Parenting in place: Young children's living arrangementand migrants' sleep health in South Africa

Migration research tends to treat childrearing as a secondary role for migrants. By prioritizing the economic objectives of migration, most models present migrants as either delaying childbearing or, if they have young children, not living with them. However, migration has become increasingly feminized, the types of mobility more varied, while the returns to migration remain uncertain at best. At the same time, norms around childrearing are shifting, and the capacity of kin to take care of children may be weakening. In such contexts, migrants may not want to or be able to be separated from their children. Confronting such difficult decisions and their consequences may be reflected in poor sleep health for the migrant parent. We draw on data from the Migration and Health Follow‐Up Study (MHFUS) in South Africa to examine the following questions: (i) To what extent is children's core side nceassociated with sleep health for migrant parents? (ii) Do effects vary by sex of migrant? and (iii) Do effects vary by location of migrant? Results from propensity score matching confirm that migrants who core side with all their young children are more likely to experience healthy sleep compared to those who have nonresident or no young children. However, stratified analysis shows that these effects are only significant for women and those not living in Gauteng province. The value of these findings is underscored by the need for research on the well‐being of migrant parents who are negotiating multiple agendas in economically precarious and physically insecure destinations
childbearing, migration, parenting, sleep, South Africa