Nicole W.T. Cheung (2014) Social stress, locality of social ties and mental well-being: The case of rural migrant adolescents in urban China Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong. Health & Place Volume 27, May 2014, p. 142–154
By comparing rural migrant and urban native adolescents in Guangzhou, the largest city in south China, this study investigated the relationships between social stress, social ties that link migrants to their host cities (local ties) and to their rural home communities (trans-local ties), and the migrants׳ mental well-being. Non-migration social stress was more strongly related to poor psychological health than to weak self-efficacy in both migrant and urban native adolescents. This pattern also applied to the effect of migration-specific assimilation stress on psychological health and self-efficacy in migrants. Social ties directly enhanced these two well-being outcomes in both samples, with the effects of trans-local and local ties proving equally potent among migrants. Trans-local ties were somewhat more useful for migrants in moderating the effects of non-migration social stress and assimilation stress, whereas the stress moderation function of social ties was less pronounced in urban natives. These findings extend the migration, network and social stress literature by identifying how local and trans-local ties protect mental health and mitigate stress in migrants.