Associations Between Poor Health and School-Related Behavior Problems at the Child and Family Levels: A Cross-Sectional Study of Migrant Children and Adolescents in Southwest Urban China
BACKGROUND: Due to urbanization in China, the numbers of migrant children and adolescents in urban environments have increased. Previous studies have indicated that children and adolescents are more likely to suffer from health problems and poor school achievement. The present study identified associations between poor health and school-related behavior problems (ie, learning attitudes and learning disabilities [LL], antisocial behavior and risk behavior [AR], and social adaptation and role function [SR]) at the child and family levels. METHODS: A cross-sectional design was used. Seven hundred and eighty-one participants were recruited in inclusive settings. Correlational analysis was conducted to assess the associations between demographic variables and the primary study variables. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine which study factors were the strongest predictors of general health problems. RESULTS: School-aged migrants who had poorer health tended to be more likely to suffer from school-related behavior problems. Poor health was also found to hinder scholastic achievement in migrant children and adolescents through a higher prevalence of school-related behavior problems, including negative learning attitudes and learning disabilities, antisocial behavior and risk behavior, and social maladjustment. Health risk factors included inappropriate parental education methods, fewer classmates, and less social support. CONCLUSIONS: Health and individual risk factors should be explored further to determine their causal role in migrant children and adolescents with school-related behavior problems. These results have implications for future school health education for these students.