Participatory Research and Social Action with Adolescents Concerning Transnational Families
Eva Laszlo, Cristina Triboi
Volume: XVII Issue: 1, Pages: 107-126
Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work,
Bd-ul 21 Decembrie 1989 No 128, Cluj-Napoca 400604, Romania,
Terre des hommes Moldova,
6 Nicolae Iorga st, 3 MD-2009, Chişinău, Moldova,
Social community action initiatives for adolescents and children can promote civic involvement, self-efficacy, and positive youth development. Children who are disempowered by their age and dependence on adults may use social activism projects to improve or ameliorate social and community concerns (Torres-Harding et al. 2018; Willson et al.,2007) and contribute to the well-being and resilience of themselves and their peers. The current article focuses on presenting the outcomes of the YouCreate participatory action research model from the Republic of Moldova, carried out by Terre des Homme Moldova and delivered as part of the Castle project, as a promising method of involving young people in adolescent-led projects aimed at social change. At the centre of this programme is an empowerment intervention that provides adolescents from transnational families with opportunities for civic engagement with other young people in addressing issues of common concern in their schools and communities to improve the quality of life of children and young people whose parents are working abroad. Young people developed and implemented five community interventions in five different localities in the Republic of Moldova. The programmes were developed based on the results of participatory research based on interviews and focus groups with transnational family members (parents who had left for work or stayed at home, children, and left-behind caregivers) and on assessments made by adolescents at the community level. Our results show that teenage participants most appreciated the improvement in the quality of peer-to-peer relationships and child-adult relationships in the community, increased awareness of the needs of children in transnational families, and the empowering effect on their active involvement in managing challenges in the community.
participatory action research, art-based community intervention, adolescents, resilience
Árnadóttir, H. A., Einarsdóttir, M. M.(2023). “Using Community Art to Encourage Children to Participate in Discussions About Violence”. In Roth, M., Alfandari, R., Crous, G. (Eds.) Participatory Research on Child Maltreatment with Children and Adult Survivors (Emerald Studies in Child Centred Practice), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 145-162.
Botezat, A., Pfeiffer, F. (2014). “The Impact of Parents Migration on the Well-Being of Children Left Behind Initial Evidence from Romania”. SSRN Electronic Journal.
Bradbury-Jones, C., Taylor, J. (2013). “Engaging with children as co-researchers: challenges,counter-challenges and solutions”. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 18(2): 161–173.
Bungay, H., Vella-Burrows, T. (2013). “The effects of participating in creative activities on the health and well-being of children and young people: a rapid review of the literature”. Perspectives in Public Health 133(1): 44–52.
Camponovo, S., Monnet, N., Moody, Z., Darbellay, F. (2021). “Research with children from a transdisciplinary perspective: coproduction of knowledge by walking”. Children’s Geographies 21(1): 163–176.
Chai, X., Li, X., Ye, Z., Li, Y., Lin, D. (2018). “Subjective well-being among left‐behind children in rural China: The role of ecological assets and individual strength”. Child: Care, Health and Development 45(1): 63–70.
Cheianu-Andrei, D. (2023). “Children’s opinion about the migration of their parents (the case of the Republic of Moldova)”. Ukraïnsʹkij Socìum 84(1): 100–111.
Cebotari, V. (2018). “Transnational migration, gender and educational development of children in Tajikistan”. Global Networks 18(4): 564–588.
Currie, V., Lee, L., Wright, L. (2019a). ART-KIT create you. https://tdh.rokka.io/dynamic/noop/e13614315909cd5ac63782ab6638373f619762ea/tdh-youcreate-art-kit-0.pdf
Currie, V., Lee, L., Wright, L. (2019b). YouCreate: Project guide | Terre des hommes. Www.tdh.org. https://www.tdh.org/en/digital-library/documents/ youcreate-project-guide
Currie, V., Lee, L., Wright, L. (2020). ART-KIT Art-kit pentru tineri, cadre didactice şi lucratori de tineret. Metodologie create You. Ministerul Educației, Culturii și Cercetării al Republicii Moldova. https://tdh-moldova.org/ sites/default/files/2023-06/Tdh%20Art-Kit%20YouCreate.pdf
D’Amico, M., Denov, M., Khan, F., Linds, W., Akesson, B. (2016). “Research as intervention? Exploring the health and well-being of children and youth facing global adversity through participatory visual methods.” Global Public Health 11(5-6): 528–545.
Ducu, V., Hărăguș, M., Angi, D., Telegdi‐Csetri, Á. (2023). “Asserting children’s rights through the digital practices of transnational families.” Family Relations 72(2): 458–477.
Fergus, S., Zimmerman, M. A. (2005). “Adolescent Resilience: A Framework for Understanding Healthy Development in the Face of Risk.” Annual Review of Public Health 26(1): 399–419.
Gagauz, O., Tabac, T., Pahomii, I. (2023). “Depopulation in Moldova: The main challenge in the context of extremely high emigration.” Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 21.
Groundwater-Smith, S., Dockett, S., Bottrell, D. (2014). Participatory Research with Children and Young People. SAGE.
International Institute for Child Rights and Development. (2018). You Create Psychosocial, Youth-Driven, Arts-Based Program Report. https://childhub.org/sites/default/files/library/attachments/programreport.pdf
Juozeliūnienė, I., Budginaitė, I. (2018). “How Transnational Mothering is seen to be “Troubling”: Contesting and Reframing Mothering.” Sociological Research Online 23(1): 262–281.
Kellett, M. (2010). “Small Shoes, Big Steps! Empowering Children as Active Researchers.” American Journal of Community Psychology 46(1-2): 195–203.
Kim, H. (2015). “Community and art: creative education fostering resilience through art.” Asia Pacific Education Review 16(2): 193–201.
Lam, T., Yeoh, B. S. A. (2019). “Parental migration and disruptions in everyday life: reactions of left-behind children in Southeast Asia.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45(16): 3085–3104.
Laszlo, E., Barbuta, A., Ducu, V., Telegdi‐Csetri, A., Roth, M. (2023). “Left-Behind Adolescent Co-researchers’ Participation in Studying Transnational Families.” In Roth, M., Alfandari, R., Crous, G. (Eds.) Participatory Research on Child Maltreatment with Children and Adult Survivors (Emerald Studies in Child Centred Practice), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 163–179.
Lee, L., Currie, V., Saied, N., Wright, L. (2019). “Journey to Hope, Self-expression and Community Engagement: Youth-led Arts-Based Participatory Action Research.” Children and Youth Services Review 109: 104581.
Liu, H., Liu, L., Jin, X. (2020). “The Impact of Parental Remote Migration and Parent-Child Relation Types on the Psychological Resilience of Rural Left-Behind Children in China.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17(15): 5388.
Lomax, H. (2012). “Contested voices? Methodological tensions in creative visual research with children.” International Journal of Social Research Methodology 15(2): 105–117.
Lundy, L., McEvoy, L., Byrne, B. (2011). “Working With Young Children as Co-Researchers: An Approach Informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.” Early Education & Development 22(5): 714–736.
Ozer, E. J. (2016). “Youth-Led Participatory Action Research: Developmental and Equity Perspectives.” Advances in Child Development and Behavior 50: 189–207.
Raanaas, R. K., Bjøntegaard, H. Ø., Shaw, L. (2018). “A Scoping Review of Participatory Action Research to Promote Mental Health and Resilience in Youth and Adolescents.” Adolescent Research Review 5:137-152.
Rusu, S. (2022). “The Impact of COVID-19 on Citizens of the Moldova Working Abroad.” World Economy and International Relations 66(9): 130–138.
Terre des Home Moldova. (n.d.). Facebook. Www.facebook.com. Retrieved October 25, 2023, from https://www.facebook.com/tdhmoldova/posts/ pfbid0kiL4UUZxaWb71UigNwqY5Gr7yU1fT1krYBZThtcm1utKBj3iwFS4GPQGQeEwcF9kl
Torres-Harding, S., Baber, A., Hilvers, J., Hobbs, N., Maly, M. (2017). “Children as agents of social and community change: Enhancing youth empowerment through participation in a school-based social activism project.” Education, Citizenship and Social Justice 13(1): 3–18.
Zarobe, L., Bungay, H. (2017). “The role of arts activities in developing resilience and mental well-being in children and young people: a rapid review of the literature.” Perspectives in Public Health 137(6): 337–347.
Tabac, T., Gagauz, O. (2020). “Migration from Moldova: Trajectories and Implications for the Country of Origin.” In: Denisenko, M., Strozza, S., Light, M. (Eds) Migration from the Newly Independent States. Societies and Political Orders in Transition. Springer, Cham, pp. 143-168.
Țurcan, G. (2023). “The impact of labor migration from the Republic of Moldova on children left behind (perspectives from parents and caregivers).” Ukraïnsʹkij Socìum 84(1): 88–99.
Vaculovschi, D. (2023a). “Labor migration and the phenomenon of transnational families from the Republic of Moldova.” Eastern European Journal of Regional Studies 9(1): 153–162.
Vaculovschi, D. (2023b). “The role of public authorities of the Republic of Moldova in supporting transnational families and children left behind by labour migration.” Ukraïnsʹkij Socìum 84(1): 74–87.
Vanore, M., Mazzucato, V., Siegel, M. (2015). “Left behind” but not left alone: Parental migration & the psychosocial health of children in Moldova. Social Science & Medicine 132: 252–260. “
Wang, J.-L., Zhang, D.-J., Zimmerman, M. A. (2015). “Resilience Theory and its Implications for Chinese Adolescents.” Psychological Reports 117(2): 354–375.
Wang, S. (2023). “Constructing children’s psychological well-being: Sources of resilience for children left behind in Northeast China.” International Migration 61(5): 156–172.
Wade, M., Wright, L., Finegold, K. E. (2022). “The effects of early life adversity on children’s mental health and cognitive functioning.” Translational Psychiatry, 12: 224.
Wang, Y., Yang, S., Wang, F., Liu, Z. (2022). “Long-term effects of left-behind experience on adult depression: Social trust as mediating factor.” Frontiers in Public Health 10.
Wilson, N., Dasho, S., Martin, A. C., Wallerstein, N., Wang, C. C., Minkler, M. (2007). “Engaging Young Adolescents in Social Action through Photo voice.” The Journal of Early Adolescence 27(2): 241–261.
Zhao, X., Fu, F., Zhou, L. (2020). “The mediating mechanism between psychological resilience and mental health among left-behind children in China.” Children and Youth Services Review 110: 104686.
Zhou, C., Lv, Q., Yang, N., Wang, F. (2021). “Left-Behind Children, Parent-Child Communication and Psychological Resilience: A Structural Equation Modeling Analysis.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18(10): 5123.
Zimmerman, M. A., Stoddard, S. A., Eisman, A. B., Caldwell, C. H., Aiyer, S. M., Miller, A. (2013). “Adolescent Resilience: Promotive Factors That Inform Prevention.” Child Development Perspectives 7(4): 215–220.