The impact of health on children’s cognitive ability


(1.Department of Sociology, Tsinghua University)

【Abstract】Based on the data from China Urbanization and Children Development Survey conducted by Tsinghua University in 2012,we examined the cognitive returns to health and the effect of family resources on cognition between urban and rural areas. According to the results, regarding the cognitive ability in Chinese, rural children’s cognitive returns to health are significantly greater than urban children’s, but both in urban and rural areas, the influence of health on children’s cognitive ability in Chinese could be replaced by other family resources. Regarding the cognitive ability in mathematics, there is no significant difference in cognitive returns to health between rural and urban children. However, regarding the children in rural areas, the influence of health on cognition could not be replaced by other family resources, while regarding the children in urban areas, this kind of influence could be replaced. Therefore, in order to improve the development of rural children’s cognitive development, on the one hand we should enlarge the investment in rural public health and preschool education; and on the other hand we should also pay attention to cultivate family parenting strategies so as to reduce the urban-rural differences in health and family resources.

【Keywords】 health; cognitive ability; urban-rural differences; family resources;


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    [1]. (1) “Management, professional and technical personnel, clerical personnel and private owners” are defined as the advantaged classes, while “the self-employed, service personnel, technical workers, manual workers and farmers” are defined as the non-advantaged classes. [^Back]

    [2]. (2) The ten words are as follows: ziji (自己, oneself), shijie (世界, world), xianmu (羡慕, envy), kangkai (慷慨, generous), fuyan (敷衍, perfunctory), diaozhuo (雕琢, carve), chouchu (踌躇, hesitate), hanshu (函数, function), chichu (踟蹰, hesitate), yili (迤逦, meandering). [^Back]

    [3]. (3) Six questions are as follows: “(did you) feel nervous?”; “(did you) feel helpless?”; “(did you) feel restless or fidgety?”; “(did you) feel that everything was an effort?”; “(did you) feel so depressed that nothing could cheer you up?”; and “(did you) feel worthless?” [^Back]

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    [5]. (5) Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-3280/C

Vol , No. 02, Pages 14-26+94

March 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Research question
  • 2 Literature review
  • 3 Research hypotheses
  • 4 Data, variables and research design
  • 5 Research results
  • 6 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote