Immigration can have powerful effects on gender roles and family relationships. In the present study, 102 Pakistani married immigrant women in Canada completed questionnaires on recalled pre-migration, and perceptions of current post-migration, personal autonomy in their family; life satisfaction; living arrangements (i.e., whether with in-laws) in both countries; income and employment in Canada; and their expectations of, and willingness to, immigrate. The women reported significantly higher personal autonomy and life satisfaction while living in Canada relative to Pakistan. Linear regression analyses indicated that living with in-laws was associated with lower life satisfaction in Pakistan but this was fully mediated by autonomy. More autonomy was also related to higher life satisfaction in Canada, but not to living arrangements or any other measured variable. The results suggest that, for these women, immigration was associated with more personal autonomy and life satisfaction, but determinants of women’s autonomy differed in Pakistan and Canada.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 28, 2012
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