Abstract: Mindfulness, Emotional Well-Being and Sociocultural Adaptation Among Chinese Migrant Children: The Mediating Role of Resilience (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

Mindfulness, Emotional Well-Being and Sociocultural Adaptation Among Chinese Migrant Children: The Mediating Role of Resilience

Sunday, January 16, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 7, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
Hui Hu, MSW, PhD student, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Yihang Wang, MSW, Ph.D. student, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Shuang Lu, PhD, MSW, Assistant Professor, The University of Hong Kong, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, Hong Kong
Background and Purpose: In the past few decades, nearly 35.81 million Chinese children migrated from rural to urban areas due to China’s widespread economic reform and urbanization. Chinese migrant children face various stressors, leading to adjustment difficulties and more emotional problems compared with their peers in urban cities and rural areas. Previous studies indicate that mindfulness enhances emotional well-being and adaptation, yet little is known targeting at Chinese migrant children. In addition, although the underlying mechanisms of mindfulness still remain unclear, a few studies suggest resilience as a potential mediator. This study first assesses the impact of mindfulness on emotional well-being and sociocultural adaptation among Chinese migrant children, and further analyzes the mediating role of resilience.

Methods: Using a cluster convenience sampling, a cross-sectional survey was performed in 4th to 5th grade of three collaborated migrant schools in Shenzhen, China. A total of 370 migrant children aged from 9 to 13 years (M = 10.35 years, SD = 0.80; 163 female, 207 male) completed a set of questionnaires including a brief demographic survey, the Five-Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire (FFMQ), the Child and Youth Resilience Measure (CYRM), Positive and Negative Affect Scale for Children (PANAS-C), Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale(RCADS), and the Chinese age-adjusted version of Sociocultural Adaptation Scale(SCAS). Preliminary analyses included descriptive statistics and Pearson correlation. Multiple OLS regression was performed to assess the impact of mindfulness and path analysis was used to test the mediation effect of resilience.

Results: Mindfulness was positively associated with resilience (p<0.01), positive affect (p<0.01), sociocultural adaptation (p<0.01), and negatively associated with negative affect (p<0.01), depression and anxiety (p<0.01). When controlling for demographic factors, mindfulness was significantly associated with higher level of Chinese migrant children’s resilience (β=0.402, p < 0.001), cultural empathy and relatedness (β=0.312, p<0.001 ), impersonal endeavors and perils ( β=0.382, p<0.001), positive affect (β=0.267, p< 0.001), and significantly negatively associated with the risks of anxiety (β=-0.366, p<0.001), depression (β =-0.444, p<0.001) and negative affect (β=-0.293, p<0.001). Path analysis showed that resilience mediated the relationship between mindfulness and the two dimensions of sociocultural adaptation: cultural empathy and relatedness (p<0.001), impersonal endeavors and perils (p<0.001), as well as positive affect (p<0.001). However, the mediation effect of resilience was not significant for the paths between mindfulness and other variables. The overall model showed good fit to the data, with CFI=1.000, χ2 = 5.073, p = 0.534, RMSEA = 0.000, and SRMR = 0.009.

Conclusion and Implications: The findings indicate that future mental health services could explore the effects of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) in promoting the positive development of migrant children. In addition, tailor-made MBIs with resilience elements could be used for migrant children with adjustment difficulties in the host region.