Social Capital and Psychosocial Adjustment of Migrant Children in China: The Role of Children’s Personal Agency

  • Qiao-Bing WuEmail author
  • Lawrence A. Palinkas
Part of the Quality of Life in Asia book series (QLAS, volume 2)


Despite the well-established evidence of social capital effects on the development of children and adolescents, the role of children’s personal agency has been paid little attention. This study adopts a mixed-methods design to examine the role that children’s personal agency plays in modifying the effects of social capital on their psychosocial adjustment. Drawing upon a sample of 772 migrant children and their parents in Shanghai, China, and using structural equation modeling, the study results suggest that children’s personal agency, reflected by their initiative and actual efforts in constructing social capital across a range of social contexts, significantly magnifies the positive effects of family and school social capital on their psychosocial adjustment. However, this moderating effect does not hold for community social capital. These quantitative findings are complemented and interpreted in further depth through supplementary analysis of qualitative data. Implications of the research findings for theory, practice, and policy are discussed.


Social Capital Personal Agency Collective Efficacy Satisfaction With Life Scale Psychosocial Adjustment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong SAR, The People’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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