A Grounded Theory of Family Resilience Among Transnational Families of Filipina Domestic Helpers: Narratives of Striving to Commit to Family

[Speaker] Garabiles, Melissa R:1
[Co-author] Ofreneo, Mira Alexis P:1, Hall, Brian J:2,3
1:Ateneo de Manila University (Philippines), 2:Global and Community Mental Health Research Group, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, University of Macau (Macao), 3:Department of Health Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (United States of America)

Using Constructivist Grounded Theory, we created a new theory of family resilience among transnational families of Filipina domestic helpers. The theory highlights how temporal and spatial elements are embedded in collective migration experiences. The family narratives start with the sacrifice of separation, where mothers leave their families to conduct domestic work abroad. To successfully navigate and adapt to their separation, the families undergo five relational processes. First, families communicate across space using technology to bridge relational distance. Second, families restructure through role sharing and validation of each other's efforts in doing family roles across space. Third, families undergo temporary family reunification to bridge physical and relational distance. Fourth, families strive for permanent family reunification by having a collective goal of ending migration to become complete again. Fifth, they strive to commit to their families throughout their migration experience by prioritizing them instead of succumbing to difficulties. Implications are discussed.
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