Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Sociology

Content Description

1 electronic text (50 pages) : illustrations (some color), color map.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Zai Liang

Committee Members

Nancy Denton, Joanna Dreby


expected discrimination, living conditions, migrant children, neighborhood crime, self-esteem, Internal migrants, Children of internal migrants, Self-esteem in children

Subject Categories

Demography, Population, and Ecology | Sociology


In 2010, there were over 35 million migrant children in China. Studies showed that rural-to-urban migrant children had significantly lower self-esteem than the urban non-migrant children, but the determinant factors have not been analyzed thoroughly. In this paper, I use data from the 2002 China Nine-City Survey of Migrant Children to examine what factors may affect migrant children's self-esteem. The results of data analysis showed that poor living conditions, anxiety about being discriminated against and exposure to neighborhood crime can lead to lower self-esteem among migrant children. My findings suggested that if the government gradually allows more migrants to enjoy the benefits now limited to local non-migrants, such as state-owned low-rent apartments, rural-to-urban migrant children's low self-esteem problem may decrease.