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Mother–child relations in adulthood within and across national borders: non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands

  • ILSE N. ROOYACKERS (a1), HELGA A. G. DE VALK (a1) (a2) and EVA-MARIA MERZ (a3) (a4)

We examined structures of (trans)national mother–child relationships in adulthood among non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands and assessed how acculturation impacted these intergenerational ties. From the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study, Turkish, Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean respondents were selected whose mother lived in the Netherlands (N = 360) or abroad (N = 316). First, extending a previous typology of immigrant mother–child relations in the Netherlands, Latent Class Analysis was conducted for transnational relations. As expected, combining information about given and/or received emotional and financial support resulted in an emotional-interdependent and detached transnational mother–child relationship. Second, acculturation effects were estimated by using relationship assignment as a dependent variable, performing Logistic Regressions on our uni-national and transnational sample. Findings were mixed, suggesting acculturation impacts differently on family relations within and across borders. Overall, our results demonstrate the importance of reciprocal affective ties in a transnational context, also in the absence of financial or practical support, and show the relevance of distinguishing different facets of acculturation.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Ilse Rooyackers, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, Lange Houtstraat 19, 2511 CV, The Hague, The Netherlands E-mail:
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