The Well-being of Migrant Children and Children Left Behind


Yao Lu
Associate Professor of Sociology


This research project will collect and analyze the first national-level data on migrant children and children left behind by one or both parents, as well as, for comparison, rural and urban children living with their parents. The investigators will use a 2008 national probability sample of the adult population of China, which collected complete rosters of the children of each respondent and all children residing in respondent?s households. They will survey these children, focusing on key aspects of child well-being such as educational and cognitive development, physical health, emotional health, and risky behaviors. They also will interview the primary caregiver of each child and parents living apart from their children. Coupled with existing household and parental information gathered in the previous survey, this new survey will permit a comprehensive account of the consequences of migration for children and the underlying socioeconomic and psychosocial mechanisms.

Broader Impacts:

The information gathered can inform the design of intervention programs by local governments and global development organizations such as UNICEF, to reinforce the benefits while mitigating the costs of migration for children.