School Problems among Left-Behind Children of Labor Migrant Parents: a study in Vietnam
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University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi
University of Education, Thai Nguyen University
School of Social Science, University of Queensland, Australia
Luot Van Nguyen   

University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi
Submission date: 2021-09-21
Final revision date: 2022-03-31
Acceptance date: 2022-03-31
Online publication date: 2022-06-01
Publication date: 2022-05-05
Many studies have shown the effects of parental migration on the psychological and daily life of left-behind children (LBC) of labor migrant parents, but the results on school-related problems of LBC remain inconsistent. Additionally, there is a dearth of research on the factors affecting school problems among LBC, especially in the socio-cultural context of Vietnam. The purpose of this study was to confirm the school problems encountered by LBC in comparison with non-left-behind children (non-LBC). The study also aimed to examine variables of bonding of caregivers with children and resilience of children affecting school problems of LBC.

Participants and procedure:
The convenient sampling approach was used in the study. The study sample included 792 Vietnamese school students (M¬age = 12.65, SD = 1.60), with 439 children of labor migrant parents and a control group of 353 children of non-migrant parents. The School Problem Questionnaire, Parental Bonding Instrument and the Resilience Scale were employed in this study.

There was no difference in school problems between the LBC and non-LBC groups. Resilience by goal planning (RGP), resilience by affect control (RAC), and resilience by family support (RFS) are identified as protective variables for children to overcome difficulties encountered in schools, with regression coefficients of -.21, -.33 and -.20, respectively. Meanwhile, bonding of caregivers with children by control (BCCo), resilience by positive thinking (RPT) are considered as factors that increase school problems among LBC with the same regression coefficient of .12.

Activities to support LBC should pay attention to improving resilience, namely affect control, goal planning, and promoting the role of caregivers for LBC.