Impacts of migrating parents on academic performance of the rural left-behind children

XU Qi1

(1.School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Nanjing University)

【Abstract】On the basis of summarizing the related studies at home and abroad, this paper suggests six mechanisms for impacts of migrating parents on children’s academic performance. Combining with traditional gender division that the man goes out to work while the woman looks after the house, this paper further explores the gender differences in these six mechanisms. Through deep analysis of baseline survey data from China Education Panel Studies CEPS (2013–2014), it is found that only mother’s migration alone has significantly negative influence on rural left-behind children’s academic performance. It is mainly because that mother plays a more important role in childrearing than father in rural family. If father and mother migrate simultaneously, the children also suffer from the negative influence of mother’s migration, but the timely participation from grandparents could partly make up for the lack of mother’s rearing role. In conclusion, we should strengthen father’s responsibility in childbearing and improve the balance of family education in both genders. This has important implication for promoting the quality of child rearing in rural family. In addition, if the parents are out for work, it is necessary to affirm the grandparents’ caring function for their grandchildren.

【Keywords】 left-behind children; academic performance; influencing mechanism; gender differences; cross-generational childrearing;


【Funds】 China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2016T90437).

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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 06, Pages 39-51+92

November 2018


Article Outline



  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review and research hypotheses
  • 3 Data and variables
  • 4 Analysis results
  • 5 Conclusions and discussions
  • References