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Effects of Parental Migration on Life Satisfaction and Academic Achievement of Left-Behind Children in Rural China—A Case Study in Hubei Province

1
College of Education, Huanggang Normal University, Huanggang 438000, China
2
Guankou Middle School, Huanggang 438000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Children 2018, 5(7), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/children5070087
Received: 6 May 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 27 June 2018
In the rural areas of China, there is a high occurrence of parental migration, wherein adults are flushed into urban areas to search for employment opportunities, leading to millions of left-behind children (LBC) in rural China. LBC attracts more attention from the social community and Chinese government. Here, we compared the life satisfaction and academic achievement of left-behind children (LBC) and non-left-behind children (NLBC) in rural regions that send out migrant labor in Hubei province, central China. We investigated 1031 LBC and 992 NLBC students in grades 4 to 9 in ten elementary and four middle schools, using a structured questionnaire including sociodemographic characteristics, life satisfaction, and academic achievement scores. The results showed that LBC have a lower life satisfaction and lower academic achievement than NLBC (p < 0.01). Meanwhile, as the child’s age at separation from parents decreased, their life satisfaction decreased. Additionally, correlations were observed between life satisfaction and academic achievement scores in LBC (p = 0.004) as well as in NLBC (p = 0.064). Collectively, these findings provide novel insights into a comprehensive understanding of LBC and suggest that the life satisfaction levels of LBC should be improved in rural China. View Full-Text
Keywords: parental migration; left-behind children; life satisfaction; academic achievement; rural China parental migration; left-behind children; life satisfaction; academic achievement; rural China
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Song, S.; Chen, C.; Zhang, A. Effects of Parental Migration on Life Satisfaction and Academic Achievement of Left-Behind Children in Rural China—A Case Study in Hubei Province. Children 2018, 5, 87.

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