Informal kinship care in rural China : the influence of Confucianism and attachment

Hu, Yang, Lonne, Bob, & Burton, Judith A. (2014) Informal kinship care in rural China : the influence of Confucianism and attachment. Families, Relationships and Societies, 3(2), pp. 287-302.

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This article examines the role of informal kinship care in addressing the emotional needs and mental health, along with relationships, of school-age children left behind in rural China. Rural–urban migration in China has caused many rural children to be left behind in their local communities. Based on semi-structured interview data, this article explores Confucianism’s impact on Chinese kin caregivers’ understandings of children’s needs and their childrearing practices to address these needs. Through the lens of attachment theory, this study identified a close affective bond between children left behind and their kin caregivers. This relationship is underpinned by kin caregivers’ high commitment and love for children, and the Confucian concept of ‘benevolence’. It not only provides children left behind with a sense of belonging, it also alleviates their trauma/grief due to separation from their parents

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ID Code: 66656
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: kinship care, Confucianism, children's needs, children left behind, rural China
DOI: 10.1332/204674314X13898785887043
ISSN: 2046-7435
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Children & Youth Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Policy Press
Copyright Statement: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Families, Relationships and Societies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version [Volume 3, Number 2, July 2014, pp. 287-302] is available online at:
Deposited On: 20 Feb 2014 01:22
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 14:43

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