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Date Permissions Signed
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Stevenson, Joan C.
Every year, thousands of Mexican men and women are forced to leave their families behind to move to the U.S. in search of better jobs to support their families. Research has shown that parental migration, or parental absence of any kind, can negatively impact children in the family. My research builds on this, and also addresses how the effects of parental migration are dealt with in Mexican public school settings. Familial connections allowed me to visit Guanajuato, a state in central Mexico. I volunteered in a public junior high school, conducted 33 semi-structured interviews, and collected data for four months. Most Mexican public schools do not have the funding for a school counselor or organized support groups, but most participants agreed that there is a great need for both in their schools. While volunteering in the junior high school, I was able to start a peer support program for children with a migrant parent(s). We practiced team-building exercises, discussed feelings associated with an absent parent, and met on a bi-weekly basis. My thesis explores how parental migration from central Mexico affects children left behind, and how the social process of migration is addressed in Mexican public schools. I assert that interpersonal relationships with teachers and family members, as well as strong peer relationships can help children cope with the difficulties of parental migration.
Western Washington University
Guanajuato (Mexico : State)
Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.
Ayala, Tiffini, "Children “Left Behind”: Exploring the Nexus of Migration and Formal Education in Mexico" (2017). WWU Graduate School Collection. 589.