White paper on the psychological condition of China’s left-behind children in 2018 released

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On the Road to School (上学路上), a Chinese NGO that focuses on children, and particularly their spiritual growth, held a press conference in Beijing on October 16 presenting the “White Paper on the Psychological State of China’s Left-behind Children in 2018”. The research upon which the white paper is based was launched in December 2017, and lasted for nine months. 11,126 cases were collected from 19 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities. The research aimed to investigate left-behind children’s emotional state from the four perspectives of happiness, peace, anxiousness and confusion.

Li Yifei, a professor from Beijing Normal University, presented the white paper during the press conference. The paper focuses mainly on how the relationship that left-behind children have with their parents influences their emotional well-being. The data provides several points worthy of attention. For instance, it is found that it is more beneficial for parents to often make phone calls to their children, rather than go home to see them; and what the children resent the most is the feeling that the parents ignore them, rather than the fact itself that they have left home. According to professor Li, the research’s results show that there are only two effective ways to provide left-behind children with psychological help. One is to improve their ability at self-assessment, and the other one is to help them improve their relationship with their parents.

On the Road to School has for many years tried to determine what kind of spiritual, intangible products are the most useful for children. One of the products presented during the conference is the “Raindrop Broadcasting Platform” (小雨点广播平台). The platform aims to establish rural schoolyard broadcast networks, which can release material including educational stories, music and general knowledge, to improve children’s literacy and mental health.