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Table 1 Baseline characteristics of LBC and NLBC

From: Mental health and its influencing factors among left-behind children in South China: a cross-sectional study

VariablesLBCNLBCallP
(n = 1471)(n = 2716)(n = 4187)
Sex, n(%) 
 boys765(52.7)1463 (54.3)2228 (53.2)0.312
 girls687 (47.3)1230 (45.7)1917 (45.8) 
Age (years) mean (SD) a
 3–16 years8.46 (3.50)8.52 (3.66)8.50 (3.60)0.611
 3–6 years5.04 (1.12)4.87 (1.17)4.93 (1.16) 
 7–9 years8.41 (0.84)8.36 (0.82)8.38 (0.82) 
 10–16 years12.70 (1.88)12.78 (1.86)12.75 (1.87) 
Place of residence, n(%)
 ural1276 (86.7)1503 (55.3)2779 (66.4)< 0.001
 urban195 (13.3)1213 (44.7)1408 (33.6) 
Only child, n(%)
 yes309 (21.0)1274 (46.9)1583 (37.8)< 0.001
 no1162 (79.0)1442 (53.1)2604 (62.2) 
Father’s educational level, n(%)
 primary school or below185 (12.7)111 (4.2)296 (7.1)< 0.001
 middle school833 (57.4)908 (34.1)1741 (41.6) 
 high school303 (20.9)889 (33.4)1192 (28.5) 
 junior college or bachelor125 (8.6)707 (26.5)832 (19.9) 
 master or higher5 (0.3)49 (1.8)54 (1.3) 
Mother’s educational level, n(%)
 primary school or below210 (14.8)193 (7.2)403 (9.6)< 0.001
 middle school876 (61.7)966 (36.2)1842 (44.0) 
 high school237 (16.7)847 (31.7)1084 (25.9) 
 junior college or bachelor94 (6.6)635 (23.8)729 (17.4) 
 master or higher3 (0.2)27 (1.0)30 (0.7) 
Marital status, n(%)
 spinsterhood9 (0.6)17 (0.6)26 (0.6)0.081
 married1369 (95.1)2581 (96.6)3950 (94.3) 
 divorced29 (2.0)40 (1.5)69 (1.6) 
 widowed17 (1.2)16 (0.6)33 (0.8) 
 remarried16 (1.1)17 (0.6)33 (0.8) 
Monthly income (RMB), n(%)
  < 2000375 (26.2)307 (11.5)682 (16.3)< 0.001
 2000–5000698 (48.8)1131 (42.4)1829 (43.7) 
 5001–8000160 (11.2)696 (26.1)856 (20.4) 
 8001–12,00045 (3.1)219 (8.2)264 (6.3) 
  > 12,00017 (1.2)102 (3.8)119 (2.8) 
 unknown134 (9.4)215 (8.1)349 (8.3) 
  1. Note. LBC left-behind children NLBC non-left-behind children
  2. P < 0.05 LBC vs. NLBC assessed by chi-square test for categorical variables unless otherwise indicated. a Assessed by the unpaired Student t-test