Journal of Child and Adolescent Health

All submissions of the EM system will be redirected to Online Manuscript Submission System. Authors are requested to submit articles directly to Online Manuscript Submission System of respective journal.
Reach Us +1 (202) 780-3397

Rapid Communication - Journal of Child and Adolescent Health (2023) Volume 7, Issue 6

The Silent Struggle: Left-Behind Children and Mental Health

Hefeng Cheng *

Department of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.

*Corresponding Author:
Hefeng Cheng
Department of Medicine
Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Received:01-Dec-2023,Manuscript No. AAJCAH-24-122884; Editor assigned:03-Dec-2023,PreQC No. AAJCAH-24-122884(PQ); Reviewed:17-Dec-2023,QC No. AAJCAH-24-122884; Revised:21-Dec-2023, Manuscript No. AAJCAH-24-122884(R); Published:29-Dec-2023,DOI:10.35841/aajcah-7.6.182

Citation: Cheng H. The silent struggle: Left-behind children and mental health. J Child Adolesc Health. 2023;7(6):182

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Child and Adolescent Health


In the wake of globalization, economic opportunities often lead parents to migrate in search of better prospects, leaving behind a poignant reality – the phenomenon of left-behind children (LBC). These children, entrusted to the care of relatives or left to fend for themselves, face a unique set of challenges that can significantly impact their mental health. The emotional toll of parental migration on these youngsters has become a silent struggle, amplifying mental health issues that demand our attention and empathy [1,2].

As parents pursue economic opportunities in distant lands, the emotional landscape of left-behind children undergoes a profound transformation. The absence of parental figures during crucial developmental stages creates a void that extends beyond physical care. The impact on mental health is multifaceted, encompassing emotional well-being, academic performance, and the overall sense of security that every child deserves. Left-behind children often grapple with feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and anxiety. The absence of daily parental involvement can lead to a sense of detachment, affecting the child's emotional stability. The emotional support and guidance that parents traditionally provide become challenging to access, leaving these children vulnerable to a range of mental health issues [3,4].

Moreover, the burden of responsibilities placed upon left-behind children can exacerbate the stress they experience. Many find themselves navigating the complexities of daily life, including schoolwork, household chores, and decision-making, without the reassuring presence of a parent. This premature assumption of responsibilities can contribute to feelings of overwhelm, impacting the child's self-esteem and overall mental well-being. The academic sphere is another battleground for left-behind children. The challenges they face extend beyond the emotional realm, influencing their educational outcomes. The absence of parental support can hinder academic progress, as children may struggle with motivation, concentration, and a sense of purpose without the guidance and encouragement of their absent parents [5,6].

The lack of a stable support system can also manifest in behavioral issues, as left-behind children may seek alternative means to cope with their emotions. Some may withdraw socially, while others may act out in an attempt to express their unmet needs. These behavioral manifestations are often indicative of underlying mental health struggles that require understanding and intervention. The mental health challenges faced by left-behind children underscore the urgency of addressing the complex consequences of parental migration. While economic opportunities drive parents to seek a better life for their families, it is crucial to recognize and mitigate the impact on the mental well-being of the children left behind [7,8].

Efforts to support left-behind children should encompass a multifaceted approach, including community-based initiatives, educational programs, and mental health services. Communities, governments, and international organizations must collaborate to create a safety net for these children, providing emotional support, mentorship, and resources that can help bridge the gap left by absent parents. Moreover, fostering awareness and understanding within society is essential to destigmatize the struggles of left-behind children. By recognizing the emotional toll of parental migration and acknowledging the mental health challenges these children face, we can create a more compassionate and supportive environment that promotes their well-being [9,10].


The mental health issues confronting left-behind children demand a collective response. It is incumbent upon us as a global society to extend a compassionate hand to these children, ensuring that they receive the emotional support and resources needed to navigate the complexities of their unique circumstances. As we strive for a more interconnected world, let us not forget the silent struggles of those left behind, working towards a future where every child, regardless of their familial circumstances, can thrive emotionally, academically, and socially.



  1. Guang Y. Depressive symptoms and negative life events: what psycho-social factors protect or harm left-behind children in China. 2017;17(1):402–418.
  2. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  3. Howes C. Children's relationships with child care teachers: stability and concordance with parental attachments. Child Dev. 1992;63(4):867–878.
  4. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  5. Helmerhorst . Effects of the caregiver interaction profile training on caregiver–child interactions in Dutch child care centers: a randomized controlled trial. 2017;46(3):413–436.
  6. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  7. McMunn A. Fathers' involvement: correlates and consequences for child Socioemotional behavior in the United Kingdom. J Fam Issues. 2017;38(8):1109–1131.
  8. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  9. Maken ZH. Factors influencing father's antenatal and perinatal involvement in maternal health care. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018;31(19):2569–2575.
  10. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  11. Tamis-LeMonda CS. Fathers and mothers at play with their 2- and 3-year-olds: contributions to language and cognitive development. Child Dev. 2004;75(6):1806–1820.
  12. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  13. Attar-Schwartz S. Grandparenting and adolescent adjustment in two-parent biological, lone-parent, and step-families. J Fam Psychol. 2009;23(1):67–75.
  14. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  15. Liu SK, Chen YL. Psychometric properties of the Chinese version of strength and difficulties questionnaire. 2013;54(6):720–730.
  16. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  17. Goodman R. The strengths and difficulties questionnaire: a research note. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1997;38(5):581–586.
  18. Indexed at, Google Scholar, Cross Ref

  19. Du YS. The validity, reliability and normative scores of the parent, teacher and self report versions of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire in China. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2008;2(1):8.
  20. Indexed at, Google Scholar

Get the App