Strain, depression, and deviant behavior among left-behind and non-left-behind adolescents in China
China’s massive rural to urban migration has created a vast number of left-behind children (LBC) whose parents moved to cities for work. Drawing upon data from LBC and non-left-behind children (NLBC) in three Chinese cities, this study tests the applicability of general strain theory in explaining deviant behavior among adolescents. The analysis results show that LBC status is directly related to lower involvement in deviant behavior, whereas it is also directly linked to academic difficulty and depression, leading to more deviant acts. Compared with NLBC, LBC have an overall lower risk of deviance. Male and middle school students and students experiencing parental abuse and family poverty are more inclined to express greater depression, subsequently promoting higher participation in deviance.
This article was originally published in International SociologyVolume 38, Issue 3, May 2023, Pages 394-410. The version of record is available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/02685809231164036. © The Author(s) 2023, Article Reuse Guidelines: https://sagepub.com/journals-permissions
Xu, X., Sun, I. Y., & Wu, Y. (2023). Strain, depression, and deviant behavior among left-behind and non-left-behind adolescents in China. International Sociology, 38(3), 394–410. https://doi.org/10.1177/02685809231164036