Impact of Occupation and Family Burden on Psychological Adjustment in Returning Migrants
Qiang Ren, Tingting Wang, Jianfa Shen, Wenfei Winnie Wang, Yu Zhu
Background: Recently, increasing returning migrants in China accompany the massive rural-urban migration, but little information on mental health is available.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2,100 households from seven provinces to examine the effect of return migration on mental health and its association with entrepreneurial experience, occupation, and family burden compared with local rural non-migrants. The 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) was used to measure mental health status, and factor scores were extracted through factor analysis to gauge three sub-domains of loss of confidence, social dysfunction, and anxiety. A general linear regression model was used to analyze the data for the association.
Results: Returning migrants were more likely to have elevated levels of anxiety compared with rural non-migrants when adjusting for social and demographic variables. Entrepreneurial experiences reduced loss of confidence and social dysfunction but increased anxiety; started but not currently running a business, and having older adults at home to care seemed growing concern in returning migrants but not in the rural non-migrants.
Conclusion: Our study supports the salmon bias effect, but that occupation, entrepreneurship, and family burden may have non-negligible impacts on the anxiety in returning migrants. The findings may have implications for promoting social integration for returning migrants.