Unmarried Partners: partners share a household, not legal. often the obstacle to marriage is financial and practical. both have difficulty maintaining a stable income, getting an education, or having difficulty extricating themselves from the family of origin.
Single-Parent family with unmarried partner: Poor women put motherhood before marriage. (woman realize marriage is fragile)
African Americans seem to value and aspire to marriage more than Whites or Puerto Ricans do, but they are less likely than Whites to achieve it. Whites were most likely to reject marriage outright but most likely to be married.
Single-Parent Family with Married Partner: often the single mother is looking for companionship and economic help. she often does not see a way to handle her responsibility to her children by herself.
The Religiously/Culturally Polygynous Family: problematic for therapist b/c of the way marriages are contracted and conducted, seeming more like affairs on the first marriage. Or the husband has inadequate means to support both families.
MIGRATION & SOCIAL DISRUPTION
Ch 2 Transitional Journeys
Those who migrate deeply feel the disruption of their attachments to family, country, and culture. They strive to keep alive old connections while they shape new lives for themselves far from their birth places.
Immigrants are understood to be transnationals or transmigrants when they maintain multiple relations that span geographic, cultural, and political borders.
Separations and reunifications between spouses or between parents and children strike at the core of the basic family unit
Transnational lives and implications for family intervention: transmigrations encompass a very large relationship system – those who leave, stay, and come and go for generations to come. Answers to questions about eh state of mind and heart of those whose stayed behind and their reactions to the migration, initially and over time, are very important.
Separations and Reunifications: those who reunite after years of separation only to find themselves to be strangers to each other.
Spousal relationships: reunifications b/w spouses can be a difficult adaptation. they can grow apart, fall out of love, become jealous, envy, and become depressed at decisions to either separate or reunite.
Relationships between parents and children: separation b/w siblings can incur the envy of other siblings, who felt rejected or abandoned. Adjustment problems at reunification with a father or a mother range from anger and rebelliousness to excessive clinging, dependency, fears, depending on the child’s age.
Nature of connections at long distance
Connection Rituals: remittances, or sending money and other resources to families of origin and hometowns is common among immigrants. The longer the person has been in the US, the less money may be sent over time (ex: finding a new spouse).
communication: phone calls, e-mail, special messages of cards or letters. some parents may cope with stress of separation from children by blocking and not listening to voices of kids. They may also not share problematic aspects of what they have encountered in the migration process.
Virtual Communities: transnationals continue to have a presence in their communities of origin by participating in causes and social projects, these connections help them deal with losses of social and cultural capital while assuaging feelings of guilt for leaving to acquire more resources.
Legacies in Motion: Second generation and transnationalism. Telling stories to share the past, to create bridges with the present, and to caution against excessive Americanization is one of the rituals of immigrant family life that lend a sense of narrative coherence and family continuity. Children of immigrant may become emotional transmigrants – idealizing their parents country of origin.
Theories of acculturation and transnationalism: Acculturation theory was based on the idea that there is only one place a person can call “home”. New immigrants and their children combine transnational and assimilative practices inside and outside their homes at different stages of their lives and that they use these various combinations to construct their flexible bicultural identities. (Latina women prefer to marry American men b/c more egalitarian). transnationalism and assimilation as coexisting.
Binational comparative studies: compared Mexican immigrants and those who migrated. The immigrants suffered emotional problems such as depression, anxiety, substance abuse, PTSD, greater disability and physical problems. Interviews found that a large number of Mexican families requesting therapy were connected with the departure of family members in the US.
Therapist must be transnational in their thinking and practices by making use of the various new technologies of communication to include the client’s families and communities in their places of origin in process of maintaining and renewing family life at long distance.
Ch 3 Migration and the disruption of the social network.
Correlation b/w quality of the personal social support system and the individual’s health and chances of survival. (Vignette on Filipino family and son with phys. issues)
The experience of migration constitute a narrative that is legitimate and meaningful subject of the therapeutic conversation.
Migration unavoidably overloads any family, and especially parents. As needs are unsatisfied, complaints and resentment often ensue, escalating in lack of partner’s needs and lack of availability.
The dedication to fulfilling children’s needs is frequently a smoke screen to hide the needs of the adults.
Therapists must maintain an empathetic, contextualizing, and normalizing stance, with assumptions of competence and good intent about the participants’ behaviors.
Ch 27 Working with Immigrant and Refugee families
Most refugees are escaping wars and internal conflicts in their home countries. they are young with no professional skills and enter in low paid service jobs. They are underemployed, subjected to racism, and may suffer mental health problems including anxiety and clinical depression.
It is critical to generate an understanding that includes these contexts of immigrant/refugee experience. focus on the strength and resilience and explore how the challenges of migration affect refugees and immigrants.