Social Networks and Mental Health: The Experience of Cape-Verdean Migrants in Portugal

Cátia Batista

Nova School of Business and Economics, CReAM, IZA, e NOVAFRICA

Rita Neves

University of Michigan e NOVAFRICA

ISSN 2183-0843
Working Paper No 2204
Agosto 2022


Immigrant integration is an inherently stressful process that implies psychological challenges. To moderate the impact of the post-migration stressors, social support may play an important role. Using survey data on recently arrived Cape-Verdean migrants in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, we analyse the role of both destination and home social networks on migrants’ mental health. We find that destination networks significantly reduce overall anxiety and female migrants’ emotional distress. However, larger home networks lead to an increase in overall anxiety and are associated with poorer mental health indicators for female migrants, who may be subject to larger pressure to send financial remittances back home. However, home networks have a positive effect in reducing male migrants’ emotional distress.

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