Personal psychological resources mediate parent–child relationship and mental health among left‐behind children

Imelu G. Mordeno, I Marie Joy S. Gallemit, Sittie Shayuri B. Lantud, Brian J. Hall - The Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences


Discrepant findings on the impact of parental migration on left‐behind children's (LBC) psychological health have been noted in the literature. While several studies have shown the negative effects of parental migration, burgeoning research has demonstrated contradictory findings. The present study aimed to clarify this issue by examining the association between family resources and mental health as mediated by personal psychological resources (PPRs). A sample comprised of 466 LBC (aged 11–17 years) answered a set of questionnaires assessing parent–child relationship, PPRs, and mental health symptoms. The results showed that PPRs, particularly emotional resources, significantly mediated the link between family resources and mental health. This suggests that LBC who have rich family resources (i.e., close parent–child relationship) have lower mental health problems due to higher emotional resources (i.e., satisfaction in life). Conversely, those who reported having poor family resources experienced a lower level of PPRs (i.e., emotional well‐being), which in turn, increased their risk of having psychological distress. The “caravanning” of resources from family to personal resources is vital in protecting LBC's mental health.