Zimmer, Zachary S., and John E. Knodel. 2009. "Return Migration and the Health of Older Aged Parents: Evidence from Rural Thailand." PSC Research Report No. 09-689. September 2009.
Objectives: To examine the extent to which an association exists between health of older parents and return migration of children in rural Thailand. Methods: Data come from the 2006 Migration Impact Survey specifically designed to obtain information on the impact of migration on older adults in rural areas. Associations are examined from both the perspectives of parents (N=883) and migrating children (N=2150) using equations that adjust for demographic characteristics of parents and children and factors that may indicate unmet support needs. Results: A robust association with poor health promoting migration returns from both parent and child perspective exists and remains even with controls that might attenuate the relationship. Discussion: While media discussions have pointed out dangers of out-migration for older adults, little systematic evidence exists. This study supports the viewpoint that accommodations for older adults can be made despite social changes promoting out-migration and demographic aging of the population.
Country of focus: Thailand.