The Impact of Parental Migration on Depression of Children: New Evidence From a 2017 Survey in Rural China

Zhongshan Yue , Xi’an Jiaotong University
Zai Liang, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)
Qian Wang, Xi’an Jiaotong University

China’s massive rural to urban migration has significant repercussions for millions of children who are left behind. Much of previous studies focus on education and physical health issues. In this paper, using a most recent survey of 5th grade students in Shaanxi province in western China, we examine how parental migration affects children’s mental health. Our key aim is to investigator the impact of parental migration on children’s depression and identify possible mediation variables. Our results reveal that students from migrant households exhibit higher probability of mental health issues. In addition, we tested mediation hypothesis using two variables: parenting practice and quality of parent-child communication. Parenting practice is shown to be one key mediating variable in affecting children’s mental health.

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 Presented in Session 88. Adverse Experiences Among Children and Youth in Immigrant Families