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The impact of parental migration on school behaviors of left-behind older children in rural areas: evidence from China Education Panel Survey

SONG Yueping1

(1.Center for Population and Development Studies and Research institute of Health Science, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China 100872)

【Abstract】The impact of parental migration on school behavior of their children is multidimensional and differentiated by age. Based on the data from China Education Panel Survey, this paper measures the school behavior of left-behind older children from three perspectives: integration into class, adaptation to school life and personal behavior control, and estimates the effect of parental migration on children’s school behavior by propensity score analysis. The results show that parental migration negatively affects school behavior of left-behind older children significantly, especially the class integration and personal behavior control. The parent-child separated migration not only affects the market competitive ability of the human resource in the near future, but also the ability to adapt to and be integrated into the society of the next generation, which needs to get more attention.

【Keywords】 parental migration; left-behind older children; school behavior; propensity score analysis;


【Funds】 General Project of National Social Science Fund of China (15BRK036)

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    [1]. ① The age standard for children is 0–17 years old (under 18 years old). The same below unless otherwise specified. [^Back]

    [2]. ① These indicators, derived from the scale, are all four-category variables (1 = totally disagree, 2 = relatively disagree, 3 = relatively agree, 4 = totally agree). In this paper, its reliability and validity are tested respectively. In terms of reliability, its corresponding Cronbach’s α coefficient is about 0.69, greater than 0.6, and meets the acceptable standard for reliability, suggesting that its internal consistency is good. As far as validity is concerned, the correlation between each item and the whole is very high and the identification ability of item strong, which indicates that it meets the standards for validity. [^Back]

    [3]. ② Compared with the common factor of the integration into class, the scores of the two common factors—the adaptation to school life and personal behavior control show somewhat different trends: for the common factor of integration into class, the higher the score is, the higher the integration level is; but for the two common factors—the adaptation to school life and personal behavior control, the higher the score is, the lower the level of the adaptation to school life and the personal behavior control is. In order to facilitate in-depth analysis later, this paper adopts score normalization to keep the two common factors in the same trend as the common factor of the integration into class (i.e. the higher the score is, the higher the level of the adaptation to school life and the personal behavior control is). [^Back]

    [4]. ① Both the student questionnaire and parent questionnaire of the CEPS2014 have surveyed the cohabitation of the interviewed students and their lineal relatives (the corresponding question is “which lineal relatives do not live with you (children) at home for the moment”). The above variable is finally generated with reference to the survey results of the two questionnaires on the basis of logic validation. [^Back]

    [5]. ① Individual characteristic variables are all sourced from student questionnaire, with family characteristic variables generated with reference to student questionnaire and parent questionnaire on the basis of logic validation, class characteristic variables from head teacher questionnaire, and school variables from school leadership questionnaire. [^Back]

    [6]. ① Due to limited space, the reduction of selectivity bias will be omitted here. Please contact the author if necessary. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1489/C

Vol 42, No. 05, Pages 68-77

September 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Hypotheses of study
  • 3 Data and method
  • 4 Empirical results
  • 5 Conclusion and discussion
  • Footnote