China has witnessed unprecedented rural-to-urban migration since the early 1980s. While trying to assimilate into the city, rural-to-urban migrants still maintain close ties with their home communities. This study examines how local ties and trans-local ties of rural-to-urban migrants affect their alcohol and tobacco use. Data were obtained from the 2016 and 2018 China Labor-force Dynamics Survey, a nationally representative sample of adults aged over 15 in 29 provinces in China. Participants included 1426 rural-to-urban migrant workers and 6438 urban residents in China. We found that compared to urban natives, rural-to-urban migrants had higher tobacco use prevalence (logit = 0.19, 95% CI = [0.03, 0.35]; p < 0.05) and more frequent alcohol use (logit = 0.27, 95% CI = [0.11, 0.42]; p < 0.001) after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. Migrants with more local social ties engaged in more frequent drinking (having >10 local friends vs. having 0 local friends: logit = 0.58, [0.10, 1.06], p < 0.05), whereas trans-local ties were not a significant correlate. In contrast, migrants who returned to their hometown more times (an indicator of trans-local ties) were more likely to be current tobacco users (logit = 0.01, 95% CI = [0.00, 0.02], p < 0.01) after adjusting for sociodemographic variables. These findings extended the research on social networks and health behaviors by identifying how local and trans-local ties differentially affected the vulnerabilities of tobacco and alcohol use among rural-to-urban migrants in China. The findings suggested that policies and interventions on reducing migrants’ health risk behaviors should focus on the role of different types of social ties.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The data analyzed in this study was collected by the research project “China Labor-force Dynamics Survey (CLDS)” carried out by the Center for Social Survey, Sun Yat-sen University. The authors appreciate the assistance of the institute when we applied for the use of the data.
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- alcohol use
- local ties
- rural-to-urban migrants
- tobacco use
- trans-local ties