Authors: Ying Xu, Di Xu, Mark Warschauer, Ninger Zhou, Yehui Lao
Presented at 2017 AERA
Abstract: More than 60 million children in rural China are left behind by parents who work as migrant laborers in cities. This study used recent cross-sectional, nationally representative data of adolescents in China to investigate the impact of mother-only, father-only, and both-parent absence on rural schoolchildren’s academic, cognitive, and emotional outcomes. Left-behind children were found to be disadvantaged in academic, cognitive, and emotional outcomes compared with children living with both parents. Mother-only absence had the largest negative impacts among the three types of parental absences examined. Academic achievement and emotional status were shown to be more sensitive to parental absence than cognitive aptitude.