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Study 2:

Family Transnational Separation Experiences: Interviews with Parents

In this current era of globalization, millions of families are split across countries and cultures for extended periods. Prolonged separation between parents and young children is relatively common within Chinese immigrant families in North America. Often motivated by the desire to become financially stable and/or further their education, many parents make the decision to send their U.S.-born infants back to China to be cared for by grandparents or other relatives until children reach school age or can attain subsidized childcare. Because the phenomenon of transnational parent-child separation is not yet well-understood, our research team has been investigating this within practice among Chinese immigrant families in the Boston area. Ongoing in-depth qualitative interviews are being conducted (in either Mandarin or Cantonese) with parents who fall into the following three categories: 1) are strongly considering separating from their children; 2) are currently separated; and 3) were previously separated and are now reunited. These interviews seek to better understand parents’ decision-making and the overall experience of transnational separation and reunion.

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