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Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Left-Behind Children in Impoverished Rural China: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study of First Grade Junior High School

Yuming Zhou1, Chunxia Zhao2, Fan He1, Xiaobo Tian2, Yi Zheng1,*, Jing Sun3,*

1 Beijing Anding Hospital, Capital Medical University, The National Clinical Research Center for Mental Disorders, Beijing Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Beijing, 100088, China
2 United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF China Office), Beijing, 100600, China
3 School of Medicine, Griffith University, Queensland, 4222, Australia

* Corresponding Authors: Jing Sun. Email: email; Yi Zheng. Email: email

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2021, 23(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.32604/IJMHP.2020.013093

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems and related factors of left-behind children in impoverished rural China (mainly in the first grade of junior high school). Methods: A cross-sectional survey of rural households in 27 poverty-stricken counties in 12 provinces across China was conducted using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Results: The prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems in left-behind children was 11.7%, and that of non-left-behind children was 8.9%. There was statistical difference between the two groups (P < 0.01). There are no differences between the two groups in terms of the various factors of SDQ. The incidence of insomnia in the left-behind group was 58.3%, which was higher than that in the non-left-behind group 50.9% (P < 0.01); loneliness (62.1% vs. 51.8%, P < 0.01); running away from home (23.1% vs. 18.8%, P < 0.01), and self-injury behavior (16.8% vs. 12.2%, P < 0.01). Left-behind children are more likely to have negative psychological feelings including insomnia, loneliness, self-injury, and run away from home. They also experienced more bullying including maliciously teased by peers, intentionally excluded or isolated, physically threatened or intimidated. All of these factors are associated with their abnormal emotional and behavioural development. Conclusion: The incidence of emotional and behavioral problems of left-behind children in rural areas in poverty-stricken areas is significantly higher than that of non-left-behind children; Logistic regression analysis showed that bullying behavior and abnormal psychological characteristics are significantly associated with left-behind adolescents abnormal emotional and behavioral development.

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APA Style
Zhou, Y., Zhao, C., He, F., Tian, X., Zheng, Y. et al. (2021). Emotional and behavioral problems of left-behind children in impoverished rural china: A comparative cross-sectional study of first grade junior high school. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 23(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.32604/IJMHP.2020.013093
Vancouver Style
Zhou Y, Zhao C, He F, Tian X, Zheng Y, Sun J. Emotional and behavioral problems of left-behind children in impoverished rural china: A comparative cross-sectional study of first grade junior high school. Int J Ment Health Promot. 2021;23(1):1-13 https://doi.org/10.32604/IJMHP.2020.013093
IEEE Style
Y. Zhou, C. Zhao, F. He, X. Tian, Y. Zheng, and J. Sun "Emotional and Behavioral Problems of Left-Behind Children in Impoverished Rural China: A Comparative Cross-Sectional Study of First Grade Junior High School," Int. J. Ment. Health Promot., vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 1-13. 2021. https://doi.org/10.32604/IJMHP.2020.013093



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