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The urban adaptation and adaptation process of urban migrant children: A qualitative study

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This article employs qualitative research methods to explore the urban adaptation and adaptation processes of Chinese migrant children. Through twenty-one in-depth interviews with migrant children, the researchers discovered: The participant migrant children showed a fairly high level of adaptation to the city; their process of urban adaptation emerged as three categories: the U-Type, the J-type, and the “flat line” type. Also explored were long-term acquisition of explicit behaviors, implicit notions, adaptation to the socio-cultural environment, and success in education as difficult aspects of adaptation. After comparing these three processes, the research team developed a theory of migrant children urban adaptation. It hypothesizes that during the urban adaptation process, migrant children will encounter four stages of development: excitement and curiosity, shock and resistance, exploration and adaptation, and finally integration and assimilation.


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