Perceived Father Attachment and Externalizing-Internalizing Behavioral Problems among Left behind Adolescents: A Moderated Mediation Model of Family Functioning and Mother Nurturance

  • Zubaida Shaheen Foundation University
  • Dr.Tanvir Akhtar Foundation University
Keywords: Migrant father attachment, Family functioning, Mother nurturance, Externalizing-Internalizing problems, Left behind Adolescent


Background. A father and adolescent relationship is one of the most significant and
influential relationships in an adolescent’s life. Father’s absence due to migration and its
resulting consequences have been little addressed In the academic arena of south Asian
context specially in Pakistan . This study was designed to examine whether the adolescent’s
perception of migrant father attachment is associated with externalizing-internalizing problems
and further investigated mediating and moderating process underlying this effect.
Method. A cross sectional study was conducted in which 400 left-behind adolescents, aged 13
to 18, girls (n= 174) boys, (n= 226) were recruited from different schools and colleges of two
districts, Rawalpindi and Poonch Azad Kashmir. Data was completed through self-report
Result. Results of the study revealed that migrant-father attachment, family functioning and
mother nurturance are negatively linked to externalizing-internalizing problems. Moreover,
family functioning significantly mediated the relationship between migrant-father attachment
and externalizing-internalizing problems. In addition, the results revealed that mother
nurturance significantly moderated the conditional indirect effects of father attachment on
externalizing-internalizing problem through family functioning among left-behind adolescents.
Moreover, significant mean differences were found between age and family system on
externalizing-internalizing problems.
Conclusion. The study findings highlight the importance of attachment between migrant
fathers and adolescents to enhance their family functioning and consequently to decrease their
externalizing-internalizing problems in the absence of their father.


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