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ISSN 2071-789X

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  • General Founder and Publisher:

    Centre of Sociological Research


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    University of Szczecin (Poland)

    Széchenyi István University, (Hungary)

    Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania)

    Alexander Dubcek University of Trencín (Slovak Republic)

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How does childcare by grandparents affect the health of children in China?

Vol. 14, No 4, 2021

Hong Liu


Minzu University of China,

Beijing, China

How does childcare by grandparents affect the health of children in China?


Yao Li


Pricewaterhouse Coopers Management

Beijing, China


Clement A Tisdell


The University of Queensland,

Brisbane, Australia


ORCID 0000-0003-4370-46928

Fei Wang


Minzu University of China,

Beijing, China



Abstract. Following China’s economic reforms, working parents in China have become increasingly dependent on grandparents to help care for their children. This paper examines the effect of this care on the health of children. To do this, it relies on both objective and subjective indicators of the health of children. WHO criteria for the growth of children are used as markers of the objective health of children. Subjective valuations are based on the assessments of parents of children cared for by grandparents and on those of older children. The analyzed data are drawn from the China Family Panel Studies 2016 survey using OLS, 2SLS, GMM and Oprobit models. It is found that grandparent care of Chinese children has a positive effect on their physical health but parents of these children and older children given this care believe that it has a negative health effect. It is also found that boys are healthier than girls, the health of children rises with level of education attained by the mother, and improves with the level of income of their families. Policy measures are proposed to improve grandparent care of grandchildren and to reduce misperceptions about the value of this care for the health of children (under the age of 15).


Received: August, 2021

1st Revision: September, 2021

Accepted: November, 2021


DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2021/14-4/1

JEL ClassificationI1, I12, I14, I15, I18, Z1

Keywords: child health, China, gender and child health, grandparent care and child health, income and child health