Understanding the Situation of China’s Left‐Behind Children: A Mixed‐Methods analysis

Journal Article

Published By

The Developing Economies

December, 2018

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This research uses a mixed-methods analysis to examine how being left behind impacts the cognition/education,  nutrition,  and  mental  health  outcomes  of  children  in  rural  China.  We find  that  parental  migration  increases  household  income  and  decreases  care,  and  these impacts  vary  based  on location,  socioeconomic  status,  and  age.  We  also  find  that  families generally recognize these impacts. Our findings offer a more general view of the effects of being  left  behind  on  childhood  outcomes  than  previous  research,  which  often  used  small sample sizes from limited geographic areas or age ranges. Although our research focuses on China, the findings are relevant to other developing nations where working-age individuals often  migrate  domestically  or  internationally  in  search  of  work,  such  as  Mexico  and  the Philippines. 

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