Social Work and Counselling
Research Focus: Positive/ Wellbeing Education


Positive education is the application of positive psychology to different settings, including schools, social welfare agencies, and corporations. It aims to advance the science of wellbeing to empower individuals, groups, and communities to thrive and flourish. Positive education research adopts a strength-based, ecological perspective and multi-disciplinary approach for theory and practice advancement. Research area includes evidence-based studies to examine the effectiveness of different positive education interventions on different target groups in multiple settings, as well as quantitative and qualitative studies to examine the relationship and interactions among positive education and wellbeing- related variables. This research focus strives to create a platform aiming to:

  • Promote evidence-based research and intervention on positive and wellbeing education for different target groups in various settings
  • Advance knowledge and theories in the science of positive and wellbeing education
  • Encourage local and international exchange among academics, principals, teachers, students, policy makers, practitioners, service users, and funding bodies on the knowledge and implementation of positive and wellbeing education

Key Research Projects (in the recent 5 years)

Topic PI / Co-Investigator Funding Sources Award Period
Evaluating the effectiveness of an enhanced WELLFOCUS Positive Psychotherapy and a hybrid CBSST-SCIT intervention for the people with schizophrenia in half way houses PI General Research Fund 2022-2025
Caritas project on family solidarity and mental wellness CO-I Caritas Family Service 2022-2025
Whole school positive education project to nurture flourishing secondary schools PI Yan Tak Charity Fund Limited 2020-2023
Bright Future Engineering Talent Hub Project CO-I The Bright Future Charitable Foundation 2022-2024
Promoting practices for children and youth: A model of Canada-China collaboration CO-I Partnership Development Grant, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada 2020-2024
Integration of positive education and Chinese moral values for secondary schools PI Wofoo Charity Fund 2020-2022
Correlates of family strengths in Hong Kong – Implication for family wellbeing policy PI Public Policy Research Fund 2019-2021


Conferences (in the recent 5 years)

Title of the Conference


Kwok, Sylvia (2022). “JUMP- Enhancing university students’ well-being and positive learning experiences” in Cultivating well-being and whole person development in higher education FSTE Conference by the Federation for Self-financing Tertiary Education, Hong Kong. 17 June, 2022
Kwok, Sylvia (2021).  “Application of positive education to enhance wellbeing and positive learning experiences of university students” in 7th World Congress Positive Education Division President’s Symposium by International Positive Psychology Association. 15-17 July, 2021
Kwok, Sylvia (2021). “Learn globally, adapt and apply locally” in IPPA Evidence in Action Conference, by International Positive Psychology Association. 18-19 March, 2021
Kwok, Sylvia (2020). “Implementation of whole school wellbeing education in the Chinese population “ in Wellbeing in Education Virtual Conference, by International Positive Education Network. 27-29 Oct., 2020
Kwok, Sylvia (2019). “The application of whole school positive education in Hong Kong primary school.” in 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology, by International Positive Psychology Association. 18-21 July, 2019


Representative Publications (in the recent 5 years)


Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Gu Minmin, Kwok, Kim (2022). Childhood emotional abuse and adolescent flourishing: A moderated mediation model of self-compassion and curiosity. Child Abuse & Neglect, 129.

2. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Fang Siqi (2022). A longitudinal study of the impact of parental discipline on wellbeing among primary school students in China: The roles of school attachment and growth mindset. Child Abuse & Neglect, 124.
3. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Gu Minmin, Tam Nelson WY (2022). A multiple component positive psychology intervention to reduce anxiety and increase happiness in adolescents: The mediating roles of gratitude and emotional intelligence. Journal of Happiness Studies.
4. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Fang, Joy SQ (2021). A cross-lagged panel study examining the reciprocal relationships between positive emotions, meaning, strengths use and study engagement in primary school students, Journal of Happiness Studies, 22(3), 1033-1053.
5. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Gu, Minmin, Synchaisuksawat, Pasyn, Wong, Wikki W.K. (2020). The relationship between parent-child triangulation and early adolescent depression in Hong Kong: The mediating roles of self-acceptance, positive relations and personal growth. Children & Youth Services Review, 109.
6. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Gu, Minmin (2020). Parental suicidal ideation and child depressive symptoms: The roles of optimism and gratitude. Journal of Social Service Research, 46(4), 586-595.
7. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Gu, Minmin, Cheung, Andy (2019). A longitudinal study on the relationship among childhood emotional abuse, gratitude, and suicidal ideation of Chinese adolescents.  Child Abuse & Neglect, 94.
8. Kwok, Sylvia YCL, Gu, Minmin (2019). Childhood neglect and adolescent suicidal ideation: A moderated mediation model of hope and depression. Prevention Science, 20(5), 632-642.
9. Kwok, Sylvia YCL (2019). Integrating positive psychology and elements of music therapy to alleviate adolescent anxiety. Research on Social Work Practice, 29(6), 663-676.


Experts of the Focus