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05-03-2019 | Empirical Research | Uitgave 6/2019

Journal of Youth and Adolescence 6/2019

Latent Profile Analysis of Left-behind Adolescents’ Psychosocial Adaptation in Rural China

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Youth and Adolescence > Uitgave 6/2019
Auteurs:
Jingxin Zhao, Qianyu Li, Liwei Wang, Lingyu Lin, Wenxin Zhang
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Abstract

Parental absence, a consequence of parents’ rural-to-urban migration, exerts negative influences on their left-behind adolescents in rural China. Existing studies are limited by their focus on the isolated developmental outcomes of left-behind adolescents and by a dearth of work focused on naturally occurring patterns of their developmental outcomes. The present study used a person-centered approach to identify adolescents’ adaptation profiles based on internalizing indicators (i.e., depressive symptoms, loneliness, subjective happiness, life satisfaction), externalizing indicators (i.e., rule-breaking behavior, aggressive behavior, prosocial behavior) and academic achievement and to relate these profiles to left-behind status, characteristics of parent-adolescent separation and gender. The study included 2102 adolescents (Mage = 13.48 ± 1.10 years, 46.8% girls) in junior high schools in rural China. A latent profile analysis identified 3 profiles: an adequate adaptation profile, an internalizing problem profile and an externalizing problem profile. These profiles were linked to left-behind status, to characteristics of parent-adolescent separation (i.e., separation duration, interval of long-distance communication and face-to-face communication) and to gender. These findings provide significant implications for future research and the development of interventions.

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