HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 45 no. 1 (2012)

Experiences of Adult Children of Transnational Workers

Amethyst Reyes Taylor | Ma. Teresa G. Tuason | Dominik C. Güss

Discipline: Psychology, Family and Relationships



This qualitative study analyzed the childhood experiences of Filipino adultsraised in a household with one parent working overseas. Overseas workers’ incomes contribute greatly to the Philippine economy; however, the impact of this geographical distance on parenting is not known. The current study explored the dimensions of having a parent, mother or father, who was an overseas worker through interviews conducted with 12 adults whose ages ranged from 18-35. Using constructivist and indigenous Filipino research paradigms and consensual qualitative research (Hill et al., 2005; Hill, Thompson, & Williams, 1997) methodology, results indicated unique family dynamics such as: acceptance of parental work overseas because of the benefit to the entire family’s future (pangangailangan), more reliance on communal child rearing due to necessity, and role substitution as the children took on the responsibilities of the overseas parent (taga-salo). In countries where overseas working becomes necessary, the children experience ambivalence given the economic benefits afforded by the overseas worker contrasted with the sacrifices made by the resident parent, by the overseas parent, and by the children themselves.