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Table 2 Comparison of child mental health (SDQ outcomes) between LBC and NLBC by age groups a

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

Scores of SDQ subscalesLBCNLBCP1P2
3–16 yearsn = 1444n = 2683  
 Total difficulties score12.87 (6.01)12.26 (6.05)0.0110.907
 Emotional symptoms2.79 (2.14)2.55 (2.19)0.0010.482
 Conduct problems2.47 (1.99)2.45 (1.92)0.8620.257
 Hyperactivity-inattention4.12 (2.11)3.96 (1.99)0.0150.620
 Peer problems3.50 (1.65)3.31 (1.65)< 0.0010.809
 Prosocial behaviours5.99 (2.29)6.17 (2.11)0.0020.443
3–6 yearsn = 568n = 1050  
 Total difficulties score13.66 (5.91)12.64 (5.70)< 0.0010.924
 emotional symptoms3.01 (2.12)2.65 (2.10)0.0010.827
 conduct problems2.50 (1.96)2.44 (1.82)0.5480.181
 hyperactivity-inattention4.58 (2.08)4.37 (1.90)0.0520.834
 peer problems3.58 (1.69)3.17 (1.64)< 0.0010.246
 prosocial behaviours5.45 (2.35)5.85 (1.99)< 0.0010.141
7–9 yearsn = 414n = 707  
 Total difficulties score12.39 (5.84)11.98 (5.92)0.2560.495
 Emotional symptoms2.66 (2.10)2.42 (2.17)0.0710.768
 Conduct problems2.32 (1.99)2.28 (1.90)0.7730.506
 Hyperactivity-inattention4.07 (2.09)4.09 (1.94)0.0190.166
 Peer problems3.34 (1.57)3.18 (1.64)0.1080.716
 Prosocial behaviours6.26 (2.23)6.17 (2.10)0.5110.280
10–16 yearsn = 462n = 926  
 Total difficulties score12.32 (6.20)12.06 (6.52)0.3350.753
 Emotional symptoms2.61 (2.18)2.53 (2.32)0.5040.790
 Conduct problems2.55 (2.02)2.60 (2.03)0.7090.879
 Hyperactivity-inattention3.61 (2.05)3.38 (1.97)0.0380.115
 Peer problems3.53 (1.66)3.56 (1.63)0.7730.378
 Prosocial behaviours6.42 (2.15)6.54 (2.19)0.4880.474
  1. Note. LBC left-behind children NLBC non-left-behind children
  2. a Mental health was assessed by SDQ, which includes five subscales and have been detailed described in method. Date are the mean (SD). P1 < 0.05 LBC vs. NLBC assessed by independent-samples Student’s t-test; P2 < 0.05 LBC vs. NLBC assessed by one-way ANOVA, adjusted place of residence, sex, age, only child, average monthly income, father’s educational level and mother’s educational level