Journal Article

An Ecological Examination of Social Capital Effects on the Academic Achievement of Chinese Migrant Children

Qiaobing Wu, Lawrence A. Palinkas and Xuesong He

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 8, pages 2578-2597
Published in print December 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcq051
An Ecological Examination of Social Capital Effects on the Academic Achievement of Chinese Migrant Children

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Drawing upon a sample of 772 migrant children and their parents in Shanghai, China, this study employed an ecological framework to investigate how social capital embedded in a range of social contexts (family, school, peer and community) influenced the academic achievement of Chinese migrant children. Using structural equation modelling (SEM), the study results suggested that higher levels of family and school social capital were associated with better academic achievement of migrant children. Community social capital did not present a significant direct effect; however, it predicted children's academic performance indirectly through the mediating effects of family and school social capital. Unexpectedly, peer social capital appeared not to be associated with children's academic achievements. This research advances social capital theory by unravelling the mechanism through which multiple dimensions of social capital operate on youth development. The findings imply utilising social capital building as an innovative approach in social work practice and policy to improving the education of migrant children.

Keywords: Ecological framework; social capital; academic achievement; migrant children; China; structural equation modelling

Journal Article.  7322 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Work

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