Parental Migration, Children’s Safety and Psychological Adjustment in Rural China: A Meta-Analysis

Mengtong Chen, Xiaoyue Sun, Qiqi Chen, Ko Ling Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies concerning left-behind children in rural China have shown that parental absence due to migration is associated with greater risk of child victimization and accidental injuries, and a range of psychosocial problems. The authors conducted this meta-analysis to determine the extent to which left-behind children are affected by parental migration, as compared to children in nonmigrant rural families. A comprehensive literature search was conducted, and 90 studies published before 2017 were included in the data synthesis and analysis. The results revealed that compared to non-left-behind children, rural left-behind children are generally more disadvantaged in regard to child safety (d = 0.27) and psychological adjustment (d = 0.25). The effect sizes, though interpreted as small, revealed that children in rural China are significantly affected by parental migration. Children’s educational stage was a significant variable that moderated the effect sizes of child safety and psychological adjustment. The findings of the meta-analysis indicated that mother-only migration may have the most harmful effect on children. In terms of implications for interventions, the results suggest more attention should be given to rural left-behind children and to “mother-absent children” in particular. Future research is warranted to explore the association between left-behind children’s psychological adjustment and their exposure to injury and victimization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

Fingerprint

Meta-Analysis
China
migration
Safety
Crime Victims
victimization
Emotional Adjustment
Mothers
Wounds and Injuries
Vulnerable Populations

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Chen, Mengtong ; Sun, Xiaoyue ; Chen, Qiqi ; Chan, Ko Ling. / Parental Migration, Children’s Safety and Psychological Adjustment in Rural China : A Meta-Analysis. In: Trauma, Violence, and Abuse. 2020 ; Vol. 21, No. 1. pp. 113-122.
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Parental Migration, Children’s Safety and Psychological Adjustment in Rural China : A Meta-Analysis. / Chen, Mengtong; Sun, Xiaoyue; Chen, Qiqi; Chan, Ko Ling.

In: Trauma, Violence, and Abuse, Vol. 21, No. 1, 01.01.2020, p. 113-122.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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