Factors affecting loneliness among left-behind children
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University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Vientiane International School, Vientiane, Laos
Luot V. Nguyen   

University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam
Submission date: 2021-12-22
Final revision date: 2023-01-15
Acceptance date: 2023-03-08
Online publication date: 2023-04-17
In Vietnam, research on the impact of parental migration on left-behind children (LBC) has discussed various dimensions of the subject such as subjective well-being, emotional states, social skills, self-esteem and nutrition of LBC. However, there are still gaps in studies on loneliness among LBC in Vietnam. The study aims to explore the status of loneliness in LBC, including associated protective and risk factors, to make suggestions on preventive measures against LBC’s loneliness.

Participants and procedure:
The conveniently selected sample includes 439 LBC in 4 Vietnamese provinces: Thai Nguyen, Bac Ninh, Thai Binh and Nghe An. The mean age is 12.73 (SD = 1.68). Female children account for 47.80%. The Children’s Loneliness Scale was employed in the study.

The total loneliness score of LBC is 28.62 (SD = 9.40), 95% CI: 27.75-29.48. Perceived social support from friends, caregivers and resilience factors of affect control (RAC), family support (RFS) and help-seeking (RHS) are protective factors for loneli-ness of LBC, with regression coefficient of –.27, –.18, –.11, –.11 and –.09 respectively.

Perceived social support from friends, care-giving attachment and resilience factors of RAC, RFS, and RHS are protective factors for LBC against loneliness. Parents, teachers and guardians are encouraged to have a close connection with LBC, provide adequate care giving; and create a supportive environment for LBC in pursuing healthy peer relationships and train/improve children’s skills to strengthen their resilience.

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