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Table 8 Comparison between depressive symptoms of LBCF, LBCM and LBCB at different levels of left-behind-related variables (N = 4181)

From: Depressive symptoms and negative life events: What psycho-social factors protect or harm left-behind children in China?

Independent variables LBCF (n = 1000) LBCM (n = 202) LBCB (n = 2979) Fa Partial η 2
Mean (SD) Mean (SD) Mean (SD)
Duration of separation
 (1) 6 months - 2 years 13.20(5.84) 14.32(5.59) 14.55(6.48) 8.32*** 0.009
 (2) 2–3 years 14.38(6.62) 13.93(5.97) 15.32(6.54) 1.49 0.004
 (3) 4–5 years 12.70(6.32) 14.48(6.03) 14.44(6.27) 1.97 0.009
 (4) Over 6 years 14.36(7.12) 13.81(6.03) 14.16(6.30) 0.18 0.000
Fa 0.46 1.29 4.29   
Partial η 2 0.002 0.026 0.004   
Com. duration
 (1) Within 5 min 14.44(6.15) 13.43(5.43) 16.37(6.75) 10.60*** 0.027
 (2) 5–10 min 13.66(6.33) 14.56(6.58) 14.56(6.35) 2.39 0.004
 (3) 10–30 min 12.54(6.08) 14.74(5.69) 14.06(6.29) 7.19** 0.008
 (4) Over 30 min 12.55(5.94) 12.53(4.73) 14.25(6.29) 3.57* 0.014
Fa 3.69* 1.73 4.20**   
Partial η 2 0.012 0.035 0.004   
Com. frequency
 (1) Daily 11.63(5.74) 13.60(5.75) 13.33(5.96) 4.49* 0.019
 (2) Weekly 13.33(6.15) 13.67(5.69) 14.31(6.33) 3.85 0.003
 (3) Monthly 13.74(6.47) 14.47(6.11) 14.92(6.74) 2.00 0.005
 (4) Half a year 15.08(5.84) 17.31(4.59) 16.24(6.38) 1.37 0.009
 (5) Over half a year 16.42(6.01) 15.67(6.31) 16.38(6.54) 0.26 0.003
Fa 3.58** 1.35 3.98**   
Partial η 2 0.007 0.037 0.003   
Com. by visiting
 (1) Yes 15.88(7.52) 13.26(7.05) 14.31(6.41) 1.52 0.020
 (2) No 13.42(6.15) 14.28(5.79) 14.54(6.42)   
tb 2.25* −0.73 −0.38   
r 0.18 −0.08 −0.02   
Com. on academic performance
 (1) Yes 13.10(5.98) 13.88(6.16) 14.05(6.17) 3.85* 0.003
 (2) No 14.04 (6.47) 14.49(5.40) 15.40(6.73)   
tb −2.36* −0.75 −5.58***   
r −0.08 −0.05 −0.10   
Com. on learning difficulties
 (1) Yes 13.52(6.40) 14.82(5.27) 14.98(6.56) 1.68 0.005
 (2) No 13.50(6.19) 14.08(5.88) 14.44(6.38)   
tb 0.04 0.63 1.74   
r 0.00 0.07 0.04   
Com. on children’s feelings
 (1) Yes 12.77(6.01) 12.84(5.46) 14.09(6.55) 5.30** 0.006
 (2) No 13.81(6.27) 15.24(5.85) 14.86(6.30)   
tb −2.42* −2.98 −3.28**   
r −0.08 −0.21 −0.06   
  1. Note: The dependent variable was depressive symptom
  2. LBCF children left behind by father, LBCM children left behind by mother, LBCB children left behind by both parents. M mean, SD standard deviation, Com. communication between migrant parents and left-behind children
  3. * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01, *** p < 0.001
  4. a F value was from ANOVA results
  5. bt value was from independent T-test result