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postgraduate thesis: Parenting practice and children's well-being in rural China

TitleParenting practice and children's well-being in rural China
Authors
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chen, M. [陈孟彤]. (2016). Parenting practice and children's well-being in rural China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractParental absence is generally linked to poorer child well-being. In China, over 61 million rural children are left behind with other caregivers when one or both parents have to migrate to urban areas to work. A meta-analysis of 106 empirical studies reveals that left-behind children in rural China are generally more disadvantaged compared with non-left-behind children, in regard to psychological adjustment, behavioral health, school-related outcomes, child safety, and other protective outcomes. However, children’s exposure to victimization, as a particular child well-being outcome, has not been fully investigated. Further, the parenting practices of caregivers and the influence on children when one or both parents are absent in family lives are unclear. This research was designed to examine the rates of child victimization and poly-victimization among rural children in China in the preceding year, and investigate the association between the caregiver’s parenting practice and the child’s well-being. In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire survey was successfully conducted among 793 rural children aged from 10 to 16 in the Sichuan Province of China. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ) was used as the measure for child victimization. The results demonstrate a high prevalence of victimization exposure among rural children, and a trend was observed in which children’s victimization experiences increased as the degree of parental absence increased (from the presence of two biological parents, to parental migration and parental separation and divorce). Through logistic regression analyses, this study also found that certain demographic characteristics (being a boy and at a younger age) were associated with child victimization. Child victimization experiences increase the likelihood of depression among rural children. The results showed that grandparents were significantly involved in raising left-behind children and other rural children and they played a protective role in children’s growth. Caregivers’ parenting practices had a significant effect on rural children’s well-being. A close child-caregiver relationship and positive parenting/involvement were associated with greater resilience in children and decreased child depression. Negative discipline and deficient monitoring from caregivers were risk factors associated with a range of violence against children. This study is among the first to examine a full range of child victimization experiences in rural China, and focuses on the left-behind children phenomenon in particular. The findings enriched our theoretical understanding of the social capital within families as they illustrated that a caregiver’s positive parenting practices and close child-caregiver relationship can compensate for the absence of parents to some extent. This study highlights the need for child protection in rural China, and family and parenting support for the caregivers of rural children should be emphasized in policy and services.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectParenting - China
Children of working parents - China
Rural children - China
Dept/ProgramSocial Work and Social Administration
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233925

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChen, Mengtong-
dc.contributor.author陈孟彤-
dc.date.accessioned2016-10-07T01:44:32Z-
dc.date.available2016-10-07T01:44:32Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationChen, M. [陈孟彤]. (2016). Parenting practice and children's well-being in rural China. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/233925-
dc.description.abstractParental absence is generally linked to poorer child well-being. In China, over 61 million rural children are left behind with other caregivers when one or both parents have to migrate to urban areas to work. A meta-analysis of 106 empirical studies reveals that left-behind children in rural China are generally more disadvantaged compared with non-left-behind children, in regard to psychological adjustment, behavioral health, school-related outcomes, child safety, and other protective outcomes. However, children’s exposure to victimization, as a particular child well-being outcome, has not been fully investigated. Further, the parenting practices of caregivers and the influence on children when one or both parents are absent in family lives are unclear. This research was designed to examine the rates of child victimization and poly-victimization among rural children in China in the preceding year, and investigate the association between the caregiver’s parenting practice and the child’s well-being. In this cross-sectional study, a questionnaire survey was successfully conducted among 793 rural children aged from 10 to 16 in the Sichuan Province of China. The Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ) was used as the measure for child victimization. The results demonstrate a high prevalence of victimization exposure among rural children, and a trend was observed in which children’s victimization experiences increased as the degree of parental absence increased (from the presence of two biological parents, to parental migration and parental separation and divorce). Through logistic regression analyses, this study also found that certain demographic characteristics (being a boy and at a younger age) were associated with child victimization. Child victimization experiences increase the likelihood of depression among rural children. The results showed that grandparents were significantly involved in raising left-behind children and other rural children and they played a protective role in children’s growth. Caregivers’ parenting practices had a significant effect on rural children’s well-being. A close child-caregiver relationship and positive parenting/involvement were associated with greater resilience in children and decreased child depression. Negative discipline and deficient monitoring from caregivers were risk factors associated with a range of violence against children. This study is among the first to examine a full range of child victimization experiences in rural China, and focuses on the left-behind children phenomenon in particular. The findings enriched our theoretical understanding of the social capital within families as they illustrated that a caregiver’s positive parenting practices and close child-caregiver relationship can compensate for the absence of parents to some extent. This study highlights the need for child protection in rural China, and family and parenting support for the caregivers of rural children should be emphasized in policy and services.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshParenting - China-
dc.subject.lcshChildren of working parents - China-
dc.subject.lcshRural children - China-
dc.titleParenting practice and children's well-being in rural China-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5793624-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineSocial Work and Social Administration-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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