ARI Working Paper Series
WPS 252 Double Victims? Parental Migration, Divorce, and Adolescents’ Transition to High School in Rural China
Publisher : Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore
Publication Date : Jun / 2016
Author/Speaker: Shu HU
Keywords : parental migration, divorce, adolescent, educational outcome, transition to high school, China

Using both quantitative and qualitative data collected in a migrant-sending county from 2012–2013, this research examined how parental migration affects the educational outcome of adolescents in rural China. The results indicate an overall negative effect of parental migration on educational outcome. On one hand, parental migration increases children’s educational wellbeing by affording parents an opportunity to stress the importance of education to their children. On the other, parental migration also decreases children’s educational wellbeing by increasing the odds of parental divorce. When only the mother or both parents migrate, there is a higher likelihood of a parental divorce, which significantly increases risks of discontinuing schooling and transitioning to vocational high school relative to attending academic high school. In contrast to the conventional explanations of economic resources, psychological health, caregiver involvement, this paper emphasizes the significant role of marital instability in the link between parental migration and children’s educational wellbeing.