Teerawichitchainan, B. & Knodel, J. (2022) Parental migration and care for left-behind children in Myanmar's Dry Zone. Journal of Social Issues, 78, 501− 520.

Myanmar’s population has been on the move at an unprecedented level since 2011. Given the country’s lack of data infrastructure, little is known about how parental migration affects children in Myanmar’s migration-source areas. Based on the 2017 Dry Zone Migration Impact Survey, this study examines the extent to which parental migration is associated with the frequency of care provision for left-behind children and the likelihood that their care needs are adequately met. Results suggest that the negative impacts of parental migration were limited to a small proportion of children whose mothers migrated (regardless of their father’s migration). These children received significantly less frequent care and experienced a lower likelihood of having adequate support for daily necessities. Yet, the statistically significant negative associations between maternal migration and children’s met needs for emotional and financial support were not found. On the contrary, children with migrant fathers and non-migrant mothers enjoyed significantly more frequent care than other children. Looking ahead, Myanmar’s rising trends in migration, population aging, and female labor force participation can pose new challenges in care provision for left-behind children. Thus, continual monitoring of migration impacts and changing societal contexts is critical for formulating policies to manage risks associated with migration in developing countries.