Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 1186–1192 | Cite as

Understanding the Relationship between Poverty and Children’s Mental Health in Poverty-Stricken Area of China: Social Causation or Social Selection?

Original Paper


This study aimed to explore the relationship between poverty and children’s mental health in the social context of China. Data were consisted of 1314 children, which were collected with a multi-stage cluster random sampling method in Xiushui, a typical poverty city in China. Structural equation modeling was adopted to test the hypothesized model. Results showed that both social causation model and social selection model could explain the relationship between poverty and children’s mental health in Mainland China. The implications of these findings on theory and social work services were also discussed.


Social causation Social selection Poverty Mental health Children 


Author Contributions

C.L.: designed and executed the study, performed the statistical analysis, and wrote the paper. S.J.: collaborated with the study and revised the manuscript. X.Y.: collaborated in the writing and editing of the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social and Behavioral SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina

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