Child Development in Rural China: Children Left Behind by Their Migrant Parents and Children of Nonmigrant Families
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Child Development © 2011 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 83, Issue 1, pages 120–136, January/February 2012
How to Cite
Wen, M. and Lin, D. (2012), Child Development in Rural China: Children Left Behind by Their Migrant Parents and Children of Nonmigrant Families. Child Development, 83: 120–136. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01698.x
- Issue published online: 25 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 19 DEC 2011
Using recent cross-sectional data of rural children aged from 8 to 18 in Hunan Province of China, this article examines psychological, behavioral, and educational outcomes and the psychosocial contexts of these outcomes among children left behind by one or both of their rural-to-urban migrant parents compared to those living in nonmigrant families. The results showed that left-behind children were disadvantaged in health behavior and school engagement but not in perceived satisfaction. The child’s psychosocial environment, captured by family socioeconomic status, socializing processes, peer and school support, and psychological traits, were associated with, to varying extent, child developmental outcomes in rural China. These influences largely remain constant for the sampled children regardless of their parents’ migrant status.