Migration patterns, family functioning, and life satisfaction among migrant children in China: A mediation model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



External departments

  • Southwest Minzu University
  • Jilin Agricultural University


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
JournalAsian Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date2 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


There are three distinct patterns of migration among Chinese migrant children: whole-family, single-parent-first, and both-parents-first migration. This study investigated the life satisfaction of children who migrated under the different migration patterns and examined the mediating role of family functioning in the relationship between the children's migration patterns and their life satisfaction. Participants consisted of migrant children (N = 703) from primary and junior middle schools in Chengdu, China. The results showed that (a) migrant children from the whole-family and single-parent-first patterns of migration reported greater life satisfaction than did those from the both-parents-first pattern, and (b) family functioning partially mediated the association between migration patterns and life satisfaction. The present study highlights the importance of avoiding separation of children from both parents during migration and the need to develop interventions for migrant children's psychological adaptation by improving their families’ functioning.