197031 Quality of life in rural-to-urban migrants in China: Effects of perceived stigmatization and social inequity

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Yan Hong, PhD , Department of Social and Behavioral Health, Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Xiaoming Li, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Xiaoyi Fang, PhD , Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Qing Xiong , School of Humanities, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, China, Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province, China
Bo Wang, PhD , Department of Community Health Sciences, The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
Background: Quality of life (QoL) is considered an important aspect of a population's self-perceived wellbeing. Perceived stigmatization and social inequity pose potential risks to one's QoL. The studies of QoL in general populations have been limited worldwide, particularly in the developing countries such as China. The 114 million rural-to-urban migrants in China represent one of the largest economics-driven internal migrations in modern human history. These migrants may face “status-based” stigmatization or unequally treatment in society at urban destination. This study aims to assess migrants' QoL, and examine how perceived stigmatization and social inequity affect the QoL.

Methods: Cross-sectional data were obtained from 1,006 rural-to-urban migrants (mean age 25.39 years and 33% women). The sample was recruited from 10 occupation clusters in Beijing using quota sampling scheme. QoL was measured with WHOQOL-BREF. Participants reported their perceptions and experiences of being decriminalized in urban destination and perceived social inequity. Multivariate regressions were employed for data analysis.

Results: The mean scores for the four QoL domain for migrants are: physical health=15, psychological health=14, social relationship=15, and environment=12. Both perceived stigmatization and social inequity are significantly positively associated with four domains of QoL. Perceived stigmatization was a stronger correlate of QoL, even after controlling for potential confounders.

Conclusion: The study represents one of the first efforts to study QoL of rural-to-urban migrants in China. The migrants perceived high level of stigmatization and social inequity, which strongly affect their QoL. Public health interventions are needed to reduce stigmatization against migrants and improve their QoL.

Learning Objectives:
The participants at the end of this presentation may learn about: 1. Scale of economics-driven, rural-to-urban migration in China 2. Issues of stigmatization and unequal treatment among rural migrants in China 3. Measurement of quality of life among the target population 4. Relationship of QoL with stigmatization and social inequity 5. Relative contribution of stigmatization and social inequity to QoL

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting NIH-funded research in the ares of social stigma and mental health among rural migrant workers
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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