating 1+ children emigrating Outcome variables Change in CES-D score, mean Change in self-reported mental health score, mean Change in UCLA loneliness score, mean

11 Demographic changes: Widowhood 1.5%0.3% Decrease in number of close relatives/friends 43.8%47.3% Health changes: New ADL 4.2%1.4%** New IADL 5.6%1.1%*** Cardiovascular disorder 21.9%21.7% Chronic illness 26.6%22.7% 1-point deterioration in self-reported health 19.8%18.2% 2-point deterioration in self-reported health 4.8%4.0% Economic changes: Retired 4.6%6.3% Unemployed 1.1%2.8%** Change in weekly individual gross income, mean Changes in children’s conditions: 1+ children unemployed 11.6%10.1% 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single 5.1%

12 Variables not in regressions Men & Women together No children emigrating 1+ children emigrating Age, mean *** Education: Low 41.5%22.7%*** Medium43.8%52.1%*** High14.7%25.2%*** Depression score at wave *** Loneliness score at wave SR mental/emotional health at wave SR physical health at wave **

13 Descriptives for the children Non-emigrating children Emigrating children Age, mean *** High education at w1 30.8%43.8%***

14 Results

15 ΔCESD – full sample Men & women Coeff.t stat. Widowhood5.156 *** (3.88) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends0.731 ** (2.42) New ADL1.828 ** (2.00) New IADL0.544(0.64) Cardiovascular disorder0.945 *** (2.68) Chronic illness0.546(1.58) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health0.944 *** (2.87) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health2.024 *** (2.97) Retired1.072 *** (2.65) Unemployed0.634(0.49) Change in income (000s) (-0.46) 1+ children emigrated0.809 * (1.78) 1+ children unemployed0.305(0.69) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single0.965(1.22) Constant *** (-7.67) N2912

16 ΔCESD – men and women Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood5.136 *** (2.89)5.001 *** (3.20) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends1.165 *** (2.88)0.128(0.33) New ADL2.378 ** (2.01)0.643(0.53) New IADL0.473(0.45)0.880(0.65) Cardiovascular disorder1.024 ** (2.01)0.838 ** (2.05) Chronic illness0.808 * (1.75)0.0946(0.19) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health1.760 *** (3.80) (-0.23) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health1.363(1.51)3.080 *** (2.81) Retired1.179 * (1.80)0.821 * (1.71) Unemployed-2.660(-1.03)1.980(1.50) Change in income (000s) (-0.41) (-0.20) 1+ children emigrated1.229 ** (2.06)0.292(0.54) 1+ children unemployed0.418(0.71)0.0508(0.09) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single1.011(0.96)0.725(0.86) Constant *** (-7.05) *** (-3.27) N

17 Δ self-rated mental health Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood0.365(1.46)0.338(1.16) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends (-0.10)0.0345(0.55) New ADL0.0809(0.51)0.0711(0.42) New IADL0.0717(0.51)0.0177(0.10) Cardiovascular disorder (0.11)0.0122(0.17) Chronic illness0.113 ** (2.05)0.0443(0.54) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health0.419 *** (5.98)0.449 *** (6.44) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health0.871 *** (6.54)1.020 *** (5.69) Retired0.0717(0.64)0.261 ** (2.45) Unemployed0.203(0.81)0.224(0.99) Change in income (000s) (-0.03) (-1.31) 1+ children emigrated0.166 ** (2.20) (-0.93) 1+ children unemployed0.117(1.44) (-0.88) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single0.188 * (1.67) (-0.41) Constant (-1.44) (-0.87) N

18 Δ loneliness score Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood0.495(0.65)1.712 * (1.94) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends0.167(1.47)0.0468(0.36) Change in positive exchanges score *** (-5.56) *** (-3.21) Change in negative exchanges score *** (4.10) *** (3.69) New ADL-0.480(-0.88)0.574(0.94) New IADL-0.136(-0.40)-0.200(-0.33) Cardiovascular disorder-0.213(-1.40) (0.06) Chronic illness0.244 * (1.76)-0.243(-1.28) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health0.252 * (1.70) (-0.30) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health0.446 * (1.67)-0.277(-1.18) Retired (-0.33) (-0.39) Unemployed0.0838(0.13)0.506(1.34) Change in income (000s) ** (-2.29)0.0135(0.41) 1+ children emigrated0.432 *** (2.78) (-0.14) 1+ children unemployed-0.203(-1.01)0.362(1.49) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single (-0.04)0.127(0.40) Constant (-0.89)0.0338(0.33) N983749

19 A potential problem (Apparently), people with poor mental health experience faster declines in mental health If this is the case, our fixed effects approach could still be producing misleading results To deal with this, we (1) restrict the sample to those with low CESD scores in Wave 1 (<16) and (2) we interact the “child emigrate” variable with a retrospective indicator of mental health problems

20 ΔCESD – CESD <16 at W1 Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood4.450 *** (3.01)4.300 *** (3.17) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends0.419(1.21)0.162(0.48) New ADL1.927(1.40)1.142(0.96) New IADL1.478(1.56)1.330(1.04) Cardiovascular disorder1.055 ** (2.23)0.590(1.57) Chronic illness1.405 *** (3.53)0.216(0.43) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health0.866 * (1.96) (-0.28) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health1.201(1.63)2.602 ** (2.45) Retired0.526(0.83)0.148(0.31) Unemployed-0.149(-0.07)1.267(0.94) Change in income (000s)-0.144(-1.14) (-0.90) 1+ children emigrated0.917 * (1.66) (-0.17) 1+ children unemployed0.120(0.20)0.296(0.60) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single1.410(1.49)0.332(0.40) Constant *** (-3.40)-0.291(-1.06) N

21 Δ self-rated mental health – good or better at W1 Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood0.358(1.38)0.297(0.81) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends (-0.13)0.0468(0.75) New ADL0.129(0.75)0.0365(0.20) New IADL0.251 * (1.75)0.0824(0.39) Cardiovascular disorder0.0326(0.48)0.0445(0.60) Chronic illness0.0853(1.49)0.0323(0.38) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health0.381 *** (5.49)0.427 *** (6.07) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health0.776 *** (5.55)1.064 *** (5.76) Retired0.0274(0.24)0.185 * (1.73) Unemployed0.246(1.11)0.156(0.68) Change in income (000s) (-0.02) (-1.29) 1+ children emigrated0.181 ** (2.46)-0.128(-1.58) 1+ children unemployed0.149 * (1.78) (-0.31) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single * (1.88) (-0.58) Constant0.0527(1.12)0.0300(0.60) N

22 Mothers onlyFathers only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood5.028 *** (2.82)4.892 *** (3.15) Loss of close relatives/friends1.132 *** (2.83)0.124(0.32) Loss in functional capacity (new ADL)2.286 * (1.94)0.712(0.58) Loss in functional capacity (new IADL)0.727(0.71)0.909(0.67) Cardiovascular disorder1.010 ** (1.99)0.858 ** (2.09) Chronic illness0.756 * (1.65)0.0768(0.15) 1-point deterioration in self-rated health1.752 *** (3.77)-0.120(-0.29) 2-point deterioration in self-rated health1.356(1.50)3.012 *** (2.74) Retirement1.206 * (1.82)0.771(1.60) Unemployment-2.709(-1.04)2.013(1.52) Change in income (000s) (-0.34) (-0.32) Ref: No child’s emigration * no history of depression No child’s emigration * history of depression-1.995(-1.64)-1.741(-1.20) Child’s emigration * no history of depression0.870(1.44)0.308(0.60) Child’s emigration * history of depression7.108 *** (2.97)-1.182(-0.33) Child’s unemployment0.430(0.73)0.109(0.18) Child’s marital breakdown/widowhood0.886(0.85)0.690(0.82) Constant *** (-6.70) *** (-3.06) N ΔCESD; with interactions between history of mental health problems and child emigrate

23 Does this suggest that there may be reverse causality? Were children whose parents had suffered a mental health problem more likely to emigrate? We test this by running a probit regression where “child emigrate” is now the dependent variable.

24 Probit with child emigrate as dependent variable Mothers onlyFathers only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Age *** (-6.47) *** (-5.52) Medium education0.164(1.31)0.161(1.22) High education0.285 * (1.94)0.407 *** (2.73) Employed-0.175(-1.13) (-0.61) Other-0.150(-1.10)0.0242(0.12) Another town/city-0.179(-1.35) (-0.07) Rural area-0.185(-1.58)0.0221(0.16) Income 2nd quintile0.0349(0.26)-0.182(-0.80) Income 3rd quintile (-0.41)-0.267(-1.23) Income 4th quintile0.149(1.00) (-0.49) Income 5th quintile0.0847(0.49)-0.163(-0.94) Married/cohabiting0.0471(0.41)0.273(1.63) Number of children0.144 *** (5.41)0.187 *** (5.57) Return migrant0.160(1.30)0.346 *** (2.61) Past diagnosis of depression-0.106(-0.45)0.306(1.31) CES-D score ** (-1.98) (-1.09) Good self-rated health0.0272(0.27)0.0175(0.13) Fair/poor self-rated health-0.103(-0.64) (-0.36) Past diagnosis of cancer (-0.22)0.195(0.73) Past diagnosis of heart attack-0.417(-0.92) ** (-2.23) Constant1.290 *** (2.66)1.271 ** (2.09) N1,589 1,134

25 And can we take the push to emigrate as being an exogenous shock?

26 Does it matter that the emigrants’ parents are younger? Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Widowhood7.455 *** (3.22)6.266 *** (11.54) Decrease in number of close relatives/friends1.479 ** (2.56)-0.282(-0.53) Cardiovascular disorder1.455 ** (1.97)1.318 ** (2.33) Chronic illness1.409 ** (2.17)-0.103(-0.14) 1-point deterioration in self-reported health1.712 *** (2.59)0.300(0.50) 2-point deterioration in self-reported health0.894(0.58)4.377 *** (2.73) Retired1.549(1.55)0.981 * (1.65) 1+ children emigrated1.594 ** (2.30)0.410(0.62) 1+ children widowed/separated/divorced/single3.200 ** (2.37)0.453(0.36) Constant *** (-5.44) ** (-2.22) N CESD regression for those aged 65 and under – only significant coefficients shown here

27 Does it matter if the emigrating child is a son or daughter? Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Child emigrating is male1.162(1.33)0.161(0.21) Child emigrating is female1.940 ** (2.21)0.534(0.59) N CESD regression – only showing coefficients for emigrant child dummy variables – Different point estimates but not statistically significant

28 Does it matter if the emigrating child was living with the parents at W1? Women onlyMen only Coeff.t stat.Coeff.t stat. Child emigrating was co-resident at w11.036(1.01)0.571(0.76) Child emigrating was NOT co-resident at w * (1.91)0.0217(0.03) N CESD regression – no statistically significant difference

29 Other things we looked at... Age of emigrating child Does the emigrating child have children (ie. grandchildren of our participants) Results as expected but no statistically significant differences between estimated coefficients

30 Conclusion There appears to be reasonably robust evidence that the emigration of an adult child affects of the mental health of mothers. But effect strongest among mothers with a previous history of depression This is important in itself but also in terms of how mental health impacts upon physical health There might also be impacts on potential emigrants and another dimension to Mincer’s (1978) “tied stayers”


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