Mental health of migrant workers in China: prevalence and correlates

  • Daniel Fu Keung Wong
  • Xuesong He
  • Grace Leung
  • Ying Lau
  • Yingli Chang
ORIGINAL PAPER

Abstract

Background

This study aimed to examine the prevalence and the socio-demographic correlates of mental health of migrant workers in Shanghai China.

Methods

A total of 475 migrant workers from four major districts in Shanghai were recruited through a survey design with stratified random sampling. Male and female migrant workers were identified as mentally healthy or unhealthy using the brief symptom inventory. Socio-demographic characteristics and migration stress were explored as correlates of the mental health of the migrant workers.

Results

A total of 73 migrant workers could be classified as mentally unhealthy (25% for men and 6% for women). Male migrant workers who were married (OR 6.16, 95% CI 1.83–20.70), manual laborers (OR 1.56, 95% CI 0.97–2.51), and experienced more stress in “financial and employment-related difficulties” (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.47–5.14) and “interpersonal tensions and conflicts” (OR 4.18, 95% CI 1.55–11.25) were more likely to be mentally unhealthy, whereas the female migrant workers who experienced more stress in “interpersonal tensions and conflicts” (OR 6.52, 95% CI 0.83–51.14) were more likely to have poor mental health.

Conclusion

The findings provide information for the prevention of mental illness among migrant workers in China. The implications and limitations are also discussed.

Key words

mental health migrant workers migrant stress China 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Fu Keung Wong
    • 1
  • Xuesong He
    • 3
  • Grace Leung
    • 2
  • Ying Lau
    • 2
  • Yingli Chang
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Nursing and Social Work, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health SciencesThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Dept. of Social Work and Social AdministrationUniversity of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong
  3. 3.Dept. of Social WorkEast China University of Science and TechnologyShanghaiChina

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