Social capital of left-behind children of migrant parents from the Philippines: Determinants and association with school performance

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Sociology

Subject Categories



College of Liberal Arts


Behavioral Sciences

Thesis Adviser

Myla M. Arcinas

Defense Panel Chair

Romeo B. Lee

Defense Panel Member

Melvin A. Jabar
Marlon D. Era
Dennis S. Erasga
Jesusa M. Marco


This study determined the levels of social capital and school performance, and examined the influence of social capital on the school performance of left-behind children who were deprived of the physical presence of migrant parents. Social capital in the family, in school, and in the community were examined through quantitative and qualitative designs. Using a Sequential Mixed Method, a survey was conducted among 384 left-behind children selected through multi-stage probability sampling followed by focus group discussions among 20 participants from survey respondents. The overall level of social capital of left-behind children was high. The levels of values learned and right conduct, which are psycho-social aspects of school performance, are both outstanding while the average is 81.85 rating or good. Results of regression analysis show that higher levels of shared values and emotions in the family, social trust in the school, involvement in community life, and age of migrant parents determine a higher level of values learned. Higher levels of supportive relationship, social trust at school, and involvement in community life predict a higher level of right conduct. Higher levels of supportive relationship and supportive norms determine a higher average grade. However, as the age of left-behind children increases, as well as their contact with neighbors, their average grade has the propensity to become lower. Regression analysis was also performed using migrant parent of left-behind children as controlling variable. Left-behind children with mother-present, father migrant draw more social capital in the family while left-behind children with father-present, mother-migrant generate social capital in the school and in the community. The presence or absence of a mother influences the link of social capital to school performance. Moreover, communication through modern technologies and remittances are key social determinants of continued generation of family social capital between left-behind children and migrant parents. It is recommended that fathers should be involved in providing care and in the nurturing of left-behind children. Schools should cultivate an environment that invests in social capital especially for the left-behind children lacking in social capital at home. Schools, parents, and care-providers should work together in developing programs and even simple activities that will bridge their students to stronger involvement in community life. Government institutions serving for the welfare of migrant parents should educate and provide assistance in the psycho-social needs of left-behind children and migrants households.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer disc; 4 3/4 in.


Social capital (Sociology); Filipinos--Employment--Foreign countries; Performance in children; Academic achievement--Philippines; Student growth (Academic achievement)--Philippines

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