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Does Parental Migration Affect Left-Behind Children’s Social Anxiety? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Yao Wang1, Xiaojiao Li2, Panpan Yang1,*, Zengyan Yu1,*

1 Mental Health School, Qiqihar Medical University, Qiqihar, 161000, China
2 School of Ethnology and Sociology, Yunnan University, Kunming, 650000, China

* Corresponding Authors: Panpan Yang. Email: email; Zengyan Yu. Email: email

(This article belongs to the Special Issue: Father/Mother Absence and Moral Emotion)

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2024, 26(5), 335-343. https://doi.org/10.32604/ijmhp.2024.048483

Abstract

Social anxiety is a common psychological problem among left-behind children (LBC) and has been a popular issue in recent years. Children with higher levels of social anxiety have more emotional and behavioral problems and are prone to negative life events. Although several studies have explored the differences in social anxiety between LBC and non-left-behind children (N-LBC), the findings have not been consistent. In this study, a systematic review and meta-analysis method was used, with 411 papers retrieved on October 01, 2023, from Pubmed, Embase, Web of Science, and Chinese databases (CNKI, VIP, and Wanfang) (PROSPERO registry number: CRD42023472463). Twenty-one studies met the research criteria and included 11,254 LBC and 13,096 N-LBC. LBC scored significantly higher for social anxiety ([WMD (95% CI): 0.35 [0.23, 0.48], p < 0.001]) and social avoidance and distress ([WMD (95% CI): 0.35 [0.23, 0.48], p < 0.001]). Subgroup analyses showed significant differences in effect sizes for the overall proportion of children left behind (p = 0.02). In addition, different types of parental migration may influence the social anxiety of LBC, double-parent migration was associated higher social anxiety than father migration (p < 0.001). Future research should focus on treatments to decrease social anxiety of left-behind children. These findings suggest that due to the long-term absence of parental migration, LBC are more vulnerable to negative emotional experiences and behaviours such as anxiety, distress, and avoidance during social interaction, especially for those with both parents absent from the home. Future research should focus on treatments to reduce social anxiety in LBC.

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Cite This Article

APA Style
Wang, Y., Li, X., Yang, P., Yu, Z. (2024). Does parental migration affect left-behind children’s social anxiety? A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 26(5), 335-343. https://doi.org/10.32604/ijmhp.2024.048483
Vancouver Style
Wang Y, Li X, Yang P, Yu Z. Does parental migration affect left-behind children’s social anxiety? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Ment Health Promot. 2024;26(5):335-343 https://doi.org/10.32604/ijmhp.2024.048483
IEEE Style
Y. Wang, X. Li, P. Yang, and Z. Yu "Does Parental Migration Affect Left-Behind Children’s Social Anxiety? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis," Int. J. Ment. Health Promot., vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 335-343. 2024. https://doi.org/10.32604/ijmhp.2024.048483



cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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