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Table 3 Multiple comparison of child mental health (SDQ outcomes) between LBC and NLBC in rural and in urban areas a

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

 RuralP1UrbanP2P3P4
LBCNLBCLBCNLBC
3–16 yearsn = 1276n = 1503 n = 195n = 1213   
 Total difficulties score12.97 (5.91)12.75 (6.05)0.69012.17 (6.59)11.66 (6.01)0.8520.0030.003
 Emotional symptoms2.80 (2.11)2.72 (2.18)0.6132.67 (2.37)2.32 (2.19)0.1100.8530.006
 Conduct problems2.46 (1.95)2.53 (1.93)0.1122.52 (2.19)2.36 (1.90)0.9620.4050.616
 Hyperactivity-inattention4.17 (2.11)4.05 (2.06)0.5423.76 (2.08)3.83 (1.88)0.3870.1550.130
 Peer problems3.54 (1.63)3.44(1.66)0.7313.22 (1.71)3.14 (1.61)0.5830.1040.039
 Prosocial behaviours5.86 (2.28)6.20 (2.16)0.0076.85 (2.19)6.15 (2.04)< 0.0010.2510.026
3–6 years
 Total difficulties score13.90 (5.82)13.57 (5.55)0.78811.77 (6.32)11.56 (5.68)0.6970.101< 0.001
 Emotional symptoms3.09 (2.08)2.94 (2.09)0.5592.38 (2.37)2.31 (2.05)0.6830.081< 0.001
 Conduct problems2.53 (1.94)2.66 (1.80)0.2132.31 (2.13)2.18 (1.81)0.9450.3960.004
 Hyperactivity-inattention4.64 (2.11)4.60 (1.89)0.8724.05 (1.75)4.10 (1.89)0.5460.1500.002
 Peer problems3.65 (1.69)3.36 (1.70)0.1703.03 (1.60)2.96 (1.55)0.8040.4050.013
 Prosocial behaviours5.33 (2.37)5.72 (2.06)0.0306.36 (1.96)6.00 (1.90)0.1160.0910.657
7–9 years
 Total difficulties score12.35 (5.73)12.79 (5.73)0.06112.63 (6.57)11.05 (6.00)0.1050.2200.027
 Emotional symptoms2.65 (2.09)2.66 (2.10)0.2672.77 (2.18)2.15 (2.21)0.0290.1630.081
 Conduct problems2.26 (1.92)2.40 (1.91)0.0502.67 (2.38)2.15 (1.90)0.0650.1300.843
 Hyperactivity-inattention4.08 (2.07)4.33 (2.02)0.1114.02 (2.26)3.82 (1.80)0.8980.6490.005
 Peer problems3.36 (1.55)3.40 (1.67)0.4103.18 (1.72)2.92 (1.58)0.5060.8620.042
 Prosocial behaviours6.08 (2.19)6.12 (2.11)0.6987.33 (2.17)6.23 (2.10)0.0020.0030.418
10–16 years
 Total difficulties score12.40 (6.08)11.93 (6.66)0.53411.82 (6.87)12.26 (6.23)0.4760.3780.181
 Emotional symptoms2.59 (2.12)2.57 (2.31)0.7272.75 (2.49)2.47 (2.33)0.2570.2620.933
 Conduct problems2.57 (2.01)2.49 (2.08)0.6032.47 (2.05)2.76 (1.95)0.1200.1680.042
 Hyperactivity-inattention3.67 (2.02)3.30 (2.04)0.0303.29 (2.19)3.49 (1.87)0.2130.1050.048
 Peer problems3.57 (1.63)3.58 (1.61)0.6423.31 (1.78)3.54 (1.66)0.2970.2850.781
 Prosocial behaviours6.33 (2.11)6.74 (2.19)0.0256.91 (2.36)6.24 (2.14)0.0010.107< 0.001
  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 in rural areas, P2 < 0.05 LBC vs. NLBC in urban areas, P3 < 0.05 rural LBC vs. urban LBC, P4 < 0.05 rural NLBC vs. urban NLBC all assessed by one-way ANOVA, adjusted sex, age, only child, average monthly income, father’s educational level and mother’s educational level