Effect of Caregiver's mental Health on Early Childhood Development across Different Rural Communities in China
Previous research has found that there are high rates of developmental delays among infants and toddlers in rural areas of China. Caregiver mental health problems might be one significant predictor of developmental delays among infants and toddlers, as has been found in other areas of the world. One way that the mental health of caregivers could affect early childhood development is through its effect on parenting practices. In this study, we used data from four major subpopulations of rural China to measure the correlation of caregiver mental health problems with the developmental outcomes of infants and toddlers. To do so, the study used the Bayley Scales of Infant Development III (BSID III) to examine the rates of developmental delays among 2514 rural infants/toddlers aged 6–30 months old. The results of the testing demonstrate that 48% of the sample’s infants/toddlers have cognitive delays; 52% have language delays; 53% have social-emotional delays; and 30% have motor delays. The data collection team also assessed caregiver mental health by using the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) questionnaire. According to the findings, 39% of caregivers in the sample have symptoms of at least one kind of mental health problem (depression, anxiety, or stress). We also found that most caregivers do not engage in positive parenting practices, while a significant share of caregivers engage in negative parenting practices. The statistical analysis found that showing signs of mental health problems is significantly and negatively associated with infant/toddler developmental outcomes. The study also found that caregivers who show signs of mental health problems are significantly less likely to engage in interactive parenting practices. The study confirms that society needs to pay more attention to caregiver mental health problems in order to improve infant/toddler developmental outcomes in rural China and increase human capital accumulation in China as a whole.
The Relationship Between Birth Season and Early Childhood Development: Evidence from Northwest Rural China
Anemia and Student's Educational Performance in Rural Central China: Prevalence, Correlates, and Impacts.
Anemia in children impairs physical growth and cognitive development, reducing their overall human capital accumulation. While much research has been conducted on anemia prevalence in the primarily poor and rural western provinces in China, little is known about anemia in the more developed provinces of central China. The overall goal of this study is to assess the extent of anemia in central China and determine the effect of anemia on the academic performance of students. Using data collected from fourth grade students in 25 primary schools, we find that 16–27% of sample children are anemic. Female students and students with mothers who have not migrated for work are more likely to be anemic. Importantly, using both regression analysis and matching methods, we find that students with anemia (and those with low hemoglobin levels) are more likely to perform poorly on standardized mathematics exams. These findings suggest that, over the long term, untreated anemia will perpetuate poverty by restricting the human capital development of affected children.
Anxiety in Rural Chinese Children and Adolescents: 3 Comparisons across Provinces and among Subgroups
China’s competitive education system has produced notably high learning outcomes, but they may be costly. One potential cost is high levels of anxiety. China has launched several initiatives aimed at improving student mental health. However, little is known about how effective these programs and policies are. The goal of this paper is to examine anxiety levels among children and adolescents in rural China, and to identify which subpopulations are particularly vulnerable to anxiety.
Diagnostic Ability and Inappropriate Antibiotic Prescriptions: A Quasi-experimental Study of Primary Care Providers in Rural China
Background: China has one of the highest rates of antibiotic resistance. Existing studies document high rates of antibiotic prescription by primary care providers but there is little direct evidence on clinically inappropriate use of antibiotics or the drivers of antibiotic prescription.
Methods: To assess clinically inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions among rural primary care providers, we employed unannounced standardized patients (SPs) who presented three fixed disease cases, none of which indicated antibiotics. We compared antibiotic prescriptions of the same providers in interactions with SPs and matching vignettes assessing knowledge of diagnosis and treatment to assess overprescription attributable to deficits in diagnostic knowledge, therapeutic knowledge and factors that lead providers to deviate from their knowledge of best practice.
Results: Overall, antibiotics were inappropriately prescribed in 221/526 (42%) SP cases. Compared with SP inter- actions, prescription rates were 29% lower in matching clinical vignettes (42% versus 30%, P,0.0001). Compared with vignettes assessing diagnostic and therapeutic knowledge jointly, rates were 67% lower in vignettes with the diagnosis revealed (30% versus 10%, P , 0.0001). Antibiotic prescription in vignettes was in- versely related to measures of diagnostic process quality (completion of checklists).
Conclusions: Clinically inappropriate antibiotic prescription is common among primary care providers in rural China. While a large proportion of overprescription may be due to factors such as financial incentives tied to drug sales and perceived patient demand, our findings suggest that deficits in diagnostic knowledge are a major driver of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions. Interventions to improve diagnostic capacity among providers in rural China are needed.
Do Infant Feeding Practices Differ Between Grandmothers and Mothers in Rural China? Evidence From Rural Shaanxi Province
Prevalence and risk factors for Taenia solium cysticercosis in school-aged children: A school based study in western Sichuan, People’s Republic of China
Taenia solium cysticercosis affects millions of impoverished people worldwide and can cause neurocysticercosis, an infection of the central nervous system which is potentially fatal. Children may represent an especially vulnerable population to neurocysticercosis, due to the risk of cognitive impairment during formative school years. While previous epidemiologic studies have suggested high prevalence in rural China, the prevalence in children as well as risk factors and impact of disease in low-resource areas remain poorly characterized.
Economic growth and socioeconomic changes have transformed nearly every aspect of childhood in China, and many are worried by the increasing prevalence of mental health issues among children, particularly depression. To provide insight into the distribution of depressive symptoms among children in China and identify vulnerable groups, we use data from the 2012 China Family Panel Survey (CFPS), a survey that collected data from a large, nationally representative sample of the Chinese population.
The effect of a micronutrient powder home fortification program on anemia and cognitive outcomes among young children in rural China: a cluster randomized trial
Background: Anemia early in life has been associated with delayed cognitive and motor development. The WHO recommends home fortification using multiple micronutrient powders (MNPs) containing iron as a strategy to address anemia in children under two. We evaluated the effects of a program freely distributing MNP sachets to caregivers of infants in rural China.
Affecting more than one billion people around the world, neglected tropical diseases are a group of diseases which mainly occur in poor populations living in tropical and subtropical environments. Although considered a middle-income country, neglected diseases persist in many rural areas of China. Neurocysticercosis (NCC), an infection caused when the larvae of the tapeworm Taenia solium (T. solium) enters the human brain, is a prime example of this. Infection can lead to seizures, severe headaches, decreased cognitive abilities and other debilitating neurologic symptoms.
Anemia and Student's Educational Performance in Rural Central China: Prevalence, Correlates and Impacts
Nearly a quarter of all children under the age of two in China are left behind in the countryside as parents migrate to urban areas for work. We use a longitudinal survey following young children and their caregivers from 6 to 30 months of age to estimate the effects of maternal migration on development, health, and nutritional outcomes in the critical first stages of life.We find significant negative effects on cognitive development and indicators of dietary quality.
Impact of Text Message Reminders on Caregivers’ Adherence to a Home Fortification Program Against Child Anemia in Rural Western China: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial
Objectives: To test whether text message reminders sent to caregivers will improve the effectiveness of a home micronutrient fortification program in western China.
Methods: A cluster-randomized controlled trial was carried out in 351 villages in Shaanxi province in 2013-14. We enrolled children aged 6-12 months in target villages. Each village/cluster was randomly assigned into one of three groups: Free Delivery Group (FDG; caregivers received free micronutrient packets); Text Messaging Group (TMG; FDG treatment plus daily text message); and Control Group. We collected information on compliance with treatments and hemoglobin concentrations from all children at baseline and 6-month follow-up. We estimated the intent-to-treat (ITT) effects on compliance and child anemia using a logistic regression model, controlling for infant, caregiver and household characteristics.
Results: There were 1393 eligible children. We found that assignment to TMG led to an increase full compliance (marginal effect = 0.10, 95% CI = 0.03, 0.16) and decrease in the rate of anemia at endline (marginal effect=-0.07, 95% CI= -0.12, -0.01).
Conclusions: Text messages improved compliance of caregivers to a home fortification program and children’s nutrition.
The purpose of this paper is to measure the turnover (or stability in employment) of village clinicians in rural China over the past decade. The authors also want to provide quantitative evidence on the individual characteristics of the clinicians who provide health care to villagers in rural China and whether we should expect these individuals to be interested in continuing to supply quality health care in China’s villages in the coming years.
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of adult children migration on the health status of elderlyparents. Increased labor migration in developing countries that lack adequate social security systems and institutionalized care for the elderly is a phenomenon that is important to understand. When their adultchildren go away to work, it is not clear what effect there will be on “left-behind” elderly parents.
- Many public health systems have struggled with the dual questions of: why the uptake rate of maternal health (MH) services is low among some subpopulations; and how to raise it. The purpose of this paper is to assess the uptake rate of a new set of MH services in poor rural areas of China.
To Board or Not to Board: Evidence from Nutrition, Health and Education Outcomes of Students in Rural China
The debate over whether boarding school is beneﬁcial for students still exists in both developing and developed countries. In rural China, as a result of a national school merger program that began in 2001, the number of boarding students has increased dramatically. Little research has been done, however, to measure how boarding status may be correlated with nutrition, health and educational outcomes. In this paper, we compare the outcomes of boarding to those of non-boarding students using a large, aggregate dataset that includes 59 rural counties across ﬁve provinces in China. We ﬁ nd that for all outcomes boarding students perform worse than non-boarding students. Despite these differences, the absolute levels of all outcomes are low for both boarding and non-boarding students, indicating a need for new policies that will target all rural students regardless of their boarding status.
Effects of Parental Migration on Mental Health of Left-Behind Children: Evidence from Northwestern China
China’s rapid development and urbanization has induced large numbers of rural residents to migrate from their homes in the countryside to urban areas in search of higher wages. It is estimated that there are more than 60 million left behind children (LBCs) remain in the countryside after their parents migrate. This paper examines the changes in mental health before and after the parents of fourth and fifth grade students out- or return-migrate. We draw on a panel dataset collected by the authors of more than 19,000 students from 252 rural primary schools in northwestern China. Using difference-in-difference and propensity score matching approaches, our results indicate that parental out-migration has a significant negative impact on the mental health of LBCs, as they tend to exhibit higher levels of anxiety and lower levels of self-esteem. However, we find that parental return-migration has no significant effect on the mental health of LBCs.
Nutritional Deficiencies, the Absence of Information and Caregiver Failures: A Qualitative Analysis of Infant Feeding Practices in Rural China
Development during the first two years of life is critical and has a lasting impact on a child’s health. Poor child nutrition can lead to a weakened immune system and deficiencies in essential micronutrients, which in turn have lasting and detrimental impacts on a child’s development. Recent studies in rural Shaanxi Province found an anemia prevalence of 54.3% among rural children aged six to twelve months. While new large-scale, quantitative research has begun to catalogue the extent of child malnutrition and anemia, no effort has yet been made to look more closely at the potential reasons for rural children’s nutritional deficiencies through a more richly textured qualitative analysis. This study aims to elucidate some of the fundamental causes of poor feeding practices that may lead to anemia among children in rural Shaanxi Province, China.
Are Children with Siblings Really More Vulnerable Than Only Children in Health, Cognition and Non-cognitive Outcomes? Evidence from a Multi-province Data set in China
The general goal of the present study is to analyze whether children with siblings lag behind their only-child counterparts in terms of health and nutrition, cognition and educational performance, and non-cognitive outcomes. We draw on a dataset containing 25 871 observations constructed from three school-level surveys spanning four provinces in China. The analysis compares children with siblings and only children aged 9 to 14 years old in terms of eight different health, cognitive and non-cognitive indicators. We find that with the exception of the anemia rate, health outcomes of children with siblings are statistically indistinguishable from those of only children. In terms of cognition, children with siblings performed better than only children. Moreover, outcomes of children with siblings are statistically indistinguishable from those of only children in terms of the non-cognitive outcomes provided by measures of anxiety. According to our results, the same general findings are true regardless of whether the difference between children with and without siblings is disaggregated by gender.
China's Left Behind Children: Impact of Parental Migration on Health, Nutrition and Educational Outcomes
Micronutrient Deficiencies and Developmental Delays in Infants: Evidence from a cross-sectional survey in rural China
Research increasingly indicates the importance of the nutritional programming that occurs in the first 2–3 years of life. Quality nutrition during this brief window has been shown to have large and significant effects on health and development throughout childhood and even into adulthood. Despite the widespread understanding of this critical window, and the long-term consequences of leaving nutritional deficiencies unaddressed, little is known about the status of infant nutrition in rural China, or about the relationship between infant nutrition and cognitive development in rural China.
Since economic liberalization in the late 1970s, China's health care providers have grown heavily reliant on revenue from drugs, which they both prescribe and sell. To curb abuse and to promote the availability, safety, and appropriate use of essential drugs, China introduced its national essential drug list in 2009 and implemented a zero markup policy designed to decouple provider compensation from drug prescription and sales. The authors collected and analyzed representative data from China's township health centers and their catchment-area populations both before and after the reform.
Background: Empty-nest elderly refers to those elderly with no children or whose children have already left home. Few studies have focused on healthcare service use among empty-nest seniors, and no studies have identified the prevalence and profiles of non-use of healthcare services among empty-nest elderly. The purpose of this study is to compare the prevalence of non-use of healthcare services between empty-nest and non-empty-nest elderly and identify risk factors for the non-use of healthcare services among empty-nest seniors.
Methods: Four thousand four hundred sixty nine seniors (60 years and above) were draw from a cross-sectional study conducted in three urban districts and three rural counties of Shandong Province in China. Non-visiting within the past 2 weeks and non-hospitalization in previous year are used to measure non-use of healthcare services. Chi-square test is used to compare the prevalence of non-use between empty-nesters and non-empty-nesters. Multivariate logistic regression analysis is employed to identify the risk factors of non-use among empty-nest seniors.
Results: Of 4469 respondents, 2667(59.7 %) are empty-nesters. Overall, 35.5 % of the participants had non-visiting and 34.5 % had non-hospitalization. Non-visiting rate among empty-nest elderly (37.7 %) is significantly higher than that among non-empty-nest ones (32.7 %) (P = 0.008). Non-hospitalization rate among empty-nesters (36.1 %) is slightly higher than that among non-empty-nesters (31.6 %) (P = 0.166). Financial difficulty is the leading cause for both non-visiting and non-hospitalization of the participants, and it exerts a larger negative effect on access to healthcare for empty-nest elderly than non-empty-nest ones. Both non-visiting and non-hospitalization among empty-nest seniors are independently associated with low-income households, health insurance status and non-communicable chronic diseases. The nonvisiting rate is also found to be higher among the empty-nesters with lower education and those from rural areas.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that empty-nest seniors have higher non-use rate of healthcare services than non-empty-nest ones. Financial difficulty is the leading cause of non-use of health services. Healthcare policies should be developed or modified to make them more pro-poor and also pro-empty-nested.