Shuhan Dong

Shuhan Dong


Research introduction

I am a PhD student who joined the University of Leeds in April 2019. I completed my MSc in Psychology in Education at the University of York in 2018. I also published two papers in Psychology Department at Henan Normal University while I was studying for my Bachelor’s degree.

I am currently a postgraduate researcher student supervised by Dr Siobhan Hugh-Jones and Dr Michael Jestico.

My research is about exploring the long-term effects of ‘left-behind children’ in rural China: a qualitative study. Left-behind children (LBC) refers to children and adolescents aged under 18 years old who have been left behind in their rural hometown by their migrated parents for at least six months.

The aim of my study was to expand knowledge about young Chinese adults who were LBC as children or adolescents, to capture and understand their experiences, and the ways in which their present and anticipations of the future may be shaped by being ‘left behind’.


  • Guest talker 2019/2020 –  Taught undergraduate students various modules, such as quantitative research methods and fundamental ideas of society sociology and mental health.
  • Teaching assistant 2022/2023 – Taught undergraduate students how to use SPSS and how to write a report.

Conference presentations 

Dong, SH, 2022, Oral Presenter,  'Exploring the long-term effects of left-behind children in rural China’, British Association for Chinese studies, August 2022 Oxford University. 

Dong, SH, 2022, Table-top presenter,  'Youth mental health in parent-child separation family in China’, The International Conference on Youth Mental Health 2022, September, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Dong SH, 2022, Oral Presenter, 'Young Chinese adults' mental health with early childhood adversity experience in China’.  British Postgraduate Network for Chinese Studies, 2022 July, Newcastle.



 Consular Assistant (Remote)   Xi Cheng Middle School           

▪ Assist psychologists by preparing and performing mental health assessments

▪ Assist in the formulation and delivery of care plans for students with psychological issues

▪ Delivering a lesson once a month to the middle school students who have been separated from their parents for years, introducing general psychology knowledge regarding youth mental health, also offering general mental health consultancy when needed.

Being interviewed by Beijing Youth Journalist discussing the current challenges faced by left-behind children in rural China in terms of their crime rates, family relationships, and psychological outcomes, here is the link:





Research interests

I am interested in understanding people’s lived experience, particularly those who had early childhood adversities. Adulthood is appeared to be a time of reflections to make sense of their past experiences.

There is still much to explore the way how young adults to capture and understand their experience, and the way in which their present and anticipations of the future maybe be shaped by their early childhood experience.  

I am also interested in adolescents’ mental health – working with Chinese adolescents in China in 2017 has motivated me to address adolescent mental health in different contexts, particularly in low-income family contexts.

Research interests

Migration (internal, international), Multi-location families

Early adversity childhood experience, trauma, ongoing impacts of ACEs in adulthood

Skipped family, extended family, community, 

Gender inequality, 

Splitting family, Broken household, family relationships,

Parenting in China, Practical care, 



  • MSc Psychology in Education
  • BSc (Hons) Basic Psychology