Advertisement

Long-term civil conflict, migration, and the mental health of adults left behind in Thailand: a longitudinal study

  • Kathleen FordEmail author
  • Aree Jampaklay
  • Aphichat Chamratrithirong
Original article
  • 44 Downloads

Abstract

Objectives

A long-term civil conflict has been occurring in the southernmost provinces of Thailand, and migration to Malaysia has been accelerated by this conflict. The objective of this work was to examine the influence of perceived effects of the unrest, migration of a household member, and children left behind on the reporting of psychiatric symptoms of working age adults.

Methods

A first round of data collection was conducted in 2014 including interviews with a probability sample of 1102 households and individual interviews with 2058 males and females aged 18–59. In 2016, a second round of data collection was conducted. A fixed effects model was used in the analysis.

Results

The perceived effect of the unrest on the household was associated with an increased reporting of psychiatric symptoms. Furthermore, the migration of a household member for work and the presence of children left behind were related to an increased reporting of psychiatric symptoms among adults, especially among females.

Conclusions

The unrest and its associated migration was related to an increased reporting of psychiatric symptoms among working age adults in the study population.

Keywords

Migration Mental health Conflict Thailand 

Notes

Funding

The study was funded by Mahidol University, Bangkok; Thailand Research Fund (Grant No. 2455); and Thai Studies Program University of Michigan (Grant No. 534). The Thai Studies grant was made possible by the Amnvay-Samonsri Vivavan Endowment at the University of Michigan.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The study protocol was reviewed and approved by a Human Subjects Committee of Mahidol University. The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work have been performed in accordance with the ethical standards set down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Informed consent

All persons provided written informed consent prior to their inclusion in the study.

Supplementary material

38_2019_1297_MOESM1_ESM.docx (28 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 27 kb)

References

  1. Abas MA, Tangchonlatip K, Punpuing S, Jirapramupitak T, Darawuttimaprakom N, Prince M, Flasch C (2013) Migration of children and impact on depression in older parents in rural Thailand, Southeast Asia. J Am Med Assoc Psychiatry 70(2):226–233Google Scholar
  2. Adhikari R, Jampaklay A, Chamrathithirong A (2011) Impact of children’s migration on health and health care-seeking behavior of elderly left behind. BMC Public Health 11:143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Krenawi A, Lev-Weisel R, Sehwall M (2007) Psychological symptomatology among Palestinian children living with political violence. Child Adol Ment H-UK 12(1):27–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Allison PD (2009) Fixed effects regression models. Quantitative applications in the social sciences, vol 160. Sage, Beverly HillsCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Antman FM (2010) Adult child migration and the health of elderly parents left behind in Mexico. Am Econ Rev 100(2):205–208CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Antman FM (2011) International migration and gender discrimination among children left behind. Am Econ Rev 101(3):645–649CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Antman FM (2013) The impact of migration on the family left behind. In: Constant AF, Zimmernam KF (eds) International handbook on the economics of migration. Edward Elga Publishing, Northampton, pp 293–308Google Scholar
  8. Axinn WG, Ghirmire DJ, Williams NE, Scott KM (2013) Gender, traumatic events, and mental health disorders in a rural Asian setting. J Health Soc Behav 54(4):444–461CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chalk P (2008) The Malay Muslim insurgency in Southeast Asia: understanding the conflicts’ evolving dilemma. Rand Corporation, Santa MonicaGoogle Scholar
  10. Clark T, Linzer D (2015) Should I use fixed or random effects? Polit Sci Res Methods 3(2):399–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cohen S, Willis T (1985) Stress, social support and the buffering hypothesis. Psychol Bull 98(2):310–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Croissant A (2005) Unrest in southern Thailand: contours, causes, and consequences since 2001. Contemp SE Asia 27:21–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fellmeth G, Rose-Clark K, Zhao C, Busert LK, Zheng Y, Massazza A, Sonmez H, Eder N, Blewitt A, Letgrai W, Orcutt M, Ricci K, Mohamed-Ahmed O, Burns R, Knipe D, Hargreaves S, Hesketh T, Opondo C, Devakumar D (2018) Health impacts of parental migration on left-behind children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 392(10164):2567–2582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fernando GA, Miller KE, Berger DE (2010) Growing pains: the impact of disaster-related and daily stressors on the psychological and psychosocial functioning of youth in Sri Lanka. Child Dev 81(4):1192–1210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Filmer D, Pritchett LH (2001) Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data or tears: an application to educational enrollments in states of India. Demography 38(1):115–132Google Scholar
  16. Ford K, Jampaklay A, Chamratrithirong A (2017) Mental health in a conflict setting: migration, economic stress and religiosity in the three southernmost provinces of Thailand. Int J Socl Psychiatr 63(2):91–98CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gibson J, McKenzie D, Stillman S (2011) The impacts of international migration on remaining household members: omnibus results from a migration lottery program. Rev Econ Stat 93(4):1297–1318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Graham E, Jordan LP, Yeoh BSA (2015) Parental migration and the mental health of those who stay behind to care for children in South-East Asia. Soc Sci Med 132:225–235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hildebrandt N, McKenzie DJ, Esquivel E, Schargrodsky E (2005) The effects on migration on child health in Mexico. Econ Mex 6(1):257–286Google Scholar
  20. Jampaklay A, Vapattanawong P (2013) The subjective well-being of children in transnational and non-migrant households: evidence from Thailand. Asian Pac Migr J 22(3):377–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jampaklay A, Ford K, Chamratrithirong A (2017) How does unrest affect migration? Evidence for the three southernmost provinces of Thailand. Demogr Res 37(3):25–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jewkes R, Jama-Shai N, Sikweyiya Y (2017) Enduring impact of conflict on mental health and gender based violence perpetration in Bougainville. A cross sectional study. PLoS ONE, Papua New Guinea.  https://doi.org/10.1371/jounrnal.pone.0186062 Google Scholar
  23. Lindstrom DP, Ramirez P (2010) Pioneers and followers: migrant selectivity and the development of US migration streams in Latin America. Ann Am Acad Polit SS 630(1):55–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lu Y (2008) A test of the healthy migrant hypothesis: a longitudinal analysis of health selectivity in Indonesia. Soc Sci Med 67(8):1331–1339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lu Y (2012) Household migration, social support, and psychological health: the perspective from migrant sending areas. Soc Sci Med 74(2):135–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lu Y, Hu K, Treiman DJ (2012) Migration and depression in migrant sending areas: findings from the survey of internal migration and health in China. Int J Public Health 57(4):691–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Maxmillian M (2018) The slow burning insurgency in Thailand’s deep south. The Diplomat. 6 February 2018. https://thediplomat.com/2018/02/theslowburninginsurgencyinthailand’sdeepsouth/. Accessed 20 Mar 2018
  28. Miller KE, Rasmussen A (2010) War exposure, daily stressors, and mental health in conflict and post conflict settings: bridging the divide between trauma focused and psychological frameworks. Soc Sci Med 70(1):7–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Nobles J, Rubalcava L, Teruel G (2015) After spouses depart: emotional wellbeing among nonmigrant Mexican mothers. Soc Sci Med 132:236–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Siriwardhana C, Wichramage K, Siribaddana S, Vidanapathirana P, Jayasekara B, Weerawarna S, Pannala G, Adikari A, Jataweera K, Pieris S, Sumathipala A (2015) Common mental disorders among adult members of ‘left behind’ international migrant workers families in Sri Lanka. BMC Public Health 15:299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (2014) Thailand case study in education, conflict and social cohesion. UNICEF, BangkokGoogle Scholar
  32. Weiss D, Marmar C (1997) The impact of events scale-revised. In: Wilson J, Keane T (eds) Assessing psychological trauma and PTSD: a handbook for practitioners. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, pp 399–411Google Scholar
  33. Wilkerson JA, Yamawaki N, Downs SD (2009) Effects of husbands’ migration on mental health and gender roles ideology of rural Mexican women. Health Care Women Intl 30(7):612–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. World Health Organization (WHO) (1994) A users guide to the self reporting questionnaire (SRQ). http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/61113/1/WHO_MNH_PSF_94.8. Accessed 29 Feb 2019

Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen Ford
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Aree Jampaklay
    • 1
  • Aphichat Chamratrithirong
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Population and Social ResearchMahidol UniversitySalayaThailand
  2. 2.School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

Personalised recommendations