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Social stigma and mental health among rural-to-urban migrants in China: A conceptual framework and future research needs



Social stigma and mental health among rural-to-urban migrants in China: A conceptual framework and future research needs



World Health and Population 8(3): 14-31



There are over 100 million individuals in China who have migrated from rural villages to urban areas for jobs or better lives without permanent urban residency (i.e., "rural-to-urban migrants"). Our preliminary data from ongoing research among rural-to-urban migrants in China suggest that the migrant population is strongly stigmatized. Moreover, it appears that substantial numbers of these migrants experience mental health symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, hostility, social isolation). While the population potentially affected is substantial (more than 9% of the entire population or about one-quarter of the rural labour force in mainland China) and our data seem to indicate that the issue is pervasive in this population, there is limited literature on the topic in China or elsewhere. Therefore, in the current article, we utilize secondary data from public resources (i.e., scientific literature, governmental publications, public media) and our own qualitative data to explore the issues of stigmatization and mental health, to propose a conceptual model for studying the association between the stigmatization and mental health among this population, and to identify some future needs of research in this area.

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Accession: 055829637

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PMID: 18277106


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