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Acta Paediatr. 2018 Aug;107(8):1327-1334. doi: 10.1111/apa.14199. Epub 2018 Jan 18.

Systematic review and meta-analysis found higher levels of behavioural problems in male left-behind children aged 6-11 years.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China.
2
Center for Evidence-Based Practice, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China.

Abstract

AIM:

Left-behind children (LBC) now account for more than 1 in 5 Chinese children, and they often suffer from behavioural problems when their parents leave their rural homes to seek work in urban areas. The primary aim of this meta-analysis was to compare the incidence rates and factor scores of behavioural problems in LBC, who now account for more than one-fifth of Chinese children, and non-LBC.

METHODS:

This systematic review and meta-analysis explored the children's characteristic behavioural problems using the Achenbach Child Behaviour Check List. A subgroup analysis was conducted to compare the different behavioural problems of LBC with different characteristics. The meta-analysis assessed 1405 papers and analysed 13 papers from 2007 to 2015, covering 10 264 LBC and 8909 non-LBC from 2 to 19 years of age.

RESULTS:

The incidence rates of behavioural problems were higher in LBC than non-LBC. The highest risks were noted in boys aged between 6 and 11 years of age, who were more likely to be withdrawn and be affected by somatic complaints, schizophreniform disorder, compulsive behaviour and depression.

CONCLUSION:

Interventions and policies are urgently needed to tackle behavioural issues among LBC, especially high-risk males aged 6-11 years.

KEYWORDS:

Achenbach Child Behaviour Check List; Behaviour problems; Children; Meta-analysis

PMID:
29280182
DOI:
10.1111/apa.14199

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