The protective functions of relationships, social support and self-esteem in the life satisfaction of children of migrant workers in Shanghai, China

Daniel Fu Keung Wong, Yingli Chang, Xuesong He, Qiaobing Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: At present, China has approximately 20 million migrant school-aged children accompanying their parents in relocating to the cities. However, very little is known about them. Using a resilience framework, the present study attempted to examine the psychosocial factors affecting their life satisfaction in Shanghai, China.

Methods: A total of 625 migrant children were recruited from 10 schools in Shanghai through a cross-sectional survey design using multi-stage cluster sampling method. The questionnaire included measures of life satisfaction, self-esteem, social support, relationships at school and the parent-child and peer relationships.

Results: Hierarchical regression analysis was performed to explore the relative effects of different relationship domains, self-esteem and social support on the life satisfaction of migrant children. The results suggested that parent-child and peer relationships significantly influenced the life satisfaction of children of migrant workers. Relationships in school did not exert such effect. Both social support and self-esteem had significant effects on the life satisfaction of migrant children.

Conclusions: Relationship factors, social support and self-esteem are critical factors affecting the life satisfaction of migrant children. The findings and implications were discussed in relation to developmental and migration-related issues and the social contexts of the lives of children of migrant workers in Shanghai, China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-157
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Volume56
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010

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