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Title: Cumulative adversity, childhood behavioral problems, and educational mobility in China’s poorest rural communities
Authors: Shen, Wensong
Hu, Li-Chung
Hannum, Emily
Contributors: 社會系
Keywords: Adversity;behavioral problems;child poverty;China;conduct problems;education
Date: 2017-11
Issue Date: 2018-08-06 17:19:31 (UTC+8)
Abstract: Behavioral problems are recognized as playing a potentially important role in educational attainment, but their function in contexts of extreme poverty is not well understood. In such settings, other factors might swamp any effects of children’s behavioral problems. Further, the interpretation of behavioral problems in circumstances of deep poverty is not clear: problematic behaviors might be in part a direct function of adverse experiences in childhood. In this paper, we focus on the case of 2000 rural youth sampled in the year 2000 from 100 villages in Gansu, one of China’s poorest provinces, and followed up through 2015. We investigate whether behavioral problems—internalizing problems, externalizing problems, and teacher-reported behavior problems—predict subsequent educational attainment among the rural poor, and consider the contributions of cumulative adversity to behavioral problems. Results in a high-poverty context where promotion decisions are closely tied to performance show that behavioral factors are linked to long-term educational outcomes. These results are robust to adjustment for a host of individual, family, and community context variables. There is some evidence that children in higher socioeconomic status families and in more developed communities are less vulnerable to experiencing behavioral problems. While girls are slightly less vulnerable to experiencing teacher-reported behavior problems than boys, there is no gender difference in the implications of behavioral problems for educational attainment. Finally, behavioral problems do not appear to operate simply as a proxy for measured family adversity.
Relation: Chinese Journal of Sociology, Vol.3, No.4, pp.491-517
Data Type: article
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