PARENTAL MIGRATION AND CHILDREN’S EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING: A STUDY OF MIGRANT CHILDREN IN CHINA’S URBAN AREAS
Following the irreversible trend of rural-to-urban migration in China starting from early 1980s, nearly 20 million children have migrated with their parents. Previous studies have mainly focused on the effect of migration on left-behind children’s emotional health, but few have addressed this issue on migrant children in urban areas. This paper studies the effect of migration on migrant children’s emotional well-being in the urban areas in China by comparing four different family types. Additionally, the paper studies whether migration or the presence of parents plays a more important role in shaping migrant children’s emotional well-being. This research uses a national survey data collected in 2012 in 26 provinces for children age 10 to 15 years. Overall, the findings show that migrant children are worse off compared to their native urban peers while the presence of parents has a positive impact on children’s emotional health. But this analysis is unable to determine whether migration or parent’s presence is more important in determining migrant children’s emotional well-being.
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