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Attachment, emotions and kinship caregiving: an investigation into separation distress and family relatedness in post-Soviet Kyrgyzstani households

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This article examines how children relate to birth parents after separation and reunion, which often produce negative emotions and distort family support in adolescence and adulthood. In Kyrgyzstan, large-scale migration to urban areas and overseas, widespread poverty and a weak welfare state have generated the practice of informal kinship caregiving that enables primary caregivers living in poverty to temporarily migrate, leaving their babies and young children in the care of grandparents or other close relatives. A prolonged period of time passes before birth parents and children are reunited. Attachment theory is employed to understand and explain how under informal kinship caregiving, children can have varying emotional bonds with birth parents that affect social relationships later in life. The article aims to contribute towards an understanding of the dynamics of emotions in family relationships.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November, 2012

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