Acculturation and Mental Health Among Rural-Urban Migrants in Urbanizing China

Zhongshan Yue , Xi’an Jiaotong University
Eric Fong, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shuzhuo Li, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Marcus W. Feldman, Stanford University

In China, moving of massive internal migrants to cities from rural areas in pursuit of their urban dream has posed a number challenges for health. Rural-urban migrants experience a special process of rural-urban acculturation. Using data from a survey of migrants in in Guangdong, China, this paper is one of the few that empirically investigates the link between acculturation and mental health among migrants by considering acculturation as a multidimensional and bicultural process. We use latent-class-analysis and identify four acculturation categories: rural-oriented integration, urban-oriented integration, integration-potential separation, and marginalization-risk separation. Migrants in the category of rural-oriented integration have significantly higher mental health. The effects of acculturation on mental health of migrants are partially mediated by social support and SES but not by perceived stress. When migrants has been acculturating to the urban culture, they get higher SES but at the expense of social support loss from fellow villagers or migrants.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization