Research Grants


General Research Fund 2021 - 2022

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. CHEN Hui Fang A New Class of Multiprocess Responses and Response Time Models In recent decades, item response theory (IRT) models have been extended to incorporate response time (RT) during educational testing, which has been found to improve validity and assessment accuracy. However, most existing approaches target achievement tests and cannot be directly adopted for survey questionnaires because they differ both in nature and by design. Most studies of achievement tests have assumed that accuracy is affected by response speed due to their limited administration time, and often a linear relationship between the intended-to-be-measured latent trait and RT entails a trade-off effect between accuracy and speed. However, this linear relationship may not be applicable to personality and attitudinal scales, as empirical studies have suggested an inverted-U relationship between the measured trait and RT. In addition, existing RT models often implicitly assume that all examinees use the same strategy to respond to items, thereby ignoring a wide variety of response behaviors when respondents answer survey questions (e.g., the tendency to choose or avoid extreme response categories or to use random responses). Moreover, there is no consensus on the relationship between the measured attitude/ability, response behaviors, and RTs, which requires further investigation of these issues. This project will aim to address the limitations of existing RT models using an IRT framework to develop a new branch of RT models for survey questionnaires. The proposed project will consist of three studies, formulating a new RT framework to accommodate various response behaviors in survey research, developing a non-dominance multiprocess IRT model, and integrating the non-dominance multiprocess IRT model with RT. We will adopt current multiprocess IRT models that simultaneously estimate the latent ability and the response preference of respondents to formulate a general form while considering the impact of item design (called the unfolding decision tree model, UDtree model). The proposed RT models will then be integrated with the UDtree model to depict the cognitive process entailed in choosing a specific response category on Likert scales and to examine the relationship between response preference, latent ability, and RTs. The proposed study will go beyond existing psychometric theories to model questionnaire design and respondent behaviors by incorporating RT into psychometric models. Upon successful completion, powerful alternative approaches will have been developed to investigate mental activities and response behaviors during attitude and personality assessments. In turn, this will advance our understanding of cognitive processes when answering survey questionnaires and may lead to further studies on decisionmaking. In addition, the new methodology will significantly contribute to item quality assurance. In practice, our proposed model will provide the speed traits of the respondents, which could be used as indicators to detect aberrant responses from unmotivated respondents who do not pay attention to test items and simply want to complete the questionnaire in a short time. This method will also provide item speed parameters that could be used for item selection when a shorter scale is preferred to reduce fatigue and inattentive responses during a long questionnaire or assessment. This will be particularly helpful in medicine, public policy, and marketing. For instance, clinical practitioners need a streamlined tool to quickly measure the mobility of acute stroke patients for immediate treatment. This new methodology will make it possible to select informative items providing similar information to other items but requiring shorter RTs.
Dr. KWOK LAI Sylvia Yuk Ching Evaluating the Effectiveness of an Enhanced WELLFOCUS Positive Psychotherapy and a Hybrid CBSST-SCIT Intervention for the People with Schizophrenia in Half Way Houses According to Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau, about 48,000 people were diagnosed with schizophrenia in Hong Kong during 2015-2016. Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that impacts individuals, families, and societies. In Hong Kong, positive psychology-oriented WELLFOCUS positive psychotherapy (PPT) and recovery-oriented Social Cognition Interaction Training (SCIT) have been piloted to the people with psychosis in hospitals. However, the samples used in those studies were small and the studies only involved quantitative analyses. Assessments were only conducted in pre-and post-intervention, while no maintenance effect was evaluated. No studies have been conducted for people with schizophrenia (PWS) in half way houses (HWHs). Hence, the objectives of our study are: (1) To develop and evaluate an enhanced WELLFOCUS PPT (adding elements of meaning centered therapy to WELLFOCUS) and a hybrid CBSST-SCIT intervention (integrating Cognitive Behavioural Social Skills Training and SCIT), (2) To examine the effectiveness of the modified intervention in improving primary outcomes and secondary outcomes, such as quality of life, wellbeing, recovery, (3) To examine the mechanisms involved in the change in outcomes in the two modified interventions for PWS in HWHs. A sequential exploratory mixed-method (QUAN-QUAL) design is employed. For the quantitative research, a randomised waitlist-control design is adopted. A total of 198 PWS will be recruited from 15 HWHs operated by 4 agencies. Five HWHs will be randomly assigned to the trial arm 1 taking the enhanced WELLFOCUS PPT, five HWHs to trial arm 2 receiving the hybrid CBSST-SCIT intervention, and the remaining five to the trial arm 3 (waitlist control group with treatment-as-usual). Two groups with 7 PWS in each group will be organized at each HWH. The two 18-session draft practice manuals of the two modified intervention will be presented to 5 experts for comments prior to implementation. The intervention will be piloted with two groups at one HWH. The actual implementation of each intervention will be held for approximately 5 months in different periods of the year. The participants will complete the same questionnaire before the intervention (T1), after the intervention (T2) and six months after the intervention (T3) to examine the maintenance effect. ANCOVA will be conducted to compare the immediate and maintenance effects. For the qualitative study, semi-structured interviews will be conducted to understand the participants’ feelings and thoughts during the intervention and identify the factors that are crucial for them to benefit from the intervention based on their first-person experiences. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis will be applied to guide the interviews and analysis. The study provides innovative approaches, integrating and broadening existing psychosocial intervention to enhance wellbeing and recovery of PWS. It is an evidence-based study that provides empirical evidence to support the enhanced intervention, which sheds light on the possible change mechanisms and contribute to mediation model building. There is knowledge transfer from the academics to the students, social workers, occupational therapists, and nurses to equip them with the knowledge and skills in helping PWS. The study also facilitates the transition from a problem-focused, medical orientation to a recovery, strength-based positive psychological orientation that emphasizes on the recovery and wellbeing of PWS. As PWS improve and recover, more places in hospitals and HWHs can be freed up for people on waiting lists, thus decreasing medical and welfare costs in the long run. The validated intervention can be incorporated as routine activities in HWHs to facilitate recovery of PWS. With evidence accumulated regarding the intervention effectiveness, we can urge the Government to promote recovery and positive psychology oriented interventions for PWS that supplement and enhance the medical approach. The intervention protocols will also be translated into English, uploaded to the websites for promotion locally and internationally to benefit PWS all over the world.
Dr. LAI Chuk Ling Julian Biomarking Psychological Resilience with Salivary Cortisol in Chinese Undergraduates using Piecewise Linear Growth Curve Models The challenges inherent in the higher education environment and emerging adulthood make undergraduates a suitable target population for the study of resilience factors and health outcomes. However, so far, only a limited number of studies have examined the relationship between psychological resilience and physical health outcomes in healthy populations such as undergraduates. Moreover, although substantial evidence has demonstrated an association between higher levels of resilience and better health, the mechanisms translating resilience into better health are still elusive. The PI and his associates addressed these issues in a recent study with Chinese undergraduates, using salivary cortisol as the health outcome measure (Lai, Leung, Lee, Lam & Berning, in press). Despite the limitation of a small sample size, the finding of an association between higher resilience and a greater increase in morning cortisol and a faster drop in cortisol over the course of the day is inspiring, as this diurnal cortisol rhythm has been observed in better-adjusted or healthier individuals in prior studies. This “dynamic” cortisol rhythm may explain the well-documented association between resilience and better health. These findings and their implications provide a sound justification for extending the findings reported by Lai et al. (in press) using a larger sample and more vigorous analytic strategies. The potential impact of studying resilience and cortisol in a Chinese context is more apparent in light of recent findings showing for the first time the moderating effect of ethnicity and culture on the relationship between diurnal cortisol rhythms and health outcomes. This calls into question the continuing use in Asia of norms of diurnal cortisol rhythms established in studies with Western samples. In response to the aforementioned issues, the proposed study will examine the relationship between resilience, diurnal cortisol rhythms, and health outcomes in Chinese undergraduates from Hong Kong and Taiwan using a more vigorous method to model the diurnal cortisol rhythm. We expect that the proposed study will have the following long-term impacts. 1. Stimulating research on resilience and cortisol by arriving at a more precise characterization of the diurnal cortisol rhythm in better-adjusted individuals. 2. Highlighting the mechanisms translating resilience into better health or reduced morbidity. 3. Providing a reliable biological criterion for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions designed to promote resilience or well-being in Chinese undergraduates. 4. Serving as the first step in establishing Chinese norms for diurnal cortisol rhythms in the long run using a standardized protocol.
Dr. YU Nancy Xiaonan Joint Forces to Combat HIV: A Randomized Controlled Trial to Improve the Health-related Quality of Life of HIV-positive Mothers and Children HIV-positive (HIV+) mothers and their children infected via mother-to-child transmission are at a high risk of impaired health-related quality of life (HRQoL). This risk particularly affects those living in areas with limited healthcare resources. Regrettably, this population has received insufficient attention in research and services. No intervention trial has considered the HIV+ mother–child dyad as a unit and incorporated both of them as partners in HIV management. We propose to develop brief, culturally relevant, theory-based interventions to improve the HRQoL of Chinese HIV+ mother–child dyads by addressing several key characteristics: (1) designing psychological and behavioral approaches as two active arms with potential impacts on HRQoL, (2) focusing on the mother–child dyad, (3) extending the impacts from individualistic outcomes to relationship- and family-related outcomes, (4) including cultural adaptation, and (5) encouraging sustainability. In the proposed randomized controlled trial, 198 HIV+ mother–child dyads will be assigned randomly to one of three arms: (1) resilience intervention, a psychological approach involving four sessions on stigma management, emotion management, positive coping, and social bonds; (2) adherence intervention, a behavioral approach involving four sessions on adherence information, personal motivation, social motivation, and behavioral skills based on the information–motivation–behavioral skills model; and (3) control, or treatment as usual. We will conduct a quantitative evaluation using structured measures before and after the intervention and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. Using a mixed-method evaluation design, we will conduct semi-structured interviews to elucidate issues of the process and implementation. To examine the intervention effects on individualistic outcomes when considering mothers and children separately, we will test whether the interventions improve the mediators associated with the intervention sessions, resilience factors, self-reported adherence, and HRQoL. To examine the intervention effects at the dyadic and family levels when focusing on the mother–child dyad, we will investigate whether the resilience intervention and adherence intervention (both using the combined modality incorporating mothers and children) lead to increased dyadic coping, mother– child closeness, and family harmony. To conduct mediation analyses for elucidating the intervention effects on individualistic outcomes, we will examine whether the mediators associated with intervention sessions transmit the intervention effects on the increases in resilience factors or adherence. This trial is guided by public health priorities and will contribute to further implementation research. The findings will be helpful to promote evidence-based practice in HIV healthcare of resource-limited areas and develop culturally sensitive intervention programs among marginalized populations.


General Research Fund 2020 - 2021

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. TSANG Yuk Ha Eileen A “Phoenix” Rising from the Ashes: China's Tongqi, Resistance, and New Life In the literature on sexuality, family, and marriage in China, it is difficult to ignore the phenomenon of Tongqi (同妻, literally translated as “homowives”), women who have unwittingly married gay men seeking to hide their sexual attraction to other men. Conventional wisdom suggests Tongqi are desperate, and commonly described as “damaged” or “spoiled” goods (possible HIV carriers) who do not deserve a second chance in love. The predicament of Tongqi reflects the gender inequality which persists in China. Heterosexuality and looking for family bloodline are deeply rooted in the culture, and the nuclear family remains the cornerstone of collectivist China. Even today, gay men rarely “come out” to their parents. Rather they engage in marriages of convenience with heterosexual women to fulfill their parents’ wishes for grandchildren. As such, Tongqi are in a sense defrauded in marriage because the relationship is merely entered into by the gay husband to deflect social and family obligation pressures. The wives taken into this “marriage fraud” are not aware of their husbands’ sexual orientation. In addition, China’s divorce law favors men, so even if the wife applies for divorce, the husband often wins custody of children. The tendency to blame the victim extends even to the woman’s own immediate families. Therefore, Tongqi are the victims of human rights violations involving their own marriage. A useful theoretical framework for this phenomenon is necropolitics. The literature on necropolitics in Western countries focuses on the politics of physical death but can be usefully extended to address social death. The social death perspective can include social aspects which recognize Tongqi are victims and include the possibility that they exhibit resistance and agency. This proposed research extends necropolitics to the social death situations of the middle-class and uneducated Tongqi, and how they resist and overcome their circumstances. To date, there are limited literature to study Tongqi. Tongqi and their closeted gay husbands are often omitted from sociological research, but there are serious public health implications. In extreme cases Tongqi have committed suicide after discovering they have contracted HIV from their gay husbands. It is both a social health risk as well as a public health threat that HIV can be transmitted to unwitting Tongqi. This proposed project argues that, despite the challenges of social stigma and HIV risk, Tongqi are often resolute in finding ways to resist, cope, survive, and eventually, overcome to achieve a new ‘normal’ life. The study will make a major contribution to the literature on the sociology of sexuality and the Tongqi. Tongqi are not passive victims of unfair social and cultural policies in China. Their efforts to escape the “slow violence” of queer necropolitics in China represent a brave reclamation of their identity. Why should Tongqi be deprived of basic human rights by entering marriages of convenience just to extend their gay husband’s bloodline? How do Tongqi exemplify what necropolitics refers to as “kept alive but in a state of injury” (Mbembe 2003: 21)? How does this “wounding” fit with the characterization of necropolitics in China, which is underdeveloped in East Asian studies of culture, sexuality, and migration? This research encompasses the spectrum of Tongqi, from rural and uneducated women to middle-class urban sophisticates. The study hypothesis is that middle-class Tongqi are more able to resist and survive than those lacking education or resources. The study seeks to make a major contribution to the literature on the sociology of sexuality and homosexuality in China, which has thus far largely ignored the Tongqi, the dynamics of resistance and agency to change. The proposed project will collect data in northeastern China based on the PI’s previous project on male sex workers (money boys). An initial sample of 60 Tongqi (educated and uneducated) will be contacted and interviewed via a multi-step process. First, through the PI’s contacts from previous research, “money boy” (MB) husbands will be contacted and requests extended to meet with their wives. Second, a sample of Tongqi will also be recruited via the directors of nongovernmental organizations. Third, a conventional ethnographic fieldwork approach will be adopted, supplemented by less conventional methods, such as “community talk,” QQ/WeChat interviews, participant observation, and non-participant observation. This project involves at least three levels of analysis. The first will focus on the perceptions, interpretations, and reactions of Tongqi as individuals. The second will examine how socio-cultural interactions have contributed to Tongqi’ predicament. The third will explore how current policies on divorce, custody, and rural-urban migration have impacted Tongqi efforts to terminate their marriages and start over. By including Tongqi as heterosexuals “queered” by necropolitics, this project will have significant contributions for NGOs, state actors, and other social service providers. The findings will provide specific strategies to support Tongqi and protect their mental health, reducing the need for taxpayer-funded resources to combat HIV transmission.
Dr. CHOW Oi Wah Esther Enhancing Quality of Life of Elders in Care and Attention Homes through a Luminous Facilities Management Model Increasing life expectancy and reduced mortality are leading to significant growth of the aging population in Hong Kong (HK). The proportion of elderly residents is projected to rise further from 17.7% in 2019 to 26.5% in 2031. To tackle this problem of rapid aging, the HK government re-confirm to enact the ‘aging in place’ policy in 2011 and ‘long-term care’ policy in 2012 (HK Housing Society 2019). Care and Attention (C&A) homes, therefore, accommodate the elderly in the same place even if their health deteriorates. However, most people have experienced change in their vision by the age of 50. 174,800 persons have difficulty seeing resulting from age-related impairment and eye diseases (Census & Statistics Dept 2015), which significantly affects their independence in daily life. Although the government provided additional subsidies to non-governmental organizations for the special needs of elderly, the funding was mainly used to improve manpower rather than the facilities in homes. Indeed, inappropriate luminous environment reduces elderly vision-relevant Quality of Life (vQoL), leading to health and safety problems. Physical living environment is a recognized dimension of vQoL (World Health Organization QoL Assessment [WHOQOL] Group 1998), and is likely to be particularly important for persons living in residential care. Due to visual impairment, many older people spend most of their time at home and rely on luminous facilities management (LFM) to compensate for their physiological health problems and also to maintain their psychological well-being. However, the latest official Code of Practice Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) in HK (2013) still only mentions ‘adequate’ artificial lighting required in homes without providing any specific lighting guideline. There is extensive literature on lighting, FM, caring environmental design, post-occupancy evaluation (POE), visual issues, and QoL for adults in general and elders in particular, but little research integrates all these aspects in C&A homes for the elderly. The purpose of this study is to enhance the vQoL of elders in C&A homes through LFM. Its objectives are: (1) to factorize LFM components in C&A homes and vQoL indicators for elders; (2) to establish LFM–vQoL relationships; (3) to develop an integrated LFM–vQoL model; (4) to verify the model using longitudinal data; and (5) to propose LFM guidelines for enhancing vQoL for elderly residents in C&A homes. The findings will promote the development of a proactive holistic assessment of LFM in C&A homes, and enhance the vQoL of elderly residents in C&A homes.
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Meaning-centered Approach in Relapse Prevention for Young Psychotropic Substance Abusers in Hong Kong: A Randomized Controlled Trial Despite a recent downward trend of reported drug abusers, psychotropic substance abuse among adolescents and young adults is still a grave concern in Hong Kong. The seemingly less apparent dependence symptoms and bodily signs have lowered their help seeking motivation until serious harms are observed to their health and everyday life. In 2017, nearly 80% of the abusers reported to take drugs at home or at a friend's home. Among young drug abusers aged under 21, cocaine and cannabis use are increasing. Therefore, the number of drug abusers in Hong Kong has not simply decreased but has in fact been distorted by more concealed patterns of abuse. Drug intervention and prevention is indeed a global concern more than a local issue. However, regardless of the services rendered and the treatment programmes employed, drug relapse and longer-term sustainable effect of the programmes are still a challenge all over the world. Against this situation, meaning-centered approach for drug relapse prevention is recently introduced as effective and integrative to work synergistically with other approaches to guide drug abusers in abstinence with clear meaning and purpose in life even living with sufferings and better coping with resilience from further relapse. Empirical studies on this approach are still evolving even in the West. It will be practically contributory if its efficacy and feasibility for drug relapse can be firstly examined in a Chinese context in Hong Kong. This proposed study adopts a randomized controlled trial with pre-test, post-test and 3rd month and 6th month follow-up evaluations. A total of 200 recovering participants aged between 14 and 35 will be recruited from 15 community-based anti-drug rehabilitation service centres and randomly assigned into four arms of the experimental and control conditions including meaning-centered approach (MCA), mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP), cognitive-behavioural approach (CBT), and treatment as usual (TAU). Eventually, 5 groups with 8 sessions in each programme will be run over a period of two and a half years. In comparison with other three programmes, the short and sustainable effects of the MCA programme in (1) enhancingparticipants' meaning in life and positive psychology in terms of optimism, hope and resilience, (2) reducing their severity of substance use and cravings for drugs, and (3) raising their supportive relationship and overall sense of self-efficacy in refusing drugs will be assessed quantitatively with a self-administrated questionnaire and qualitatively with indepth interviews. Its integrative and synergistic effect with mindfulness and cognitive-behavioural approaches will also be explored. It is envisaged that this MCA programme, if demonstrated to be effective, will not only be important in the knowledge and practice dimensions, but also likely be used for Chinese in the local and international levels.
Dr. FUNG Lai Chu Annis Reducing Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Children and Adolescents by Enhancing Parenting Efficacy and Parental Involvement: A Randomised, Blinded, Placebo-Controlled, and Repeated Measures Design Study In a recent worldwide survey of 540,000 schoolchildren (OECD, 2017), Hong Kong ranked first in terms of school bullying severity among 72 countries and regions. Specifically, 32.3% of Hong Kong students said that they had suffered from bullying in the previous month, which was three times higher than the rate in Taiwan (10.7%) and nearly double that in the United States (18.9%). The Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) recent findings showed that among 9,958 local schoolchildren, 11.2% were reactive aggressors, 2.6% were proactive aggressors, 5.9% were occurring reactive-proactive aggressors, and 22.3% were victims of school bullying (Fung, 2019). Notably, the critical social movement in Hong Kong since June 2019 has seriously affected bullying. The level of aggressiveness, measured by the number of incidents of street fighting, assault, attacks on property and arson, has escalated, and many young protestors have been arrested. In addition, parent-child conflicts intensified after the social movement started. Thus, parental distress and pressure have been increasing, and they showed helplessness in rebuilding the parent-child relationship. Yet, no prior study has investigated the promotion of parenting efficacy and parental involvement to reduce reactive and proactive aggression among children and adolescents. The PI found that authoritarian and permissive parenting styles are positively correlated with developing children with reactive aggression and proactive aggression, respectively, in Hong Kong (Fung, Gerstein, Chan, & Hurley, 2013). Childhood and youth aggression have a high positive correlation with criminal behaviours in adulthood, with the level of aggression at a young age serving as the best predictor of criminal activity over the next 22 years (Huesmann, Eron, & Dubow, 2002). Negative short-term and long-term impacts on schools, families, communities and society, including school bullying, peer victimisation, assaults, family violence, murder and homicide, will continue to increase if no intervention is taken for high-risk youth. The proposed study will fill this research gap and create impact by reducing the number of children and adolescents with reactive and proactive aggression by enhancing parenting efficacy and parental involvement through an innovative parent-child intervention. In past studies, the PI identified controversial results for whether mothers or fathers play a key role in reducing children’s aggression. In the proposed study, we will further explore whether the mother, the father or both parents play the most significant role in reducing reactive and proactive aggression among children and adolescents. The proposed study will be timely and address an important ongoing challenge in Hong Kong.
Dr. LU Shiyu Tracy The Effects of the TimeBank Program on Promoting Voluntary Participation among Older Adults Background: Hong Kong's aging population will continue to accelerate in the coming few years. Taking care of older adults is necessary but not enough for an ageing society. Promoting volunteering with rewards is important for older adults as well as the society. However, there are two competing theoretical perspectives arguing about decision of volunteer behaviors among this population: social exchange theory and socioemotionally selectivity theory. With these two contradictory perspectives, how the presence of rewards influences their volunteer behaviors among older population remains inconclusive. Furthermore, current research provided mixed evidence on the presence of rewards and volunteer behaviors and most exclusively focused on the presence of non-transferable individual rewards. However, the presence of transferable rewards which allow individuals to donate their rewards to other individuals or organizations is even more attractive to older people. No previous studies have attempted to investigate whether transferable rewards are more attractive and effective in promoting intention to continue volunteering among older people. Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the effect of a reward-based TimeBank program on promoting volunteering behaviors among older people. To be more specific, this study aimed to investigate: (1) whether the presence of rewards influences volunteering behaviors among older people, as predicted by the exchange theory; (2) Whether the effect of reward on volunteering behavior varies across ages among older people, as predicted by the socioemotional selectivity theory; (3) whether transferable rewards are more attractive and effective in promoting intention to continue volunteering among older people than non-transferable rewards; (4) how the perceived balance between benefits and efforts mediates the relationship between different types of rewards (none, non-transferable and transferable) and volunteer behaviors among older population. Methodology: This study proposed to use the multiple-pretests quasi-experimental design to test the effectiveness of time banking system on promoting volunteering. The quasi-experiment will last for 12 months (two phases and 6 months for each phase). Two districts will be selected as reward and non-reward districts. Participants in these two districts will be openly recruited to participate the a health ambassador volunteering project. Conclusion. This is the first study to test the relative contribution of social exchange theory, the socioemotionally slectivity theory on volutneering behavior of elderly and across age trajectory. This study will test the effectiveness of time banking system in the read-world and inform governments of intersectoral collaboration for scale-up implementation.
Dr. LI Kin Kit Ben Time-based Strategies to Enhance Physical Activity Participation among Older Adults Aging and physical inactivity are global concerns that contribute to heightened medical costs and welfare demands. Older adults can benefit much from physical activity (PA) participation, but unfortunately they are the least active population segment. More research on PA promotion among older adults is warranted. One major research gap is that, while distal health outcomes are usually the focus in promotion, older adults are characterized by their restricted future time perspective (FTP). Thus, older adults might not benefit from such future-based promotion. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of immediate rewards in the amount of effort spent in PA as well as past and future PA participation. This proposed project aims to examine whether and how older and younger adults benefit from immediate effects of PA and whether present-based strategies are more effective in promoting PA than future-based strategies and/or a control condition among older adults. Study 1 aims to examine 1) whether age moderates the effects of immediate benefits on future PA and 2) whether FTP and health consciousness mediate the proposed age moderation. Using a prospective survey study, 190 older and 190 younger adults will report the importance of immediate and delayed rewards of PA, PA intention, FTP, health consciousness, and demographic and health factors at baseline and their PA behavior after 2 weeks. Structural equation models will be used to test the moderating effect of age on the relationship between immediate rewards and subsequent PA. A mediated moderation analysis will be conducted to examine whether FTP and health consciousness can explain the age moderation. Study 2 aims to examine 1) whether present-based strategies are more effective than future-based strategies or a control condition in promoting PA among older adults, 2) whether treatment acceptability is higher for those using present-based strategies than those in the other conditions, 3) whether future-based strategies induce more psychological distress than present-based strategies, and 4) whether individuals’ FTP moderates the effects of time-based strategies on PA participation. Using a three-arm experimental design, 198 older adults will be randomly assigned to one of the three conditions including present-based strategies, future-based strategies, and a control condition. After the manipulation, the participants will wear an accelerometer for 2 weeks to objectively measure their PA levels. Differences in PA participation, treatment acceptability, and psychological distress among the experimental conditions will be tested in separate sets of ANCOVA/MANOVA. The moderating effects will be tested using multiple regression analyses.
Dr. YE Shengquan Sam Value Similarity and Romantic Relationships: The Differential Roles of Explicit and Implicit Personal Values Romantic relationships have significant implications on health and well-being at both individual and societal levels. Previous research has suggested that couple similarity in various aspects (e.g., ethnicity, religious belief, and personality) is positively related to the development of romantic relationships. Little is known, however, about the role of couple similarity in core beliefs such as personal values. Built upon dual-process theories, which differentiates between explicit processes (i.e., involves slow, deliberative, and controlled thinking and responses) and implicit processes (i.e., involves fast, intuitive, and automatic thinking and responses), the current project endeavors to disentangle the roles of explicit and implicit personal values during early stages of romantic relationships. Study I examines whether and how similarity in explicit and implicit values may affect initial romantic attraction to potential partners among single people. Participants will complete both explicit and implicit measures of personal values. Perceived attractiveness towards potential partners, which have been linked with different values in a training session, will be assessed by both explicit and implicit measures. The unique effects of explicit and implicit personal values on explicit and implicit attraction will be estimated by cross-lagged modeling and compared by equality constrains. Study II examines whether and how similarity in explicit and implicit values may affect relationship satisfaction among dating couples. Similar to Study I, both explicit and implicit measures will be employed to measure personal values and relationship satisfaction. The explicit and implicit values between the dating couples will be used to predict relationship satisfaction using response surface analysis (RSA), which is a versatile tool in examining similarity effects.Study III is a longitudinal study to examine how similarity in explicit and implicit values is related to the development of dating relationships over time. Findings from this study would substantiate the findings from the previous two studies in a real-life setting and, more importantly, further clarify the directionality of the effects. Latent change modeling will be used to analyze how the initial levels and subsequent changes in explicit and implicit value similarity and relationship satisfaction are related to each other and the effects will be compared by equality constrains. Upon successful completion, findings from the current project would contribute not only to research on personal values and dual-process theories, but to practices regarding the development and maintenance of romantic relationships.


General Research Fund 2019 - 2020

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. ZHONG Yueying Lena Miscarriages of Justice in Corruption Cases in China: An Achilles’ Heel in Anticorruption? The anticorruption campaign of “hunting the tigers and sweeping the flies” at the auspices of President Xi Jinping since his ascension to power in 2012 has garnered tremendous public support in China. Public opinion and academic research have so far largely centered on how to make anticorruption more effective and less selective so as to round up more “tigers and flies”. Little attention has been paid to the possibility of aiming at the wrong targets, i.e. wrongfully charging, prosecuting and convicting an innocent official in the pursuit of anticorruption. This gap is surprising, given the unique political and legal systems established under the CCP ruling since 1980 and the history of miscarriages of justice during successive political purges prior to 1980. This study aims to fill the gap by investigating miscarriages of justice in anticorruption in China since 1980. Based on a review of the institutional flaws contributing to corruption and ineffective anticorruption in the literature, this study draws on the institutional theory to identify institutional factors for wrongful corruption convictions: the possible abuse of party leadership in anticorruption, the prevailing culture of rule of man regardless of the political slogan of “ruling the country by law”, the long tradition of violation of human rights and presumption of guilty in the criminal justice system, and the overarching application of the performance evaluation system in the bureaucracy. It plans to achieve three objectives: a) to examine the characteristics of such cases, and identify the direct contributing factors and underlying political factors for the wrongful convictions, drawing on the literature on wrongful convictions of violent offenders; b) to analyze the channels for the exoneration of wronged officials; and c) to explore the mechanisms for the prevention of miscarriages of justice in anticorruption. It is based on a triangulation of research methods: an aggregated case study of 51 ascertained wrongful corruption cases and field research including observations of court hearings in four cities in China and in-depth interviews with legal professionals and victims of wrongful corruption convictions. The implications of the proposed study are two-fold: 1) it extends the literature on wrongful convictions to examine a different group of non-violent offenders and explores the extent to which findings from the two groups converge, and 2) it contributes to anticorruption in China by calling our attention to the possibility of miscarriages of justice and remedies for such grave errors of justice.
Dr. WONG Wing Kuen Phonological Encoding In Cantonese-English Bilingual Speech Production: An Event-Related Brain Potential Study When one speaks, one needs to retrieve the phonological content of the utterance prior to articulation and this process has been termed phonological encoding. There is sizable evidence showing that the primary (or first retrievable) planning unit for phonological encoding is different across languages. Dissimilar to many Indo-European languages such as Dutch and English where phonemes have been found to be the primary phonological encoding units, the primary planning units are syllables in Cantonese and Mandarin. This marked contrast between Indo-European and non-Indo-European languages has posed an interesting and important question regarding how bilinguals possessing these two types of language plan for their speech. Bilingual studies have repeatedly shown that one’s first language (L1) would affect one’s acquisition of a second language (L2) (i.e., forward transfer). Likewise, one’s L2 would in turn affect one’s L1 processing (i.e., backward transfer). However, very little is known about how language transfers are realized in the mechanism of phonological encoding. Specifically, when the two languages a bilingual possesses rely on different phonological planning units (e.g., phoneme vs. syllable), how the encoding system adapts to the different demands of L1 and L2 is an issue largely open. Therefore, two picture naming experiments using the form-preparation paradigm are proposed to investigate the role of phoneme and syllable in English (Experiment 1) and Cantonese (Experiment 2) speech production among Cantonese-English bilinguals with various L2 (English) background. Meanwhile, the participants’ event related brain potentials (ERPs) will be recorded during the production task. If forward transfer exists in bilingual phonological encoding, one would expect to see a robust effect of syllable in L2 (phoneme-based English) production at least among the bilinguals with a lesser degree of L2 exposure, a pattern similar to their L1 (syllable-based Cantonese) production. If not, a robust effect of phoneme in L2 production would be expected irrespective of the bilinguals’ L2 background. Experiment 2 investigates the possibility of backward transfer in bilingual phonological encoding. If backward transfer exists, one would expect to see a robust effect of phoneme even in L1 (syllable-based Cantonese) production at least among the bilinguals with a higher degree of L2 (phoneme-based English) exposure. Otherwise, one would expect to see a robust effect of syllable only in L1 production irrespective of the bilinguals’ L2 background. Furthermore, a number of factors regarding the bilinguals’ L2 background will be measured to investigate the possible causes for language transfer in speech production.
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Perceived Loneliness and Clandestine Up-Skirt Photography among Young Adults in Hong Kong: Implications for Early Education, Prevention, and Intervention Clandestine up-skirt photography usually refers to a behavior done by a person who uses covert camera to photograph/videotape a female directing up-skirt/down-blouse in a public or private place without their knowledge or consent. Although the psychiatric and criminal natures of this behavior are still under debate and pending for further definition, it is emerging both in the global and local contexts to the extent that it catches substantial attention in the legal and social contexts. Different from other intrusive sexual offences, such as rape, incest, or child molestation, it is less intrusive with no physical contact with the victims. This leads the perpetrators create a false hope of not being caught easily and disregard the possible harms created for the victims. Until this moment, except for few in the legal aspect, specific literature and empirical research on the behavior across the world is rare. Knowledge of the behavior is still little known. The previous studies usually related sexual offending to the role of childhood attachments, loneliness, social isolation, and lack of intimacy. When loneliness has become more prevalent in contemporary societies, it is crucially important to examine its relationships with sexual offending in general and clandestine up-skirt photography in specific before it becomes chronic and serious. Against this background, this study aims at examining the relationships of young male adults’ (who are between 18 and 34) everyday life routinization and sense of loneliness with their sexual offence of clandestine up-skirt photography, in comparison with other paraphilic sexual offences, non-sexual offences, and a community control group. The risk and protective factors which differentiate them onto the pathways of offending (sexual and non-sexual) and non-offending from onset, progression, maintenance, desistence, and rehabilitation will also be explored. This proposed study includes (1) a quantitative questionnaire survey to four groups of young male adults (a total sample of N=600) with a sexual offence of clandestine up-skirt photography (N=100), other paraphilic sexual offences (N=100), non-sexual offences (N=200), and a community group (N=200), and (2) a semi-structured qualitative individual indepth interviews (a total sample of N=80) with a sub-sample of N=20 from each of the 4 groups of target participants. This study fills a distinct knowledge and conceptual gap in the literature and it is a pioneering empirical study on the natures and pathways onto the sexual offence of clandestine up-skirt photography both in the global and Chinese context. The study will also provide important insights for helping professionals offering relevant education, correction, and rehabilitation services in an early identification, prevention, and intervention manner.
Prof. LO Tit Wing Ghost Marriage: Commodification of Chinese Folklore and Organised Crime In China, the study of organized crime has been underdeveloped. According to recent media reports, it seems that organised crime associated with posthumous marriage in China is on the rise. The custom of the posthumous marriage has been passed down from ancient times in China. This tradition of marriage for the deceased belongs to rural Chinese society. According to folklore, males or females who reached adult age and died before marriage could not be buried with their ancestors. Families did not want to leave bodies outside, as they believed that the spirits would become lonely. Instead, they wished to find husbands/wives for their dead relatives to continue the family tree. After marriage, the deceased could be buried with their ancestors instead of being buried in the woods and becoming wandering ghosts. After burial with their ancestors, the spirits could accept the offerings and worships of their offspring. This folkloric practice became deeply rooted in the consciousness of China’s indigenous rural people, and was not easily erased, even after China became a communist country. Posthumous marriage continues today in rural areas, but only corpses are used, with no living partners. The custom has spawned a large posthumous marriage market, resulting in the trading of corpses. This industry and its profits have driven criminals to murder, raid tombs and morgues and traffic and trade corpses. In China, the eighth and ninth articles of a regulation on the transportation and disposal of dead bodies state that the buying and selling of corpses are prohibited. Dead bodies can only be used for medical research, not for commercial activities. No units or individuals can receive donations for corpses. The prohibition on trading corpses is intended to prevent murder, the theft of corpses and other criminal activities. The changing economic environment and affluence in rural areas has reshaped criminal activities. However, no academic criminological research has been conducted on this specific topic. To fill this research gap, the proposed study will go beyond folklore to investigate the operation of organised crime linked with posthumous marriage. The study will test whether the ‘social network’ and ‘entrepreneurial’ perspectives can be integrated to obtain a more complete picture of organized crime in rural China. The findings will contribute to the literature and strengthen theoretical understanding of how organised crime has developed and continues to operate in the emerging rural market economy.
Dr. LAI Chuk Ling Julian Social Network Cultivation, Diurnal Cortisol, and Telomere Length: Testing the Rejuvenation Hypothesis The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis plays an important role in homeostatic and allostatic adjustments to environmental challenges. However, how stress and aging affect the level of cortisol, the end product of this neuroendocrine axis, is not completely understood (Chahal & Drake, 2007). In a pioneering study of the factors integral to the relationship between successful aging and cortisol, the PI and his associates (Lai et al., 2012; Lai, Evans, & Chong, 2017) found that Chinese elders who spent more time and effort cultivating their social relationships with family, relatives, friends, and neighbors exhibited lower levels of diurnal cortisol in the saliva and a steeper diurnal decline. This specific diurnal rhythm of cortisol, characterized by lower diurnal levels and more effective deactivation of the HPA axis, has also been observed in younger age groups in prior studies (e.g., Ice, 2005; Kumari et al., 2010) and a recent study by the PI and his associates (Lai, Leung, Lee, Lam & Berning., 2018). An earlier study of 2,120 Chinese elders in Hong Kong showed that the cultivation of social ties predicted successful aging (Chong et al., 2012). Thus, the findings reported by Lai et al. (2017) can be taken to imply that those who grow old more successfully may be biologically younger than their peers. This idea has been coined the “rejuvenation hypothesis” (Lai & Lee, in press). Despite the significance of these findings, the psychological mechanisms that translate positive social motivation into a younger diurnal cortisol profile have not been identified. Moreover, the potential effect of a younger cortisol profile on health has not been adequately addressed. The proposed study will aim to bridge these knowledge gaps by testing the rejuvenation hypothesis. We predict that a stronger motivation to cultivate social ties will serve to enhance social embeddedness. We expect that this in turn will rejuvenate the diurnal cortisol profiles of older individuals and increase their telomere length, an index of cellular aging (Tomiyama et al., 2012). As cortisol (Fried & Walston, 1999; Sapolsky, Krey, & McEwen, 1986; Spiegel & Sephton, 2001) and telomere length (e.g., Njajou et al., 2009) are crucial biomarkers of health and aging, the findings of the proposed study will inform the composition of effective intervention programs and social policies for promoting health and successful aging in the elderly.
Dr. HO Man Yee What It Takes to Forgive: When and Why Self-Regulation Facilitates Forgiveness in Close Relationships? Background. Close relationships are vital to our physical and mental well-being. The presence and quality of close relationships are among the most reliable and robust predictors of health and longevity (Holt-Lunstad, Robles, & Sbarra, 2017). Forgiveness and self-regulation play important roles in building and maintaining close relationships (Fincham & Beach, 2002; Baumeister, 2005). However, the investigation of the association between self-regulation and forgiveness in close relationships is scant. Forgiveness is crucial for interpersonal relationships, and possibly involves self-regulation processes (Burnette et al., 2014). For instance, forgiveness requires regulation of one’s emotions and motivations towards the transgressor (McCullough, Worthington, & Rachal, 1997). Nevertheless, the causal relationship between self-regulation and forgiveness in close relationships has not been thoroughly examined in previous literature. Purpose. To fill the gap in the literature, this research aims to understand the associations between self-regulation and forgiveness in close relationships. In particular, this research aims to examine the stability of the self-regulatory model of forgiveness among individuals who are involved in romantic relationships over time (Study 1), and the causal connection between self-regulation and forgiveness in experimental vignettes (Study 2). Methodology. Two studies will be conducted to test the link between self-regulation and forgiveness. Study 1 is a longitudinal design study where participants who are involved in romantic relationships will complete online survey concerns with regarding self-regulation, forgiveness and relationship outcomes at two-time points. Study 2 is an experimental design study, a priming procedure will be used to manipulate self-regulatory strength and assess participants’ levels of forgiveness in hypothetical transgression scenarios, and relationship outcomes. Contributions. Close relationships and of the continual social interactions involved ultimately influence a person’s health in a multitude of ways. The findings from this research program will shed light on the theoretical and practical implications of relationship flourishing. Particularly, this research provides a unique theoretical contribution to understanding the causal effect of self-regulation on forgiveness by proposing the self-regulatory model of forgiveness. On the practical side, this research might provide important implications to relationship building and maintenance through developing self-regulatory strength that facilitates forgiveness.
Dr. CHOW Wing Yin Anxiety in Learning English as a Foreign Language among Chinese Children: The Roles of Parental Literacy Beliefs and Practices As foreign language learners are acquiring a language that they rarely use in daily conversation, they often perform less competently in it than in their native language, which can cause foreign language anxiety (FLA). FLA hinders foreign language acquisition in adolescents and adults (e.g., Hewitt & Stephenson, 2012); however, to date, little is known about FLA in children. Also, while past research has shown how classroom and school factors affect FLA, they have not examined the potential influences of home literacy environment, especially parental literacy beliefs and practices. Without understanding how parental literacy beliefs/practices affect children’s FLA, it is extremely difficult to (a) identify beginning learners who are prone to FLA, (b) understand developmental trajectories of FLA, or (c) develop early interventions to reduce their FLA. Parents’ beliefs about English as a foreign language (EFL) learning (e.g., valuing English instruction) are expected to be more positive among those with higher education levels. These parents often create a more supportive English learning environment for their children by engaging them in literacy practices, such as reading English books with them, which in turn reduces their FLA in English directly, or indirectly through enhancing their English reading skills. We examine parents’ literacy beliefs/practices and children’s FLA with two mutually informative studies. First, we analyze 200 children’s and their parents’ surveys about parental literacy beliefs/practices, children’s FLA and their relations via a multilevel structural equation model with residual centering. Building on past studies (*Chow, Chui, Lai, & Kwok, 2017; Weigel, Martin, & Bennett, 2006), we develop and test a model positing the following: parental literacy beliefs are linked to parental literacy practices, which in turn are linked to FLA directly or indirectly via reading ability, accounting for parental factors (e.g., educational level and family income). Second, a controlled experiment tests whether (a) parent-child reading reduces children’s FLA, and (b) dialogic reading (an interactive reading method) reduces children’s FLA more than typical parent-child reading or a control group. These are the first research studies to investigate (a) parental literacy beliefs/practices and Chinese children’s FLA while learning EFL and (b) the effects of parent-child reading on children’s FLA, comparing dialogic reading and typical parent-child reading. Understanding these relationships is essential in helping to identify beginning learners who are prone to FLA, clarifying developmental trajectories of FLA, and informing early interventions to reduce FLA.


General Research Fund 2018 - 2019

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. ZHANG Zhuoni The 1959–1961 Chinese Famine and Emigration to Hong Kong: A Migrant–Stayer Analysis of Famine Impact on Health and Cognitive Performance The 1959–1961 Chinese Famine was one of the worst human catastrophes in history. The famine caused about 30 million deaths, led to a sharp increase in miscarriages and stillbirths during the famine years, and had long-term negative impacts on survivors’ various outcomes such as height, weight, hypertension, mental health, educational attainment, and labor supply. Although a myriad of studies have focused on the long-term consequences of the famine, those studies are subject to a common weakness: the absence of a genuine comparison group that was not exposed to the famine because the famine afflicted all of China and no regions within the then border of the People's Republic of China were completely shielded. This project will tackle the above problem by using a novel migrant–stayer comparison to identify the causal effect of the famine on adult health and cognitive performance. Specifically, this study will use cross-border emigrants who moved out of mainland China to Hong Kong before the famine started as a comparison group; and this study will compare these “unexposed” emigrants to their “exposed” counterparts who stayed in the mainland and experienced the famine using comparable data from the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD) and the China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). HKPSSD and CFPS are representative panel surveys with similar research designs. HKPSSD includes over 3,000 immigrants who came from mainland China. These immigrants will be used to match their origin counterparts in CFPS (Guangdong sample) for the migrant–stayer comparison. Both surveys include comparable data on height, weight, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. CFPS repeatedly collected data on various measures on cognitive performance. This project will propose that a special module be attached to the coming wave of HKPSSD to collect comparable cognition data. The empirical findings from this project will provide a solid basis for the accurate assessment of the long-term consequences of early-life exposure to malnutrition. The project will generate large volumes of data and produce a series of studies that adopt a migrant–stayer comparison to enrich the literature on famine impact.
Dr. WU Keung Fai Joseph Understanding Academic Dishonesty among Hong Kong University Students: Influences of Personal and Contextual Factors Academic dishonesty is a rising concern in higher education. Advances in technology and a diversification of assessment tasks (i.e. not relying solely on traditional paper-and pencil tests taken in regular classroom settings) make this problem seemingly more severe nowadays, than any time before. Previous studies generally focus on these issues: (1) a lack of a well-accepted definition of what constitutes “academic dishonesty”; (2) a lack of a theoretical model that can depict relationships of factors at personal and contextual levels, as well as interactions of factors between these levels; and (3) reliance on samples drawn from Western cultures. This proposal uses a mixed-method, two-phase study to address these issues by applying a systems approach as characterized in the ecological model of human development. In the first phase, an updated and comprehensive conceptualization and operationalization of academic dishonesty will be established through literature review and data collected from a focus group study of Hong Kong university students and individual interviews with university personnel (i.e. teachers, academic, and administrative staff handling cases related to academic dishonesty). Upon completion, a self-report instrument of frequency and attitudes toward various types of academic dishonesty will be developed. In addition, factors at personal and contextual levels that can influence students’ decisions to act unethically or not in academic tasks will be identified. In phase two, the academic dishonesty scale developed [in phase one] and other scales measuring risk and protective factors of academic dishonesty will be administered to a sample of N=600 Hong Kong university students. Prevalence of various types of academic dishonesty established in phase one will be examined with these data. In addition, conceptual models identifying influencing factors of academic dishonesty at both personal and contextual levels (as well as their interactions) will be analyzed. The validated model(s) will help policy-makers and educators to formulate effective strategies and tactics on how to control (or to intervene) the emerging problem of academic dishonesty in higher education of Hong Kong, thus to prevent further widespread of the problem
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Perceived Loneliness and Clandestine Up-Skirt Photography among Young Adults in Hong Kong: Implications for Early Education, Prevention, and Intervention Academic dishonesty is a rising concern in higher education. Advances in technology and a diversification of assessment tasks (i.e. not relying solely on traditional paper-and pencil tests taken in regular classroom settings) make this problem seemingly more severe nowadays, than any time before. Previous studies generally focus on these issues: (1) a lack of a well-accepted definition of what constitutes “academic dishonesty”; (2) a lack of a theoretical model that can depict relationships of factors at personal and contextual levels, as well as interactions of factors between these levels; and (3) reliance on samples drawn from Western cultures. This proposal uses a mixed-method, two-phase study to address these issues by applying a systems approach as characterized in the ecological model of human development. In the first phase, an updated and comprehensive conceptualization and operationalization of academic dishonesty will be established through literature review and data collected from a focus group study of Hong Kong university students and individual interviews with university personnel (i.e. teachers, academic, and administrative staff handling cases related to academic dishonesty). Upon completion, a self-report instrument of frequency and attitudes toward various types of academic dishonesty will be developed. In addition, factors at personal and contextual levels that can influence students’ decisions to act unethically or not in academic tasks will be identified. In phase two, the academic dishonesty scale developed [in phase one] and other scales measuring risk and protective factors of academic dishonesty will be administered to a sample of N=600 Hong Kong university students. Prevalence of various types of academic dishonesty established in phase one will be examined with these data. In addition, conceptual models identifying influencing factors of academic dishonesty at both personal and contextual levels (as well as their interactions) will be analyzed. The validated model(s) will help policy-makers and educators to formulate effective strategies and tactics on how to control (or to intervene) the emerging problem of academic dishonesty in higher education of Hong Kong, thus to prevent further widespread of the problem.
Prof. WONG Sing Wing Dennis Restorative Justice for Delinquents in Hong Kong: The Way Forward In recent decades, restorative justice (RJ) has provided an alternative means for dealing with criminal matters and has emerged as one of the mainstream sentencing options in criminological practice worldwide. Among scholars, lawyers, and government officials in Taiwan and mainland China, there is growing interest in RJ such as mediation, criminal reconciliation, alternative measures to prosecution, and community correction programmes. RJ is currently regarded as an important element in criminal justice (CJ) systems for handling crimes in both Taiwan and mainland China. In mainland China, amendments to the Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) that were enforced in 2012 appear to have consolidated existing RJ practices and facilitated the future development of RJ. In Taiwan, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has adopted RJ as its priority policy of criminal justice reform. In 2010, the Government launched a pioneering programme entitled the ‘Restorative Justice Initiative’ (RJI), which was conducted at the District Prosecutor’s Office. Unlike Taiwan and mainland China, no statutory restorative measures have yet been incorporated into the mainstream criminal justice system in Hong Kong. Some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) endeavour to develop innovative strategies to prevent misbehaving adolescents from delinquency. Despite these efforts, however, a statutory RJ option is not formally included in the CJ system in Hong Kong. As part of the 2015-17 General Research Fund (GRF) study on RJ in the Greater China Region, the PI investigated the laws, mechanisms and conditions that allow RJ to be used for treating delinquents in Taiwan and mainland China. Drawing upon existing research data from both jurisdictions, the present study will explore how RJ could be employed in Hong Kong. The study will be conducted in two phases. Phase one will focus on constructing a framework for implementing RJ in Hong Kong, built upon analysis of laws and policies currently adopted in Taiwan and mainland China. Phase two will include the collection of primary qualitative data through in-depth interviews, which will be used to develop effective service models of RJ in Hong Kong. The respondents will be drawn from five different groups of key informants including government officials and/or committee members involved in law reform, police, lawyers/prosecutors, judges, and social workers to examine their opinions concerning the future development of RJ. The research findings will make a significant contribution to the advancement of RJ theory and practices in Chinese communities. Furthermore, the publications will be a valuable addition to the growing RJ literature.
Dr. LEUNG Lai Ching Gender Mainstreaming the Active Ageing Policy in Hong Kong Gender mainstreaming is a policy making framework and global strategy that aims to achieve gender equality. The strategy has been endorsed and adopted by international organizations and governments that participated in the 4th Beijing Women’s Conference in 1995. The Hong Kong SAR government has a responsibility to make sure that the gender perspective is integrated at all levels of policy formation and implementation to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of governance. The concept of gender mainstreaming has been widely adopted in many countries, however, since the 1990s, translating this concept in different social and cultural contexts has become a policy priority for the international agenda. This study will explore how the international concept of gender mainstreaming has been translated into local policy formation and practice, and will take the “active ageing” policy in Hong Kong as a case study. “Active ageing” is a policy strategy that aims at facilitating the rights of older people, enabling them to remain healthy, stay in employment longer, and participate in community life. However, ageing is not a gender-neutral issue. As well as differences in life expectancy between males and females, women and men also have different ageing trajectories that affect them differently. Studies into “active ageing” are not new, however, the gender perspective is largely missing from both Western and local studies. A broad-brush approach to policy making, disregarding gender differences, could result in widening the gap between women and men. How far has the ageing policy in Hong Kong addressed the gendered nature of ageing and the diverse life course of the different sexes? Do the existing policy and measures reflect the special needs of women and men, allowing older people who have different experiences and resources in their life course to live well? These questions remain unanswered. The proposed study aims to undertake a gender audit of the existing active ageing policy in Hong Kong and to identify possibilities for gender mainstreaming the policy to address the special needs of older women and men in employment, family, and community. The proposed study will have a long-term impact on developing a proactive and gender-sensitive active ageing policy that addresses the diverse needs of older women and men in Hong Kong and on developing policy alternatives for the local context.
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong A Panel Study of Social and Political Engagement Among University Students in Hong Kong With the increasing number of student-led social movements around the world, it is becoming increasingly evident that there is a pressing need to better understand the social and political participation (collectively referred to as civic participation) of our younger generations. The call to action has possibly never held more weight than it does now, especially following the recent events of “Occupy Central” in Hong Kong, a large-scale demonstration movement which, if anything, seemed to convey the growing trend of youth involvement in civic life. However, most local studies on youth civic participation define participation narrowly, often either focusing on volunteering or political participation, rather than auditing both forms of participation. Moreover, most of these studies offer a ‘snapshot’ of youth participation in society, rather than a longitudinal outlook of the casual relationships that explain civic engagement, as well as conditions relating to the changes or stability of different forms of social and political engagement over time. Hence, the current study aims to examine the developmental patterns of civic engagement among university students in Hong Kong. More specifically, using Klandermans and Oegema’s Action mobilization process model (1987), the study investigates the dynamics of civic participation, as taken in their own rights and viewed as part of an empirically-analyzed profile, over a period of time in Hong Kong. A mixed-methods longitudinal research design will be adopted, with the primary methods of data collection being self-reported e-surveys and follow-up in-depth interviews. The quantitative and qualitative components of the panel study would be collected in two waves, whereby the aim of the in-depth interviews would be to elucidate key dimensions of the causal relationships found in the results from the e-surveys. The study will use multi-stage probabilistic sampling approaches to recruit university students from all eight UGC-funded universities to join this panel study. The expected sample is 800 students, with 60-80 of them involved as a subsample in the in-depth interviews. Analyzing the quantitative data through clustering techniques and panel regression analyses, and qualitative data through thematic analysis of interviewee’s experiences and subjectivities, it is hoped that we can empirically test the process model for its validity in explaining the various patterns of civic engagement in the Hong Kong context. It is hoped that advancing this line of inquiry would enable us to achieve a deeper understanding of the changing landscapes and heterogeneous nature of civic engagement among our youth.


General Research Fund 2017 - 2018

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. YU Xiaonan Nancy Dyadic Effects of Stigma and Discrimination on Distress in Patient–spouse Dyads Affected by HIV Using the Actor–partner Interdependence Model HIV, which is highly stigmatized worldwide, is a “we” disease: not only are the patients with HIV (PHIV) affected by the HIV-related health care burden and stigma, but their spouses are also affected. Although the effects of stigma and discrimination on PHIV and their spouses have separately been reported, little is known about the extent to which stigma and discrimination can cross over from PHIV to affect their spouses’ distress or about how stigma and discrimination that the spouses experience can affect PHIV’s distress. Such knowledge will contribute to our understanding of the dyadic relations of couples in which one partner has HIV. Moreover, it is important to delineate both potential moderators that exacerbate or weaken dyadic relations and mediators that account for dyadic relations within couples. Our ongoing projects, including an ECS study on couples affected by HIV, provide promising dyadic data to inform the present study. Based on our publication of pilot results among 119 HIV discordant couples (Yu, Chan, & Zhang, 2016), the present study will investigate dyadic relations within couples affected by HIV by examining: (a) the extent to which stigma and discrimination in either partner predicts PHIV’s dignity-related distress and spouses’ caregiver distress, (b) meaning reconstruction regarding the PHIV’s infection and death as moderators of these dyadic relations, and (c) PHIV’s selfcompassion and spouses’ forgiveness as mediators of these dyadic relations. The systemictransactional model guides the study’s theoretical rationale and hypotheses. The study participants will be 233 HIV discordant couples (i.e., exactly one partner in the couple will be HIV seropositive), who will complete a two-wave longitudinal survey. PHIV and their spouses will complete assessments on stigma and discrimination and on meaning reconstruction regarding the PHIV’s infection and death. PHIV will also complete measures on dignity-related distress and self-compassion. Spouses will also rate their caregiver distress and forgiveness. The actor–partner interdependence model (APIM) will be used to analyze the dyadic data; the halflongitudinal mediation model will be used to test mediation in the two-wave study design. The proposed study employs an innovative perspective by considering couples affected by HIV as a unit, and by examining how this highly stigmatized disease affects Chinese couples. The research findings will help scholars and practitioners who target Chinese PHIV to better understand dyadic relations occurring in couples affected by HIV. Ultimately, the research findings will inform the development of culturally sensitive and dyad-based intervention programs for these couples.
Dr. YE Shengquan The Role of Value Similarity in the Development of Romantic Relationships: The Processes of Selection and Convergence Consistent with the old saying “birds of a feather flock together”, research has found that romantic couples tend to have similar socio-economic status, personality traits, religious beliefs, political orientations, etc. While evidence has shown that couple similarity can result from the process of selection (i.e., people select partners similar to themselves), less is known about the process of convergence (i.e., couples become more similar over time). In particular, couple similarity in values has received little attention. As recent literature has indicated that values are predictive of behaviors and changeable over time, it is of both theoretical and practical importance to examine whether and how couple similarity in values may result from the processes of selection and convergence and, in turn, contribute to the development of romantic relationships. In a laboratory setting (Study I), experiments will be conducted to examine whether and how the degree of similarity in human values may affect perceived attractiveness between people. We will manipulate the similarity of human values (openness to change, conservation, self-enhancement, and self-transcendence) of bogus persons, according to two conditions (i.e., similar vs. dissimilar to the experimental subject) and test whether higher similarity in human values is associated with greater attraction. In a natural life setting (Study II), a longitudinal study will be carried out to examine how similarity in human values and relationship quality change over time and affect each other among early dating couples. Latent change modeling will be used to: a) test the growth trajectories of value similarity and relationship quality and, more importantly, b) disentangle the causal direction of the association between them (i.e., whether value similarity predicts later relationship quality or the reverse). Together, the two studies will enable greater theoretical understanding about the role of values in contributing to romantic relationships, both to the onset of the relationships and to their maintenance, as well as contributing to applications regarding romantic relationships.
Dr. FUNG Lai Chu Annis Group Storytelling Intervention Based on Social Information Processing (SIP) Model to Reduce Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Young Schoolchildren The proposed study will be a pioneering effort to reduce reactive and proactive aggression in young children through a storytelling programme based on the Social Information Processing (SIP) model. Two subtypes of aggressive behaviour are found to be developed at a very early stage. Reactive aggression and proactive aggression have been observed in children as young as 4.4 and 6.8, respectively (Dodge, Lochman, Harnish, Bates, & Pettit, 1997), yet these young children have never previously been targeted in studies with a treatment or intervention design. If young aggressors miss the opportunity to receive treatment at an early developmental stage, their reactive and/or proactive aggression may escalate into severe, persistent and violent antisocial behaviour later in life (Dodge et al., 1997). Unlike PI’s previous projects (e.g. Fung 2012a; Fung, Gerstein, Chan & Hutchison, 2013), which have been conducted with elder schoolchildren (Primary (P.) 4 to Form 3), the proposed research will target children in lower forms at primary school (P. 1 to P. 4). It will document and investigate an early intervention designed to combat bullying and delinquency at school and ultimately to reduce violence and crime in society. According to the SIP model, the encoding and interpretation of social cues (steps 1 and 2 of social information processing) are distorted in reactive aggressors, whereas proactive aggressors experience difficulties in identifying and evaluating responses to social information (steps 3 and 4) (Dodge & Crick, 1990). Reactive aggressors tend to exhibit a hostile attributional bias, anxiety, attention problems, impulsivity, rapid anger arousal and social-skill deficits (Dodge & Coie, 1987; Vitaro, Brendgen, & Tremblay, 2002). Proactive aggressors are characterised by a goal orientation, callous-unemotional traits, narcissism, delinquency, conduct disorder and anti-social personality traits (Dodge & Coie, 1987; Vitaro et al., 2002). By centring on corresponding steps in SIP model, programme sessions are expected to promote behavioural changes when cognitive distortions are corrected. Stories being used will mainly cover (1) understanding the relationship between context, facial expression and feelings; (2) the impact of hostile attributional bias; (3) emotional regulation and anger management; (4) aggressing for social dominance; (5) negative consequences brought to self and others by aggression; (6) acceptance, empathic capability and forgiveness; and (7) proper social skills. Follow-up activities involving role playing and behavioural assignment will be delivered to integrate take-home message with the participants’ daily practice. Detailed session plans will be written to enhance the standardization of programme. Storytelling readily engages young children. It helps children to expand their vocabulary for and understanding of their own and others’ feelings and thoughts. Children are encouraged to identify with and imitate the prosocial behaviour displayed by the main characters in stories (Cook, Taylor, & Silverman, 2004; Symons, Peterson, Slaughter, Roche, & Doyle, 2005). Through storytelling and follow-up activities such as role playing, the proposed programme is expected to enhance the responsiveness to cues, empathy, competence and prosocial skills of children exhibiting reactive and proactive aggression. The specific aims are as follows: 1. To access the proposed programme’s effectiveness in reducing reactive and proactive aggression. 2. To access the proposed programme’s effectiveness in enhancing empathy and social competence and reducing impulsivity. Hypotheses will be tested in a placebo-controlled, single-blind randomized trial involving 6 to 10 year-old children in Hong Kong. 300 schoolchildren will be randomly assigned into (1) storytelling group, (2) placebo group, (3) no-contact controls. Behavioral and psychosocial measures will be assessed at baseline, end of intervention, and 6 months post-treatment.


General Research Fund 2016 - 2017

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. ZHANG Zhuoni "Ethnic" Enclaves, Migrant Settlement, and Socio-spatial Differentiation in Metropolitan Shenzhen, 2000-2010 Internal migration in China has reached an unprecedented scale since the late 1990s. The migrants are increasingly heading for a few metropolitan regions in the east, and more of them bringing their families with a plan of long-term stay, and contributing to a significant portion of China’s rapidly growing urban population. While numerous studies have documented the socioeconomic disadvantages of migrants, often attributable to their lack of local hukou, few have paid attention to how the concentrations of migrants in certain residential areas and industries/occupations sectors could provide a mechanism to mitigate migrants’ socioeconomic disadvantages in cities. Moreover, while migrants are typically treated as a single group to compare with local residents, they are indeed heterogeneous, often forming their social networks and communities to facilitate their adaption to the new urban life. This project aims to investigate social-spatial differentiations of migrants in a Chinese metropolis, Shenzhen. Drawing from the western urban sociological literature on ethnicity and immigration, the PI proposes to distinguish among migrants by their place of origin (often associated with distinctive culture and dialects) and to perceive them as different “ethnic” groups. Based on the micro-data from the population and economic censuses, the PI plans: 1) to identify certain native-place “ethnic” enclaves in Shenzhen and the temporal changes from 2000 to 2010; 2) to analyze the formation of these native-place enclaves in association with spatial locations of certain industries and community characteristics; and finally, 3) to examine the role of the native-place enclaves in affecting migrants’ socioeconomic attainment and returns to human capital in the metropolitan labor markets of Shenzhen. Findings from the project will not only provide new evidence on how migrants are socially organized and shape China’s urban structure in their destinations, but also shed new light on how migrants’ disadvantages are created but also mitigated by their spatial and social concentrations. Such a comprehensive understanding of internal migrants’ adaptation and socioeconomic attainment in metropolitan settings under different institutional arrangement will contribute to the further theorization in urban sociology and offer a solid basis for policy research to address urban issues related to migration and community.
Dr. ZHANG Zhuoni Mode and Timing of Immigration from Mainland China to Hong Kong: An Origin-Destination Comparison Cross-border migrants from mainland China to Hong Kong accounted for more than one-third of the city's total population in the past 50 years. While the majority was authorized mainlanders via the one-way quota system for family reunion, unauthorized immigrants escaping from wars, famine, and social turmoil formed a significant portion of the immigration population before the 1980s. Although there is a large body of literature focusing on Chinese immigrants’ adaptation in Hong Kong, few researchers have paid attention to the well-being of unauthorized migrants, most of whom are well into old age now, and even fewer to a comparison between unauthorized and authorized migrants. A comparison between the two subgroups will address the issue of migration selectivity, as the unauthorized migrants were assumed to be positively selected with the ability to successfully move across the border while the authorized migrants were assumed to be negatively selected with most being Hong Kong residents’ spouses and qualified children under age 14. The influx of migrant children, especially via the one-way quota system, caused public concerns about over-occupancy of educational resources and burdens to government welfare expenditure. Little research, however, has been done with population-based survey data to examine the impact of age at arrival for Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong, although the importance of age at arrival is widely acknowledged in migration literature. This project aims to fill in the gaps by examining the well-being (i.e., employment, occupation, earnings, health, and subjective well-being) of cross-border immigrants in Hong Kong, focusing on the impacts of mode and timing of immigration (i.e.,unauthorized/authorized, and arriving at 14-/15+). While previous researchers mainly examine post-immigration adaptation by comparing migrants with their counterparts in the destination country, the distinct feature of this project is its origin-destination approach to compare Chinese immigrants to both native Hong Kong residents and stayers in the mainland, using comparable data from the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD) and the China Family Panel Study (CFPS). HKPSSD include 4,109 Hong Kong natives and 2,843 immigrants from mainland. Among the immigrants 550 were unauthorized smugglers and 727 arrived at age under 14. Information on immigrants’ origin place in HKPSSD will be used to match their origin counterparts in CFPS (Guangdong sample) for origin-destination comparison. Both data sets include comparable measures on well-being. The study will also investigate the short-term and long-term effects of cross-border migration using Hong Kong censuses and China censuses data since 1990.
Dr. YU Xiaonan Nancy Resilience Congruence in Immigrant Mother-Child Dyads: Examining Intergenerational Dynamics Using the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model Resilience is defined as an individual’s ability to adapt successfully to adversity. The ecological resilience-risk model has highlighted the roles of risk and protective factors from the individual, family, and societal levels. The extent to which these factors contribute to resilience in Chinese immigrants is unclear. Moreover, the social contagion theory addressing the “spread” of psychological characteristics across network ties provides a framework to examine the intergenerational transmission of resilience in mother–child dyads. The family systems theory also posits that major stressors affect the whole family, and interdependence builds within family members. The transmission of resilience from mothers to their children might be a possible mechanism by which resilience is promoted among children. At the same time, resilience in children may cultivate resilience in mothers to adapt well to challenges. In addition to investigating risk and protective factors for resilience in the immigration context, the present study will focus on the dyadic interdependence of resilience in the mother–child dyad by examining (a) to what extent resilience is transmitted in the dyad and (b) the extent to which depressive symptoms and other potential moderators alter resilience congruence between mothers and children. The proposed study will recruit an immigrant sample of 300 mother–child dyads (children aged 11–15 years) who migrated from Mainland China to Hong Kong and use a two-wave longitudinal design. The information gained from completing these research aims will contribute to the international literature by 1) shifting from the traditional deficit model in previous immigration studies focusing on immigrants’ maladaptation and psychological disorders to the strength-based model focusing on effective functioning and positive outcomes in the face of challenges; 2) providing information regarding the dynamic processes that contribute to longitudinal change in resilience (i.e., enhanced versus decreased resilience in response to a stressful life transition); 3) noting the limitations of previous, individual-based models focusing on children’s own qualities and acculturation factors, highlighting the role of mothers in the intergenerational transmission of resilience to children, and using the bidirectional approach to examine children’s role in promoting mothers’ resilience; and 4) further examining potential moderators to understand the mechanisms that moderate resilience transmission in the mother–child dyad. By using the actor–partner interdependence model in the immigrant mother–child dyad, the proposed study presents a novel perspective to examine resilience in a family-oriented culture. Ultimately, the findings will pave the way for developing culturally sensitive, resilience-enhancing intervention programs tailored for immigrant families.
Dr. YEUNG Dannii Intergenerational Conflict at Work: The Role of Visual Attention in Affective and Behavioral Reactions to Conflict Situations As the baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are being joined by growing numbers of workers from Generation Me cohort (born between 1982 and 1999), today’s employees are increasingly likely to work and interact with coworkers from other age groups. However, because younger and older workers tend to have different work values and attitudes (Twegen et al., 2010), intergenerational conflicts are becoming more common in the workplace. Research also suggests that reactions to workplace conflict can vary according to the age of the employee and the age group of the opposing party (Birditt et al., 2005; Fingerman et al., 2008; Yeung et al., under review). In this project, we will extend our previous research by investigating the underlying mechanism of age-related differences in emotional and behavioral reactions to intergenerational conflict in the workplace. A large body of research on lifespan development suggests that older adults show a greater looking preference toward positive information and away from negative information than their younger counterparts (Isaacowitz, 2012). Drawing on the modal model of emotion (Gross, 2007), which posits that an individual’s attention precedes his/her appraisal of an event, we speculate that differences in older and younger workers’ visual attention affects their emotional and behavioral reactions to intergenerational conflict. In this project, we propose to conduct two eye-tracking experiments to objectively assess the looking patterns of younger and older workers when experiencing hypothetical workplace conflict. Study 1 will record the natural looking patterns of younger and older workers in response to video vignettes of hypothetical intergenerational and non-intergenerational workplace conflicts. This study aims to demonstrate whether there are any age differences in visual attention when experiencing conflicts with coworkers from different age groups. It will also examine the relationships among looking patterns, emotional and behavioural reactions, and work-related outcomes. Study 2 will make use of experimental manipulation to shape the looking patterns of younger and older workers when encountering workplace conflicts. The aim will be to test whether looking patterns account for the age-related differences in the emotional and behavioural reactions to intergenerational conflict. The findings of the proposed project will have both theoretical and practical implications. Specifically, it will advance the literature by unveiling the attentional underpinning of conflict management. It will also provide insights to human resources personnel for designing an age-sensitive training and development programs to meet the needs and preferences of older and younger workers when handling workplace relations.
Dr. WONG Wing Kuen Processing Segmental and Tonal Information in the Production of Cantonese Speech: An Event-Related Brain Potential Study This proposed project focuses on how phonological information is retrieved and processed during the production of Cantonese speech. Cantonese is the major dialect used by people in Southern China including those residing in Hong Kong. Three experiments are proposed to investigate how segmental (onset, rhyme, and segmental syllable) and supra-segmental (lexical tone) features are processed in Cantonese spoken word production using the picture-word interference paradigm, which is a widely adopted paradigm in the language production literature. In this task, participants are asked to name aloud in Cantonese individually presented picture of concrete object and to ignore an accompanying written word distractor. The picture and the distractor will be presented simultaneously. The phonological similarity between the picture name and the distractor will be manipulated across conditions, and the effect of this variable has been shown to be associated with phonological planning prior to articulation. More importantly, event-related brain potential (ERP) signals from the scalp surface of the participants will be recorded along with their overt picture naming responses. The results from this project will have both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, they can inform us the universality of the existing theories of language production, which have been developed primarily for stress languages such as Dutch and English. In addition, with its exceptional time resolution, the ERP data can provide a detailed temporal account of how lexical tone is processed in conjunction with segmental features during Cantonese spoken word production, and hence illustrates how language-specific properties (e.g., lexical tone) can be explained under the current theoretical context. Practically, the findings offer valuable insights for designing effective pedagogy for tonal language education regarding the effective phonological units in Cantonese speech. Furthermore, findings of the electrophysiological correlates of segmental and tonal processing in Cantonese speech production can be useful for clinicians to better understand the neural basis underlying tonal language production.
Dr. HO Wing Chung Unravelling Ambivalent Mobilities: The Social Memory, Bicultural Identity and Livelihood Strategies of Young Dam Migrants in Guangdong The Three Gorges Dam (TGD) project (1994-2009) in Chongqing is well known for both its scale and the controversy surrounding its implementation. The TGD is the world’s tallest gravity dam, with the greatest hydropower production. However, its construction inundated 25,900 hectares of cultivated land, destroying historical relics and displacing 1,500 enterprises and 1.3 million people. As the region adjacent to the reservoir was barely able to sustain its existing population, let alone accept incomers, 125,000 of the migrants were relocated to other provinces/cities. The proposed study will investigate the migration experiences of a sample drawn from approximately 10,000 migrants from poor villages in inland Chongqing who resettled in coastal Guangdong between 2000 and 2004. Although many previous researchers have examined the difficulties faced by the ‘dam migrants’ in coping with their new environments, little specific attention has been paid to young-adult migrants who were displaced from the TGD region as infants/children/adolescents and grew up and obtained education in their respective (‘local’) receiving areas. The aim of the proposed study is to fill this gap in the context of Guangdong. In the interdisciplinary field of migration/refugee studies, young-adult migrants are rarely treated as a distinct category. They are either assumed to face challenges similar to those of their parents or relegated to the margins of scholarship, viewed as young newcomers who ultimately form part of society’s ‘melting pot’ through acculturation. However, the results of my preliminary study of 18-29 year old dam migrants in Guangdong suggest that neither approach is adequate to characterise the displacement experiences of young-adult migrants. In the proposed study, therefore, the migration trajectories (and in some cases the return journeys) and post-migration lives of young-adult migrants will be framed in terms of ‘ambivalent mobilities’. As infants, children or adolescents at the time of their displacement, they usually feel neither “forced” nor “motivated” when making sense of their relocation in the present. In addition, as the victims of intense discrimination in local schools, young-adult migrants rarely identify themselves as either ‘locals’ or ‘outsiders’ during the complex process of acculturation. Besides, they usually cultivate some degree of ongoing if unsettling connection with their friends/relatives in the areas of displacement due to improvements in national transport and social network technologies. These ‘homeland’ connections often lead to ambivalence as to whether to remain in the receiving area or to return to one’s birthplace in the future. The term ‘mobilities’ here denotes not only the physical journeys taken by the actors, but also their perceived returnability, as well as other movement imaginaries to leave Guangdong which – as I have observed – they seldom regard as ‘home.’ Empirically, the ambivalent mobilities of young-adult migrants will be unravelled through analysis of narratives solicited from approximately 50 young-adult migrants in Guangdong and 15 returnees to Chongqing. The main areas of focus will be the respondents’ memories of their pre-/postmigration lives, their experiences of bicultural identity and their perceived predicaments/opportunities in pursuing livelihood. A conventional ethnographic-fieldwork approach will be adopted, supplemented by less conventional methods such as ‘reunion activities,’ QQ/wechat interviews, and photo-elicitation. In addition, interviews will be held with small samples of young-adult migrants (N~=15) in Shanghai and Sichuan (or Hubei), respectively. This serves to highlight the commonalities and differences in the displacement experiences of young-adult migrants in Guangdong with those in a developed coastal province/city similar to Guangdong (Shanghai), and those in a province/city (Sichuan or Hubei) that geographically and culturally resembles the sending area, Chongqing.
Dr. CHOW Wing Yin Reading Comprehension Difficulties in Hong Kong Chinese Children: Linguistic and Cognitive Underpinnings Children with poor reading comprehension skills often encounter great challenges in learning. Although there is a sizeable literature on the nature of poor reading comprehension in English (e.g., *Nation, 2005; Cain & Oakhill, 2008), little is known about Chinese poor comprehenders. The present study aims to fill in three important research gaps which are fundamental to understanding reading comprehension difficulties in Hong Kong Chinese children. Firstly, there is no research on specific comprehension difficulties in Chinese children. Specific comprehension difficulties refer to adequate word reading ability but unexpected difficulties in understanding the meaning of texts (around 7-10% of English children are identified; Clarke, Snowling, Truelove & Hulme, 2010). Whether specific poor comprehenders exist amongst Chinese children is not known. Secondly, few studies have investigated poor comprehension in Cantonese-speaking children. Spoken Cantonese has great linguistic discrepancy with written Chinese (which is close to Mandarin). Thus, reading comprehension can be particularly difficult for Cantonese-speaking children. Thirdly, past studies did not focus on how different text genres (e.g., narrative vs. expository texts), and how higher-order cognitive skills (such as world knowledge, inferencing and working memory) together with linguistic skills influence reading comprehension in Chinese poor comprehenders. As such, the present study aims to investigate the cognitive and linguistic underpinnings of reading comprehension in 300 Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong Chinese fourth graders. In study 1, we will examine what cognitive and linguistic skills predict individual differences in reading comprehension. The effect of text genre (narrative vs. expository texts) will also be compared. In study 2, we will investigate the linguistic and cognitive predictors of Chinese poor comprehenders. Motivated by the Simple View of Reading, we will investigate if specific poor comprehenders exist amongst Chinese children. The cognitive and linguistic markers of Chinese poor reading comprehension will be derived from assessing seven core theoretically-motivated sets of cognitive and linguistic skills. Findings of this study are essential to understanding the nature of children’s reading comprehension difficulties in Chinese. This study will identify the underlying cognitive and linguistic mechanisms underpinning reading comprehension impairment, and in doing so, will also reveal how to identify poor comprehenders in the classroom, thus facilitating the development of comprehensive assessments and interventions for children with reading comprehension difficulties. Our findings will enhance our understanding of universal and language-specific factors related to reading comprehension difficulties. Importantly, we will extend current knowledge beyond English and other alphabetic languages to Chinese and children learning to read in Hong Kong.


General Research Fund 2015 - 2016

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. TSANG Yuk Ha Eileen Un-demonizing the Dirty Girl : Sex Work and Intimate Relationships in Urban China Conventional wisdom has it that relationships between sex workers and their clients are based entirely on direct exchanges of sexual favours and money. The proposed study will consider whether sex workers and their clients can generate intimate relationships that go beyond pecuniary transactions. It will examine emotional labour of sex workers, their quest for cultural capital and technologies of embodiment, and the connection between money and intimacy. Emotional labour is the commodification of private emotions, intended to be sold for a profit in a capitalist economy. Technologies of embodiment refer to the processes by which women produce, transform or manipulate their bodies through particular kinds of body-related work that signify beauty and make their bodies look more attractive and appealing. Intimacy is the personal relations within which the interactions are built on knowledge and attention that are not widely available to third parties, and if the knowledge and attention are made widely available, they would likely endanger the social status of one of them. Building on these sociological concepts, the proposed study will ethnographically analyse both sides of the female sex worker/client relationship in karaoke lounges and bars in Dongguan, southern China, comparing the low-end sector (such as streetwalkers) with the high-end sector (such as women working in upscale hotels) of the industry. The hypothesis of the study is that as a result of social changes, the relationships shared between sex workers in the high-end sector and their clients (both local Chinese men and foreigners) may involve not only pecuniary transactions but also genuinely intimate and non-remunerative feelings. The relationships can best be explored by examining the complex connection between money and intimacy. Workers in the high-end sex industry make use of their earned economic capital to acquire cultural capital, and use technology as a marketing tool to forge longer-term intimate relationships while male clients in more commercialised, post-industrial cities in China begin to seek diverse types of sexual experiences. The study will aim to make a major contribution to the current literature on the sociology of sex work in China, which has thus far focused narrowly on sex workers and largely ignored the dynamics of worker/client relationships.
Prof. LO Tit Wing Triads, Social Capital and Organized Crime in Hong Kong There are various approaches in studying organized crime, such as hierarchical approach, patronclient relations approach, entrepreneurial/market approach, and social network approach. In the literature of triad organized crime, the hierarchical approach has been often adopted. Within this approach, there exist two major perspectives in describing the internal structure and activities of triad society: “structural perspective” and “disorganized perspective”. From the “structural perspective”, triad societies are regarded as cohesive criminal organizations with a hierarchical structure and strict control mechanisms for enforcing norms, such as punishments and rewards for undesirable and desirable behaviors of members and the approval of senior members for organizational decisions, in order to maintain cohesiveness and to commit organized crime in systematic ways. On the other hand, the “disorganized perspective” contends that triad society is not centralized and centrality is restricted to the faction at area level rather than throughout the whole triad society. Internal conflicts and violence against members within the same triad society are commonly found, and group cohesiveness, members' loyalty and righteousness have weakened. Rituals, such as promotion, recruitment and communication, no longer follow the triad tradition and have failed to maintain cohesiveness, leaving senior members incapable of exercising full control over their sub-branches. However, neither the “structural perspective” nor the “disorganized perspective” has sufficiently addressed the connections between triad structure and the operation of organized crime. The “structural perspective” looks at the triad society as a whole in crime operation, while the “disorganized perspective” reveals the involvement of individual triad members, not the whole triad criminal organization, in the operation. Simply relying on the “structural” and “disorganized” perspectives is insufficient to resolve the disjunction between the triad hierarchical structure and organized crime. To fill this research gap, it is necessary to go beyond the façade of the present perspectives and investigate “social capital” as a mediating factor between triad societies and organized crime. Against this background, the present study attempts to investigate the role of triad societies in facilitating the development of social capital of triad members, and how triad members utilize their social capital in the operation of organized crime. This study would strengthen existing triad literature and provide theoretical insight into how triad societies develop social capital, and how triad-related social capital functions in organized crime. The findings would help law enforcement agencies to develop intervention strategies against triads and organized crime.
Dr. LEUNG Lai Ching Why Do Men Care? The Experiences of Male Caregivers in Hong Kong In Hong Kong, the majority of men are reluctant to partake in family affairs such as caregiving because these affairs fall outside of the roles accorded by the traditional gendered division of labour. However, in recent years, the changing social and economic environment has led to greater numbers of men assuming the major caring role in the family. However, although this shift towards more males becoming caregivers is in line with Hong Kong’s policies on gender equality and the gender division in other developed economies, the prevailing gender bias has meant that the challenges faced by male caregivers are not well addressed in Chinese society. In addition, the majority of the literature on the role of men as caregivers is based in Western contexts, and there is little available research applicable to Hong Kong. The proposed study will thus focus on the experiences of men who have shouldered a major role as caregivers in the family. The aims will be to 1) review the effectiveness of child care and family-friendly policies of European and East Asian countries in supporting men as caregivers; 2) examine the perceptions of Hong Kong people about the role of a male caregiver and the factors affecting their decisions on caring and domestic work in the family; 3) understand the needs and problems of male caregivers in the family; and 4) explore the possibility of developing a gender-sensitive policy and practice for male caregivers. Both quantitative and qualitative methods will be used in the study. Work will begin with a review of the policies in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Sweden that support men taking the role of caregivers. A telephone survey will then be conducted to obtain an overview of how Hong Kong people perceive the role of men as caregivers and their decisions on caring in their families. In addition, 20 men who are the main caregivers in their families will be recruited to participate in in-depth interviews so we can understand their views on caring and experiences as caregivers. Overall, this study will provide valuable information and insights on the challenges and problems that men experience in relation to the changing family and gender roles that are emerging as result of the ongoing socio-economic changes in today’s post-industrial society. The results will also help to develop a new understanding of the relationship between men and caring in a Chinese social context
Dr. HO Wing Chung Exploring the Cultural Framing of Place-based Activism in Guangzhou after the 2010 'Support Cantonese Movement' The vantage point of this study is the ‘Support Cantonese Movement’ (SCM), which took place in JulyAugust 2010 in Guangzhou. At its climax, the movement involved nearly ten thousand people. They took to the streets to oppose a state proposal to switch television broadcasts from Cantonese (a popular language in southern China) to Mandarin as a way to ‘forge a good language environment’ for the visitors of the Asian Games in November. The SCM seemed to come to an end after 20 protestors were arrested and the proposal to switch the language was shelved. In theoretical terms, this short-lived movement reflects an important, but poorly attended dimension of the vast literature on Chinese grassroots politics/resistance; that is, the cultural schema that frames the experience of activism. Under examination here is a place-based identity politics through which participants make explicit claims on neither material benefits, nor social justice, choosing instead to simply maintain a mode of culture. My current project (which will end in September 2014) on the tactics, processes and consequences of the SCM has already revealed that a unique set of culture/place-specific discourses, such as ‘loveGuanghzhou’ or ‘love-our-city’, has been created among local activists who have used them to frame their course of action. The proposed project will aim to explore how – in the aftermath of the SCM – the cultural framing, which has been characterised by a unique localism and place-based identity, is woven into and affects the budding place-based activism in Guangzhou. Three historically connected and mutually sustained place-based movements, each associated with well-known critical events triggered by the past decade’s rapid urbanisation, will be analysed: i) the defense for the identity of ‘Guangzhouer’ (Guangzhouren) (SCM in 2010 and its second wave in 2014), ii) the advocacy for the city’s sustainable environment (the anti-incinerator protest in Panyu District in 2009) and iii) the conservation of the city’s cultural landscape (the ‘Protect Tianji Pier’ campaign in 2008 and the ‘Protect Enning Road’ campaign since 2010). These movements were considered ‘place-based’ as the activists involved framed their actions in terms of a sense of place and the goal of stewardship rather than an abstract or material cause. The proposed project is closely connected with the contemporary social movement literature on two fronts. First, it will echo the concept of the ‘new social movement’ as observed in Europe and South America since the 1970s, in which the focus of struggle shifts from material needs to identity politics. Second, it will provide insights into the place-based theories (informed by the ‘right to the city’ perspective) and resistance against the increasing hegemony of neoliberal capitalism in the urban context since the 2000s. In addition, the proposed project will offer a new angle from which to understand postsocialist Chinese urban movement/resistance by exploring how the culture/place-specific morality interacts with the resource-power nexus in grassroots activism to shape its tactics, dynamics and consequences. By adopting a multiple case study approach, the proposed project will trace the trajectories and interceptions of the three aforementioned place-based movements, and solicit unique place-based accounts from dozens of pertinent activists including organisers, participants and witnesses. Victims of urbanisation, base-level cadres, journalists, scholars, lawyers and critics/minibloggers will also be interviewed.
Prof. HO Samuel M.Y. Relationship between Memory Bias and Anxiety, Investigated Using the Directed Forgetting Experimental Paradigm Background. Information processing models propose that anxious individuals are characterized by memory biases for mood-congruent threat information. Studies of memory bias show that adults with anxiety disorders, like posttraumatic stress disorder (Becker, Rinck, & Margraf, 1994), trauma histories (Geraerts & McNally, 2008) and high anxiety sensitivity (McCabe, 1999), exhibit stronger memory biases toward negative information than non-anxious controls. A recent study has also found that socially anxious individuals lacked the memory bias for positive social information displayed by their non-anxious counterparts (Liang, Hsu, Hung, Wang, & Lin, 2011). The inability to forget negative material has been proposed as a risk or maintenance factor for anxiety disorders. The ability to retrieve positive memories is thought to serve as a protective factor against anxiety symptomology. Purposes. (1) Most studies of memory bias have not found an explicit memory bias for negative information in anxious individuals. Equivalent memory performance for positive or neutral stimuli has been observed in both anxious and non-anxious populations. The relationships between positive memory bias, negative memory bias, and anxiety vulnerability must be clarified. Directed forgetting (DF) is a paradigm to study memory biases. We will investigate how DF for negative or positive items differs between anxiety and nonanxiety-prone individuals. This may help our understanding of memory bias for emotional valence events in anxiety populations. (2) The developmental literature has revealed difficulties with intentional forgetting in typically developing children. However, studies of memory biases in anxiety-prone child and adolescent populations have been limited and inconclusive. This proposed study will examine memory bias in anxiety-prone teenagers and children by comparing their DF performance to that of non-anxiety-prone controls. Methodology and Hypotheses. We will recruit 120 children aged 12-15 years from the community. A self-reporting questionnaire will be administered to measure anxiety symptoms and other psychological constructs (e.g., depression). A computer-based, DF item-method memory test, consisting of previously validated Chinese words of three valence types, threat-related words, positive words, and neutral words, will be used. Half of the words from each list will be assigned to either a to-be-remembered (TBR) condition or a to-be-forgotten condition (TBF). The participants will be shown each of these words and its condition. They will then be given a recognition task, in which they will be shown all of the words from the list and asked to indicate whether each had appeared in the previous task, regardless of the assigned TBR/TBF cue. Based on earlier research findings, we hypothesize that anxious adolescents will exhibit a small to insignificant DF effect, whereas nonanxious adolescents will exhibit an adult-like DF effect. We predict that anxiety-prone participants will demonstrate a lower DF effect for negative information than control participants: anxious individuals will find it more difficult to forget negative items. We further predict that they will demonstrate a larger DF effect for positive information: anxious individuals will find it easier to forget positive items. Contributions. This proposed project will extend our existing research on cognitive information processing in anxiety and on community treatments based on cognitive bias modifications by including memory bias in anxiety vulnerability and extending our study to children. If anxious-prone children have difficulty in remembering positive events, cognitive trainings to enhance retrieval and recall of positive events could reduce vulnerability to anxiety among them.
Dr. CHOW Oi Wah Esther Rediscovering Wisdom in Older Adulthood: A Randomized Wait List Control Trial of a Specific Narrative Therapy in Group Practice Consistent with theories of lifelong psychosocial growth and human development, older adults generally possess rich and valuable wisdom concerning many important aspects of life. However, whether this wisdom, can be fully conveyed to benefit them and future generations, remains uncertain due to inevitable physiological decline and increasing ageist attitudes in society. Narrative therapy (NT), as a solution to this challenge, views people as experts in their own lives who possess abilities, knowledge, and beliefs that assist them in coping with difficult life situations. Through this paradigm, NT offers an effective means for wisdom rediscovery and recollection, both for personal life management and sharing with others. A new practice to recognize the life wisdom of Hong Kong Chinese older adults, using a strength- and meaning-based NT in group practice is developed. Through this practice, their wealth of wisdom would be sustained and transferred to others to achieve a higher common good. The objectives of the study are three-fold: to analyze whether wisdom is more strongly related to well-being, for HK Chinese older adults ranging from their 50s to 80s randomly assigned to an immediate NT group, compared to a waitlist control group at baseline (T1); to examine the effectiveness of NT practice in enhancing wisdom, improving a sense of mastery, hope, meaning of life, and well-being among those older adults randomly assigned to the NT group, as compared to the waitlist control group after the NT group has completed the intervention (T2); and to test the longer-term effects at two months (T3) and eight months (T4). Through utilizing a randomized waitlist controlled trial, the effects of this group-based intervention will be tested utilizing qualitative data. A total of 144 older adults will be recruited for the study, 72 of which will be randomly assigned to nine intervention groups. There will be eight participants in each group, each of whom will receive four two-hour NT sessions using a “Tree of Life” metaphor. The findings have significant theoretical contributions for professional social work practice to develop a positive approach to late life development, and ground a new theory in understanding wisdom in older adulthood. This study is a pioneer in developing a new paradigm of clinical practice that facilitates a better understanding and appreciation of wisdom. The study will also produce, along with a variety of scholarly outputs, a practice guide to be disseminated among health and social care practitioners in Hong Kong.
Dr. CHOI Wai Man Anna To Explore the Path of Chinese Women’s Use of Force in Intimate Relationships: Motives, Acts and Outcomes This study aims to explore the undiscovered path of Chinese women’s use of force in heterosexual intimate relationship, including the motives, acts and outcomes, in Hong Kong. Women’s use of force means women use physical, verbal, and emotionally harmful or aggressive behaviors towards/against their intimate partners (Larance, 2006; Miller, 2001). Women can be victims of intimate terrorism, perpetrators of resistant violence because of self-defense, or party to common couple violence in intimate partner violence (Johnson, 1995, 2006), as well as the perpetrators of violence against men (Hines & Douglas, 2010). Indeed, “women’s violence is usually different from men’s violence” (Miller, 2001, p. 1367). The lack of resources and options for women and their relative powerlessness had led to possible use of force/violent acts to cope and respond in their battering relationships (Larance & Dasgupta, 2012; Miller, 2001). Therefore, women’s use of force is not merely a form of IPV, but a reflection of women facing a prolong violence in a prolonged helpless situation. In Hong Kong, over 80% of victims IPV are women (SWD, 2014a). However, the number of male victims among the newly report spousal battering cases in Hong Kong has increased from 11.2% in 2004 to 18% in 2013, almost all of such cases involved heterosexual intimate relationships (SWD, 2014a). Therefore, nearly all perpetrators in male victim cases were females. Women’s use of force is no longer a rare phenomenon, however, our understanding on women’s use of force in Hong Kong is very limited because most studies focus on female victims while neglecting women’s violence. This qualitative study will include multiple in-depth interviews with 30 to 40 women who will be recruited from the programs for perpetrators of different agencies in Hong Kong. To fully understand the complexity of women’s use of force, a contextual understanding of the use, motivations, and consequences of violence (Miller, 2001, 2005) is essential. This study will therefore examine the influence of Chinese culture, especially on the gender and in-law families, in the path of the women’s use of force in order to fill the knowledge gap on this aspect in Hong Kong. With the reference of the Swan & Snow’s model (2006), women’s victimization, coping and childhood trauma will also be included in this study. The finding is vital to develop a conceptual model on Chinese women’s use of force and specific intervention program for women to recover from the violence.


General Research Fund 2014 - 2015

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. FUNG Lai Chu Annis Omega-3 Supplementation to Reduce Externalizing Behavior Problems in Risk-Taking Adolescents: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Trial Externalizing behavior problems (aggressive and antisocial behaviors) are widely recognized as predisposing to significant mental health problems and violence among adolescents in secondary schools. These in turn result in enormous economic and social costs to schools as well as to society (Snyder & Sickmund, 1999). These costs include mental illness, crime, and violence. Similarly, violence is widely recognized as a major public health problem which has also largely defied successful intervention and prevention. Because an increasing body of research is documenting health and neurobiological risk factors for aggression and violence, part of this prevention failure may be due to intervention efforts ignoring biological contributory factors which include impaired neurocognitive and psychophysiological functioning. One benign biological intervention that may help attenuate behavior problems in children consists of omega-3 supplementation of the diet, a long-chain fatty acid critical for brain structure and function. The overarching aim of this study is to assess whether omega-3 supplementation can reduce the base level of externalizing behavior problems in children and adolescents. Secondary but important aims are to assess whether any behavioral improvement is due to enhanced neurocognitive and psychophysiological functioning produced by omega-3 supplementation. The specific aims are as follows: 1. To assess the effectiveness of omega-3 dietary supplementation in reducing externalizing behaviors in adolescents. 2. To assess whether omega-3 supplementation can enhance childhood neurocognitive and psychophysiological functioning. 3. To assess whether any such enhanced neurocognitive functioning mediates the relationship between omega-3 enhancement and reductions in externalizing behavior. Hypotheses will be tested in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized trial involving 11 to16 year-old adolescents drawn from secondary schools in Hong Kong. Omega-3 supplementation will be in the form of a Norwegian fruit juice drink. 300 adolescents will be randomly assigned into: (1) omega-3 supplemented drink, (2) placebo drink, (3) treatment-as-usual controls. Behavioral, neurocognitive, and psychophysiological measures will be assessed at baseline (0 months), end of treatment (6 months), and 6 months post-treatment (12 months). This initial study could be the first to identify possible mechanisms of action by which omega-3 may reduce behavior problems in children, and the first to document efficacy of omega-3 in reducing behavior problems in an East Asian population. If successful, this study could yield enormous long-term financial benefits in terms of the saved legal, medical, social, and psychological costs resulting from the long-term consequences of adolescent behavior problems.
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Creativity, Syntactic Development and Dialogic Reading Techniques for Young Children in Hong Kong: A Bilingual and Longitudinal Approach This study aims to examine the effectiveness of dialogic reading techniques with creative texts in kindergartens using a quasi-experimental design. It also aims at documenting the grammatical profile in both Chinese and English of young children between 3 and 6 years old by using the Edmonton Narrative Norms Instrument for English and the Cantonese - Language Assessment, Remedial and Screening Procedure. We hypothesize that verbal creativity and syntactic complexity of young children will be enhanced in the experimental group compared to the control group. We also hypothesize that young children's grammatical profile will be more advanced after exposing to dialogic reading techniques for two years in the experimental group compared to the control group. Two types of language data will be collected by audio or video recording: composing a story, and free conversation. The study will contribute to developing effective reading instruction and promoting creativity in language education for young children. The ultimate goal is to prepare students for becoming both creative individuals and proficient language users.
Dr. LI Kin Kit Uncovering the Mechanisms of Message Framing for Promoting Physical Activity: An Aging Perspective For health-promoting behaviors such as physical activity (PA), gain-framed messages (i.e., benefits of engaging in PA) are suggested to be more effective than loss-framed messages (i.e., costs of non-participation). According to some age-related mechanisms (i.e., increases in heuristic/affective processing, preference toward positive affect, and personal importance of PA), the gain-frame advantage for PA may be more pronounced for older versus younger adults. The regulatory fit theory, however, predicts the opposite. Messages are more effective when individuals’ regulatory focus orientations match with the frames, i.e., promotion-to-gain and prevention-to-loss. Older adults are more prevention-oriented about health, which may lead to a more favorable evaluation toward loss frames. This study aims to uncover the contributions of these age-related mechanisms. Besides overall-valence framing (i.e., gain-loss), messages can be framed by end-state valence (i.e., positive-negative). For instance, gain-framed messages can be framed as the presence of positive outcomes (e.g., enhance heart health) or the absence of negative outcomes (e.g., avoid heart disease). Messages are more effective when individuals’ regulatory focus orientations match with the end-states (i.e., promotion-to-positive and prevention-to-negative). Commonly seen PA messages, however, often include both end-states, which may confound with the overall-valence framing effect. This methodological issue needs to be addressed for meaningful examinations of age moderations. Study 1 compares the effectiveness of four single-framed conditions varied by overall valence and end-state valence, together with a mix-framed condition, which shows the most commonly seen PA outcomes in their corresponding ideal frames (i.e., gain-to-positive and loss-to-negative). In addition, age moderation will be explored. Participants will be 150 younger (aged 18-35) and 150 older (aged ≥ 60) sedentary adults. They will be randomly assigned to five possible message conditions. Effectiveness will be measured by information acceptance, PA attitudes, and PA intentions immediately after message reading, as well as PA behavior at a two-week follow-up. Study 2 examines the age-related moderators (i.e., age, affective processing, positivity, regulatory focus orientation, and PA importance) of the overall-valence framing effect. To control for end-state framing effects, only positive end-states will be used. A gain-frame advantage is expected to be stronger for older than for younger adults. Study 2 also examines whether age moderation can be explained by other moderators. Participants will be 160 younger and 160 older sedentary adults. They will be randomly assigned to read either the gain- or loss-framed messages. Effectiveness will be measured objectively by monitoring the participants’ PA behaviors for two weeks using accelerometers.
Prof. WONG Sing Wing Dennis Restorative Justice and its Relevance to Chinese Culture: Implications of Restorative Justice Practices in Chinese Communities Restorative justice (RJ) is a new approach to understanding and managing crime that has gained popularity since the 1980s. Evidence suggests that restorative processes that empower crime victims, offenders and communities to actively participate in resolving the impact of crime increase public trust in the justice system and may reduce reoffending behaviour (Liebmann, 2007; Maxwell, 2007). Pioneering activities at government and community levels suggest that RJ is gaining importance in mainstream criminological and professional practices worldwide. Though RJ is increasingly used to deal with offending, particularly youth offending, in many Western countries, there is relatively little experience of RJ in the Greater China region. However, mediation (tiaojie) has long existed in China and is often used in informal social control. Chinese scholars sometimes refer to it as a type of RJ (Leng, 2011; Zhang, 2013). A review of literature on mediation practices (tiaojie) and RJ (hufuxing xifa) in mainland China suggests that hufuxing xifa is generally considered to be a western approach to criminal mediation (reconciliation) distinct from the traditional Chinese approach. Despite having much in common, mediation and RJ differ in areas such as the power of facilitators and the emphasis on victims attending conferences (Leng, 2011; Li, 2010). With the continuous development of legal systems in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland over the decades, RJ now appears to be rapidly displacing traditional mediation in China (Zhang, 2013; Wong & Lo, 2011; Mok & Wong, 2013). The proposed study will analyze the evolution of RJ in the Greater China region and its relevance to Chinese culture. Through comparative policy studies, focus groups and in-depth interviews, a thorough comparison of RJ and their cultural relevance in four major cities will be performed, covering Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Beijing, and examine their compatibility with Chinese cultural values, and integration into the criminal justice system. We will interview academic scholars, legal practitioners, lawyers, judiciary members, mediators or conference facilitators, as well as participants and/or their families who have involved in the RJ process, to uncover the characteristics of Chinese RJ and establish whether western or non-Chinese RJ models are suitable for and favored by Chinese users. The results will help to establish a set of basic principles and procedures that are culturally relevant to Chinese. The findings can be used to improve the service impact of RJ programmes and provide guidelines in assessment, awareness promotion, and policy-making throughout Chinese communities.
Dr. YE Shengquan Two Ways of Value Change: From Behavioral Inhibition and Activation to Subjective Well-Being According to Schwartz’s (1992) theory, basic human values form a circular structure, with neighboring values being compatible with each other and values at opposite positions being conflicting ones. When value change occurs, the increase in the importance of one value is accompanied by the increases in the importance of compatible values and by the decreases in the importance of conflicting values (Bardi & Goodwin, 2011). Since values are reflected in relative importance and priorities, similar value changes can be achieved by either increasing the importance of compatible values or decreasing the importance of conflicting ones. However, little is known about the mechanism underlying these two ways of value change and the effects on subjective well-being (SWB). Research has suggested that there are two biological systems: behavioral inhibition system (BIS) and behavioral activation system (BAS), the former of which is related to sensitivity to punishment and avoidant behaviors, whereas the latter is related to sensitivity to reward and approach behaviors (Gray & McNaughton, 2000). Although research has shown significant relationship of SWB with both BIS/BAS (Erdle & Rushton, 2010) and values (Bobowik, Basabe, Paez, Jimenez, & Bilbao, 2011), how BIS/BAS is related to value change in affecting SWB has not been well understood. In this proposal, two studies are designed to address the issue. Study I examines the mechanism in a laboratory setting using cultural priming procedures. According to cultural identity theories (Oyserman & Lee, 2008), people respond to cultural priming by either assimilating to or contrasting against the primed culture. The assimilation and contrast effects can lead to value changes, through either increasing values that are compatible with cultural identities or decreasing the incompatible values as predicted in Table 1. In mediational models presented in Figure 2, the study examines the effects of BIS/BAS on changes in SWB through value change. Study II employs a longitudinal design to examine the mechanism in a natural life setting. Research has shown that university education can result in significant value changes (Schwartz, 2007). Students with different levels of BIS/BAS may experience different ways of value change by either increasing values compatible with university education (e.g., openness to change) or decreasing values incompatible with university education (e.g., conservation). In latent growth models presented in Figures 3 and 4, the study examines how the developmental trajectories of values and SWB are related to each other and affected by BIS/BAS.



Public Policy Research 2021 - 2022

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. HO Wing Chung A Longitudinal Study of Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty in Hong Kong across the 2010s: Policy Implications in Poverty/Inequality and Youth Development Background
This study examines the extent to which poverty is passed from parents to children by means of a longitudinal research design. The longitudinal data are derived from the “In Search of Family-friendly Policies” (SFP) database owned by the PI. Funded by PPR of Hong Kong RGC/CPU in 2007, the SFP database was originally constructed to examine how mothers whose family had at least one child aged less than 13 and who lived in low income communities face the work-family conflict. Thirteen/fourteen years later, the children involved in the SFP database have become young adults (aged 23-25), and it is high time we revisited these families to see how their second-generation members have fared in the domains of education and work.

This study adopts both quantitative and qualitative methods. At the quantitative side, the educational and career trajectories of the second-generation members of around 150-200 families in the SFP database are tracked to determine whether one’s vulnerability to the intergenerational transmission of poverty is different among children with poor and non-poor family backgrounds in the period of 2007/8-2020/21.At the qualitative side, around 30-50 families (probably represented by the mothers) will be invited to attend an interview or focus group to explore the complex dynamics of intergenerational relationships and resource flow which have led to different life chance outcomes of the younger generation.

This study will help policy makers identify/define problems and issues pertinent to intergenerational poverty in families. It will shed light on identifying policy and intervention options to tackle problems of poverty/inequality and youth development in the future."


Public Policy Research 2019 - 2020

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Prof. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Correlates of Family Strengths in Hong Kong – Implication for Family Wellbeing Policy

Family is the cornerstone of society, fulfilling major functions such as the provision of care to the most vulnerable members of society and the transmission of values and norms to the next generation. Family well-being promotes individual well-being as the family provides a secure and satisfying environment that encourages the development of the personal resources and potentials of the family members. Meanwhile, the prosperity and stability of our society depend both on strong and stable families and well-functioning individuals. Family well-being policy, which focuses on the strengths of families and recognizes families’ capacity to perform essential functions for family members, has gained increasing attention locally and worldwide. Hence, the Hong Kong government has made concerted and considerable efforts to maintain and promote family well-being through the augmentation of various social policies. 

To complement government efforts, findings of our study will serve as a basis for further development of family well-being policy in the local context. Based on the International Family Strengths model, the study will examine the strengths of families with adolescents (including commitment, communication, appreciation and affection, enjoyable time, spiritual wellness, ability to cope with stress and crisis). Specifically, the study will investigate the prevalence and profile of family strengths and whether the prevalence and profile of family strengths differ based on family structure, socio-economic status, ethnicity, and migrant status. Further, the study will assess the relationships between larger contextual variables, such as work-family conflict, formal and informal community support, extended kinship support, and family strengths, and whether such relationships are moderated by the above-mentioned family demographic variables. The mixed method sequential explanatory design will be adopted in this study. In the first phase of quantitative survey, a representative population of families with adolescents will be recruited through stratified random sampling. In the second qualitative phase, data will be collected through focus group interviews, which aim to elaborate, refine and explain those statistical results by exploring participants’ views more in-depth. Descriptive data on family strengths will provide reference point to design family strengths indicators and set goals in tracking family well-being. Analyses on the correlates of family strengths will induce institutional measures to be taken to build on and expand family strengths. Finally, this study will pioneer a paradigm shift and set an example of applying family strengths perspective in understanding family well-being, which will balance attention to problems and weakness with evidence of positive qualities in the families.

Public Policy Research 2016 - 2017

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. YE Shengquan An Experimental Study of National Identity among Hong Kong Youth Recent social surveys have revealed that national identity among Hong Kong people had been decreasing in the past ten years, particularly for the younger group. The low level of national identity has become a strong contributing factor to the attitudes and actions of Hong Kong youth when they face with various issues related to social policies and development. As we have already known, these attitudes and actions have produced profound effects on the society in different domains and across levels. To improve the effectiveness of governance and support youth development, it is necessary to understand how national and regional identities develop and change among the young people in Hong Kong. Taking a social psychology perspective, a series of experiments were conducted in this study to find out how national and regional identities among Hong Kong youth would change in response to different primed materials. Four hundred and thirty-four participants were randomly assigned to six experimental and one control groups to receive different priming materials, following which their explicit and implicit national and regional identities were measured. The results showed: a) three measures of national identity had lower means but higher standard deviations than those of regional identity, suggesting more diversity in national identity among the youth group; b) the attitudinal measure of national and regional identity demonstrated unique and strong effects, showing that identities were not only related to cognitive processing, but affective responses; and c) both explicit and implicit national and regional identities were found very stable across priming conditions, suggesting the robustness of identity under different situations.


Public Policy Research 2015 - 2016

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. CHEUNG Chau Kiu Jacky Discontinuing Youth’s Violent Involvements with Social Capital Development Youth’s real-life violent involvement and especially its escalation are essential for the concern of public policy and related research. The involvement includes perpetration, victimization, and witnessing of violence within and without the family. Such involvement is likely to perpetuate or even escalate from witnessing or victimization to perpetration. Discontinuing the involvement is likely to hinge on public policy, notably toward social capital development. That is, policy-driven social capital development through communicating to and engaging the public (such as in programs sponsored by the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund) is likely to safeguard and magnify the effectiveness of prosocial social capital in impeding the perpetuation or escalation of violent involvement. Nevertheless, all the effects of social capital and underlying public policy measures are uncharted, sophisticated, and uncertain enough to require the present study. To meet the requirement, the study will survey 2,500 youths located at their residences and youth services, and survey youth service practitioners responsible to the youths. Moreover, the study will apply the action-research approach to collaborate closely with youth service practitioners to upgrade work against youth’s violent involvement. Findings from the research will furnish recommendations for public policy to tackle youth’s violent involvement.


Public Policy Research 2014 - 2015

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. LEUNG Lai Ching Making Policy for Child Care in Hong Kong To date, Hong Kong has experienced profound social and demographic changes that present challenges for child care. Changing family structures in Hong Kong have weakened extended family ties and reduced the support provided by the kinship network in caring for dependent children. At the same time, women’s increasing participation in education and the labour market has resulted in delayed childbearing, a drop in the fertility rate and increased demand for social care for children and families. However, existing support for children is far from adequate, affordable or accessible for most low-income families in Hong Kong. Without affordable, high-quality child care provision, children are at risk of being neglected or living in poverty. The lack of adequate and affordable child care often compels women in low-income families to quit the labour market to care for their children.
In regard to the social changes posed by challenges to child care support in the family, there is an urgent need to reconsider existing service provision and financial assistance for families with children. In this study, we plan to address the following research questions. To what extent does the support for child care affect the child-bearing decisions of married couples? What effect does child care have on women’s employment? What kinds of resources are available to support families in caring for children? Do parents in Hong Kong prefer home-based care or social care? What kinds of support for child-bearing and child-rearing do couples want? Do Chinese families of different social backgrounds differ in regard to their child care practices and expectations of support? What are the difficulties encountered by the social service agencies in care provisions? What can we learn from the experiences of other countries? The main objective of this study, therefore, is to obtain a holistic view of child care patterns and the needs of families in relation to child care to inform policies that will improve children’s care and the welfare of carers in Hong Kong. To answer these questions, the study will adopt both quantitative and qualitative methods and will comprise four major stages: 1) documentation; 2) a telephone survey; 3) focus group interviews; and 4) in-depth interviews.
Child care policy is a relatively less studied topic in Hong Kong in the last decade. This study will contribute to social policy development in Hong Kong in three areas, namely population policy, child care policy and family-friendly policy.


Public Policy Research 2017 - 2018

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. AU LIU Suk Ching Elaine Demographic and Social Indicators of Youth Volunteering in Hong Kong Volunteering is a vital element in the areas of community involvement, civil labor, and social capital, especially in an era of increasing budget cuts in social services. Volunteering reflects pro-active citizenship and it is connected to the concepts of social inclusion and justice. These in turn, can significantly contribute to a more cohesive, tolerant and equitable society. Youth volunteering is growing rapidly in Hong Kong. However, volunteerism in Hong Kong is still at an early stage. This study aims at identifying the current situation of youth volunteering in Hong Kong and how future policies could effectively make volunteering more accessible to all Hong Kong youth, improve the quality of their volunteering experiences, and sustain youth volunteering over time. This study adopted both quantitative (i.e., questionnaires and statistical analyses) and qualitative (i.e. focus groups) methods. Participants were Hong Kong youth between 15 to 30 years old. In Phase 1, N = 990 current-volunteers were surveyed by mean of a questionnaire. Participants were recruited among selected NGOs in Hong Kong, with the support of both the Social Welfare Department, and the Agency for Volunteer Service (AVS). For statistical purposes, data was also gathered from two control groups of 271 ex-volunteers and 136 non-volunteers, making the total number of respondents for the quantitative research N=1,397. In Phase 2, six focus groups (6 to 8 volunteers each, for a total of 42 respondents) were arranged. Whereas Phase 1 was to test hypotheses based on a general model of youth volunteering, Phase 2 was to explore the personal experience of participants. Results showed: 1) dispositional, social and situational factors that affect the increase and decline of the volunteering involvement among youth in Hong Kong; 2) organizational characteristics that influence the formation of a volunteer identity and retention to volunteering; and, 3) how Hong Kong policies can make volunteering more attractive to youth.



Early Career Scheme 2021 - 2022

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. KWAN Chi Kin Exploring the Roles of Enterprises in Promoting Workplace Inclusion for People with Disabilities People with disabilities (PWDs) have long been disadvantaged in the job market. Poverty and mental health hazards that accompany unemployment further hamper PWDs’ social participation. Social interventions, such as an employment quota system, economic incentives for hiring PWDs, and anti-discrimination legislation, all fail to substantially enhance PWDs’ employability. Vocational rehabilitation (VR) social workers mainly provide employment support to individual PWDs, but enterprises display limited engagement with the employment difficulties of PWDs. This study aims to promote, guided by empirical evidence, a paradigmatic shift in the orienting perspective of VR social work, moving from a ‘charitable employment support’ focus to a new ‘workplace inclusion’ focus, the latter involves collaboration with enterprises to effect changes in organizational culture and practices for fostering social inclusiveness in workplaces for PWDs and other disadvantaged groups. Towards this end, the main point of the study is to develop empirically supported mezzo-level social work interventions that are appropriate to the local context. Based on a broad scan of the workplace inclusion literature, the study will draw on Brewer’s (1991) Optimal Distinctiveness Theory to conceptualize social inclusion (Belonging and Uniqueness), Mor Barak’s (2000) practice-based model of the ‘inclusive workplace’ to ground model-building of mezzo-level social work intervention, Accenture’s (2018) 4E’s framework (Employ, Enable, Engage, Empower) for building an inclusive workplace, and extant measures of inclusion-exclusion and diversity (Mor Barak & Cherin, 1998; Taylor, 2011; Hedman, 2016) for assessing workplace inclusion-exclusion. The proposed study is generative in furthering theory in the workplace inclusion literature. The research product will extend the focus of VR social work from employment support for PWDs to cultivating an inclusive culture in workplaces that a social model of disability will have prescribed. The scope of research is broad and necessitates employing a mixed-methods design comprising four methodological components progressing through three phases: I) survey studies of employers / HR practitioners. II) informant interviews covering (a) employers / HR practitioners (n=30); (b) PWDs presently holding a job (n=15); and (c) their workmates and supervisors (n=15). Some of these interviews are embedded in three mini-ethnographic case studies (the third component). III) three practitioner inquiry groups for VR social workers to formulate mezzo-level interventions to foster workplace inclusion for PWDs, referring to the research data of Phases I and II; and two cooperative inquiry groups for conducting cross-profession dialogues between HR practitioners and VR social workers on a potential for collaboration to foster workplace inclusion.


Early Career Scheme 2017 - 2018

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. WONG Wing Yee Rebecca Why Do Criminals Honour Illegal Agreements? A Case Study of the Illegal Supply of State-protected Wildlife as Delicacy in China The theoretical debate over trust and its role in the criminal world remains a contentious topic of study in criminology. Why do criminals trust and co-operate with one another? How do they ensure that their fellow criminals will not betray them, cheat them by informing the police of their competitors’ actions and honour their agreements? Scholars have examined these questions as they apply to cyber hackers (Lusthaus 2012; Decary Hetu & Dupont 2013; Holt et al. 2015; Dupont et al. 2016) and organised crime groups such as the Mafia (Varese 2001; Campana & Varese 2013). However, questions of trust and how criminals cooperate with one another remain largely unexplored in the field of green criminology, an emerging field focusing on crimes against the environment and the illegal trade in protected and endangered wildlife.Drawing on primary data collected from fieldwork conducted in Guangzhou and Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, and supplemented by open sources, the proposed study will explore a specific branch of illegal wildlife trade : the supply of state-protected wildlife for human consumption as delicacy in China, and examine the issues of trust and cooperation amongst criminals in this illegal market. In essence, the study will aim to 1) understand the dynamics of the illegal trade of state-protected wildlife as delicacy in China, 2) explore how criminals trust and co-operate with one another in such a setting and 3) explore which informal mechanisms (if any) facilitate trust and co-operation in this trade.The proposed study will make the following contributions. First, it will make theoretical contributions to the debate on trust in the underworld and to the general development of green criminology. Second, it will inform policies that address the illegal trade of stateprotected wildlife in China, issues of animal welfare and security enforcement. Third, it will make educational contributions by transferring the knowledge it generates to the wider community via academic journals and conferences. I will also incorporate the findings from this proposed study into my teaching to inspire the younger student body to be more conscious of issues related to wildlife conservation and animal welfare.


Early Career Scheme 2016 - 2017

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. CHEN Hui Fang Developing a New Class of Approaches to Detecting and Controlling the Impact of Response Styles in Rating or Likert Scales Cross-cultural studies in marketing, personality assessments, and educationalstudies (e.g., the Program for International Student Assessment, PISA) have shown that somerespondents may have a specific tendency to endorse a particular response category, such asextreme response categories (termed ERS), and that some may not answer test questionscarefully (these are called inattentive respondents). Degrees and patterns of these behaviors(response styles, RS) vary across cultures and ethnicity, and they are relatively stable acrossnon-cognitive measures, assessment time, and test length. Once RS exist, test scores may beinflated or deflated and the validity and reliability of the conclusions drawn from them werethreatened such as the findings from PISA 2006 (Bolt & Newton, 2011; Buckley, 2009). Thus,the prerequisite of cross-group comparisons, the assumption of measurement invariance, doesnot hold. Researchers have devoted attention to the detection and control of the effect of RS,particularly ERS. Several strategies have been proposed, such as using dichotomous optionsto replace multiple response categories or combining irrelevant items into a scale. Theseapproaches incorporating raw scores to estimate RS can degrade the precision of the originalscale design and evoke even higher tendencies to fake for the sake of social desirability.Other approaches developed under the framework of item response theory (IRT) have yieldedsatisfactory performances in differentiating ERS from construct-related responses, but havenot been carefully examined for other types of RS, such as random selecting responsecategories across all items. These IRT approaches require a long test and larger sample sizesand are computationally intensive. Moreover, the implementation of IRT approaches oftenrequires specific software and programming skills, which limit their use in practice. Purposes.To address the knowledge gap in the literature, the proposed study aims to: 1) formulate anew framework of IRT approaches that can differentiate multiple types of RS simultaneously,2) invent a simple, effective procedure for practical use, and 3) create a platform from whichpractitioners and researchers can conduct the new procedure to examine different RS andensure measurement fairness. Methodology. The first stage will mainly focus on thedifferentiation among normal responses, random responses, ERS and middle-point responsestyles (MS); the interaction between test design and RS; and multilevel data structure. Owingto the complexity of IRT approaches, which could hinder their use in empirical studies, thesecond stage will examine the performance of the Mantel-Haenszel (M-H) method and thelogistic regression (LR) procedure in examining measurement invariance when differenttypes of RS exist in a dataset. A new class of approaches will be developed under theframework of LR and the M-H method, respectively, and evaluated under several simulatedconditions. The new approaches will then be applied to the PISA 2006 dataset to evaluate andto compare their performances with IRT approaches used in previous studies. I will also applythese new procedures to a study of parental involvement in Hong Kong to ensuremeasurement fairness for all samples, and then RS in samples from an international and alocal high school. Lastly, a platform (and computer software if needed) will be developed tomake the new procedures available to and feasible for practitioners, educators, andresearchers. Contributions. Surveys, assessments, and questionnaires are popular assessmenttools in education, psychology, business, medicine, and policy, and individual preferences inthe use of Likert and rating scales are sources of contamination in test scores that cannot beignored. There is a call for the development of models to monitor multiple types of RS beforecomparisons are made. The proposed study echoes need in real-life practice: a generalframework of IRT approaches, the M-H method, and the LR procedure will be developed toextend our existing understanding of RS and to ensure measurement invariance and testequality when scales are used to access people’s attitudes, personalities, and performances.The validity and reliability of assessment tools will be free from the impact of RS, and userswill be more confident with the interpretations of group differences in cross-cultural andcross-group investigations.
Dr. YEUNG Wai Keung Jerf Faith-Based Treatment for Substance Addiction in Hong Kong: A Naturalistic Treatment Outcome Study Substance addiction is described as a ‘chronic relapsing disease’, to which the Hong Kong government takes an ‘enlightened prohibition’ approach, emphasising the provision of rehabilitative support to addicts instead of imposing stringent legal sanctions (Cheung, 2009). The treatment and rehabilitation of substance addicts is thus of utmost importance. Various addiction treatment services are run by both the government and local NGOs, e.g. Christian therapeutic organisations. Apparently, ‘secular-based’ and ‘faith-based’ interventions are the two main treatment approaches for patients with addiction, representing very different sets of assumptions and strategies. Faith-based treatment uses the Christian theory of substance addiction, which recognises not only the psychological, social and physical determinants of addiction, but also the importance of the religious/spiritual dimension of abusing substance (Lyons et al., 2013). Despite the desirable treatment outcomes of faith-based treatment found in the West, which have a Christian origin and hold to a Christian theory of substance abuse such as 12-step treatment programmes, little research has been performed on their effectiveness anddelivery mechanisms, particularly in non-Western contexts like Hong Kong. Although some scholars regard the salutary outcomes of faith-based treatment to be the result of a ‘spiritual awakening’, drug addicts’ abstinence arises in fact from the re-establishment of healthy, wholesome life circumstances. In other words, faith-based treatment triggers changes in patients’ religiosity (e.g., growth in religiosity/spirituality), cognitive processes (e.g., increase in meaning and purpose in life), psychological status (e.g., lessened depression and enhanced self-efficacy) and social environment (e.g., strengthened family support and pro-abstinent peer network).These changes lead to patients’ recovery from substance abuse (Kelly et al., 2013; Krentzman et al., 2012; Lyons et al., 2011). Nevertheless, we know very little about how these multiple factors simultaneously and longitudinally contribute to treatment outcomes in natural treatment settings.The proposed study project will investigate the mechanisms by which faith-based addiction treatment delivers desirable outcomes and, in particular, the religious, cognitive, psychological and social factors in interplay leading to abstinent outcomes. This is a naturalistic treatment outcome study using a 4-wave prospective design, in which participants’ information will be collected at treatment intake, discharge from treatment and 6 and 12 months post-treatment, covering a 2-year time span. Addict patients in faith-based and secular-based treatments are the study participants while the latter serves as a comparative purpose. Time-lagged mixed-effect and lagged-effect multiple-mediational modelling will be used to offset the problems found in prior studies on addiction, such as the confusion of fixed and random effects, as well as the neglect of clustered nature of longitudinal data and the interactions of multiple predictors concomitantly in relation to the treatment outcomes. The findings of this study will contribute 1) theoretically, to our enhanced comprehension of faith-based treatment in a comparative fashion; 2) practically, offering insights for policy making and resource allocation for improved service; 3) internationally, as a reference for future cross-cultural or comparative research about addiction treatment; 4) locally, offering advice for practitioners to enhance treatment efficiency, and also as a long-term reference for indigenous addiction research.


Early Career Scheme 2015 - 2016

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Mindfulness Approach in Relapse Prevention for Young Psychotropic Substance Abusers in Hong Kong: A Randomized Control Trial In line with global trends, Hong Kong has witnessed an increase in psychotropicsubstance abuse among young people over the last two decades. Given its dependencesymptoms and bodily signs tend not to be obvious or may take longer time to becomeapparent, their drug abuse situation becomes more hidden and harder to reach. In 2013,half of the abusers reported having abused drugs for at least 4 years, compared to 1.9years in 2008. Moreover, there are increasing numbers of drug abusers being identifiedin young adulthood instead of adolescence. Because of its chronic, hidden, hard-to-reachnatures and the possible costs created for the family and community, different treatmentapproaches and rehabilitation services have been examined and developed worldwide.However, regardless of the type of programme employed, relapse is still highly prevalentamong substance abusers. In recent years, combining the effects of cognitive behaviouraltherapy (CBT) with the practice of mindfulness, mindfulness based relapse prevention(MBRP) approach has gained increasing attention and promising results as treatmentfor rehabilitating substance abusers in the West. In the Asian contexts, except for onestudy conducted in Taiwan, empirical study on the efficacy of the approach particularlyfor Chinese is almost non-existent.Therefore, the main objective of this proposed study is to develop and evaluate theshort and longer-term effects of a mindfulness approach in relapse prevention foryoung psychotropic substance abusers in both community and residential settings inHong Kong. This proposed study adopts a randomized control design with pre-test, posttestand 3rd month and 6th month follow-up evaluations. A total of 200 recoveringparticipants aged between 14 and 35 will be recruited from five counselling centres andfive residential homes for substances abusers and randomly assigned into the MBRPbased experimental and CBT based control conditions. Eventually, ten pairs of MBRPand CBT based groups with 8 sessions will be run over a period of two and a half years.The short and sustainable effects of the MBRP programme in (1) enhancing participants’awareness and non-judgmental attitude to their drug taking motive, (2) reducing theseverity of their substance use and cravings for drugs, and (3) raising their overall senseof self-efficacy will be assessed quantitatively with a self-administered questionnaireand qualitatively with indepth interviews. It is envisaged that this MBRP programme, ifdemonstrated to be effective, will likely be used (with modification) for Chinese in thelocal and international levels.


Early Career Scheme 2014 - 2015

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. Heng Choon Oliver CHAN The Overlap between Victimisation and Offending among Hong Kong Youth Traditionally, victimisation and offending have been treated separately, both in theory and in practice. However, recent research studies have demonstrated that there is significant overlap between victims and offenders, prompting new calls for research that addresses the link between these two phenomena. These studies have shown that many individuals who have experienced victimisation are also offenders themselves at some point in time and vice versa. Victims and offenders have been shown to share a common set of risk factors, and this commonality has been empirically supported in many countries. However, most victimoffender overlap studies are conducted in North America, primarily in the US, and limited data about this phenomenon in Asia are available. The proposed study is important in not only to provide a better understanding of both victimisation and offending, but also to offer suggestions to help social services to target these phenomena better and to reduce levels of both. To address this unexplored area, this study aims to examine the overlap between victimisation and offending among Chinese youth in Hong Kong. This study will sample 1,200 youth aged between 13 and 20, drawn from the traditional school-aged, at-risk, and adjudicated (under court jurisdiction for having engaged in delinquent behaviour) youth groups. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, this study will assess victimisation and offending rates among these youth, establish different risk and protective factors for victimisation and offending, and investigate the relationship between victimisation and offending. The study will proceed in two stages. In the first, a self-administered survey method will be fielded to assess the participants’ self-reported victimisation and offending frequencies, and collect data on peer, familial, individual, contextual and demographical measures that will help test a number of theories about the victim-offender relationship. The participants’ responses will be compared, according to their status as traditional school-aged, at-risk, and adjudicated youth, to explore their differential prevalence of victim-offender overlap in these groups. One of the potential strength of the proposed sample selection is that some participants (e.g., at-risk and adjudicated youth) are drawn from the social service agencies, whereby implications of this study may aid these agencies to improve their services. Hypothetically, the prevalence of victim-offender overlap is higher among adjudicated youth, follows by at-risk youth, and the least in traditional school-aged adolescents. In view of potential time constraint in this stage of data collection, the second stage of study will consist of a follow-up, in-depth interview with a selected group of 40 consented at-risk and adjudicated youth 12 months after the initial survey was conducted. The rationale for such a selection is that the tendency to engage in offending and experience victimisation is much higher for at-risk and adjudicated youth than their traditional school-aged counterparts. Thus, the analysis of the victim-offender overlap is likely to yield better results by focusing specifically on these groups. The interview will aim to obtain more information regarding the causes and correlates of the overlap and the nature of overlap over time. The findings of this study will offer valuable evidence about the specifics of the offender-victim overlap that can implicate policy and practice (i.e., social service and rehabilitation); and help better serve this, often neglected, group of victim-offenders, perhaps by asking what assistance they need.
In regard to the social changes posed by challenges to child care support in the family, there is an urgent need to reconsider existing service provision and financial assistance for families with children. In this study, we plan to address the following research questions. To what extent does the support for child care affect the child-bearing decisions of married couples? What effect does child care have on women’s employment? What kinds of resources are available to support families in caring for children? Do parents in Hong Kong prefer home-based care or social care? What kinds of support for child-bearing and child-rearing do couples want? Do Chinese families of different social backgrounds differ in regard to their child care practices and expectations of support? What are the difficulties encountered by the social service agencies in care provisions? What can we learn from the experiences of other countries? The main objective of this study, therefore, is to obtain a holistic view of child care patterns and the needs of families in relation to child care to inform policies that will improve children’s care and the welfare of carers in Hong Kong. To answer these questions, the study will adopt both quantitative and qualitative methods and will comprise four major stages: 1) documentation; 2) a telephone survey; 3) focus group interviews; and 4) in-depth interviews.
Child care policy is a relatively less studied topic in Hong Kong in the last decade. This study will contribute to social policy development in Hong Kong in three areas, namely population policy, child care policy and family-friendly policy.
Dr. CHOW Wing Yin Written Word Learning in Chinese Children: Its Underlying Mechanisms and the Influences of Reading Experience and Ability Abstract of Research Learning to read is a key task in child development. Children have to acquire thousands of written words during reading development. This effortful process involves continuous practice and the mastery of various cognitive-linguistic skills. To date, research on children's word reading development has focused on reading outcomes. The process through which children undergo learning new words is far from well understood. The project investigates the underlying mechanisms of Chinese written word learning in children (written word learning will hereafter be denoted by word learning). It adopts a new angle – the main focus is on dynamic learning processes rather than static reading outcomes. This is the first research to develop and employ an extended associative learning paradigm, which uses a unique set of novel word stimuli to isolate the effects of prior word experience to test Chinese word learning processes. The paradigm will provide a comprehensive picture of Chinese word learning by examining the roles of linguistic and orthographic knowledge in learning new words. Additionally, the developmental pattern of word learning is a main focus of this project. Using existing phase models of reading as our theoretical framework, we propose and test a phase model, which hypothesizes that qualitative differences exist in word learning mechanisms among children with different levels of reading experience and ability, from pre-analytic to full analytic phases. We will examine the influence of reading experience and ability on word learning using a cross-sectional design. A total of 150 typically developing Chinese children from three grade levels (kindergarten second grade, primary second grade, and primary fifth grade) will be individually administered tasks of novel word learning, Chinese word reading, nonverbal IQ and memory abilities. Altogether, the project findings will make significant contributions to three critical issues regarding Chinese word learning. First, they will reveal the influences of prior linguistic knowledge, including phonology and semantics, on word learning. Second, they will unravel the underlying mechanisms of word learning in relation to the utilization of holistic versus analytic approaches. The holistic approach focuses on rote memorization of whole units, while the analytic approach emphasizes the use of orthographic knowledge in learning words. Third, they will demonstrate how word learning mechanisms operate in children with different levels of reading experience and ability. Ultimately, they will generate a dynamic word learning model that conceptualizes the interplay among linguistic knowledge, analytic processing of orthography, reading experience, and word learning in Chinese.
Dr. WONG Wing Kuen Phonological Planning in Cantonese Word Production This proposed project focuses on the cognitive mechanism underlying spoken word production in Cantonese. Cantonese is the major Chinese dialect used by the people in Southern China including Hong Kong. Four experiments are proposed to investigate how segmental (sub-syllabic and syllabic units) and supra-segmental (lexical tone) information are processed over the time course of phonological planning in Cantonese word production using the picture-word interference task, which is one of the most widely employed paradigms in the literature of spoken word production. In this task, Cantonese-speaking participants are asked to name aloud individually presented pictures of concrete objects and ignore an accompanying auditory word distractor. The picture and the distractor are presented either simultaneously or sequentially. The results from this project have implications for two theoretical issues. One concerns the universality of the existing prominent theories of speech production, which were developed primarily from the research on non-tonal languages such as Dutch and English. The other relates to how language-specific properties can be explained in the use of tonal languages such as Cantonese or Mandarin. Practically, the findings provide valuable insights for the improvement of speech quality among tonal language users, as well as for the learning and teaching of a tonal language as a means for communication.
Dr. YU Xiaonan Nancy A Longitudinal Analysis of Resilience And Depressive Symptoms Among People Living with HIV in Rural China Depressive symptoms (DS) are prevalent in people living with HIV (PLHIV), and have a negative impact on quality of life, and health and behavioral outcomes.The proposed study will be based on a two-wave longitudinal survey of PLHIV and their HIV seronegative (HIV-) spouses. A random sample of 198 married Chinese patient–spouse dyads affected by HIV will be recruited in Henan province which has a high prevalence of HIV. This study will focus on resilience and DS, by using an ecological model to: a) examine resilience at multiple levels as a protective factor for PLHIV DS, and by employing a dyadic sample to test b) the congruence of DS in couples and c) potential moderators, including resilience, of congruence between couple’s DS.The proposed study is guided by the following knowledge gaps in the literature on DS in HIV samples: 1) Most previous findings have been cross-sectional, limiting information about predictors of changes in DS; 2) While many risk factors for DS have been reported, the protective variable of resilience has not been examined; 3) Most studies have focused only on individual characteristics, and the roles of the spouse and family factors in PLHIV DS are not clear; 4) Little is known about congruence of DS in couples affected by HIV; 5) Most studies have not been theory-driven, and there is a need for a basic framework to derive and test hypotheses which guide additional research, and serve as a basis for developing interventions.The objectives of this two-wave longitudinal study are to: 1) examine the association of resilience (at the individual, spouse, and family levels) at baseline with the change of PLHIV DS from baseline to the follow-up; 2) conduct a further exploration of the pathway by which spouse and family resilience predict PLHIV DS; 3) investigate PLHIV stress as a moderator of the association between resilience and PLHIV DS; 4) examine congruence of DS in couples; and 5) add nuance to the basic main effects model by examining resilience (PLHIV, spouse, and family) and stress (experienced by PLHIV and spouse) as moderators of the association of DS within couples.The proposed study presents a novel approach by expanding the usual deficit-focused and individual-oriented paradigms to include protective and contextual factors, particularly those related to the spouse, and to a lesser extent, the family. The findings from this study will have important theoretical and mental health promotion implications.
Dr. ZHANG Zhuoni Neighborhood Characteristics, Parental Practices and Immigrant Children's Academic Performance and Non-Cognitive Skills in Hong Kong Public tension surrounding the consequences of Chinese immigration into Hong Kong has drawn the attention of researchers and policy makers. In particular, the less-well-off profiles of Chinese immigrant families caused public worries about burdens to government welfare expenditure, over-occupancy of public medical and educational resources, and rising inequality, especially for immigrant-concentrated areas such as North, Yuen Long, and Tuen Mun. At the same time, researchers also paid much attention to studying the integration of Chinese immigrants and their offspring.In determining the integration of immigrants’ children, educational outcomes and non-cognitive skills are two complementary and important factors. While there is a large body of literature focusing on educational outcomes, the research has not been done with population-based survey data on children of Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong. Besides, insufficient attention has been paid to non-cognitive skills that not only are crucial for child learning but also have long term influence on adult socio-economic success. This proposed study aims to fill in the gaps by simultaneously examining academic performance and non-cognitive social skills of Chinese immigrants’ children in Hong Kong using data from 2011 Population Census and the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD).The distinct feature of the proposed study is its multi-level analysis. It investigates the impacts of neighborhood socio-economic characteristics and neighborhood local residents’ attitudes towards Chinese immigrants at DCCA level, parental education- oriented practices at family level,Empirical results of the study will enable us to gain an empirical understanding of the well-being of Chinese immigrants’ offspring in Hong Kong, and to identify mechanisms and factors at individual, household, and neighborhood levels, which could facilitate the successful integration of children of Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong.



Quality Education Fund 2019 - 2020

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Prof. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Application of whole school positive education to prevent mental health problems and enhance well-being of teachers and students in primary schools 1. Goals: The project aims to initiate a paradigm shift by emphasizing on students’ and teachers’ character strengths and positive attributes, enhancing their well-being, and to help shape a new form of school culture which is able to respond to the new economic, social, and environmental challenges of the modern age, ultimately to prevent mental health problems and to build up a positive culture in the society.
Objectives: (a) to apply the integrated positive education framework with experiential learning theory to enhance well-being among primary school students and teachers, hence to prevent mental health problems; (b) to facilitate the teachers to deliver positive education curriculum developed by the project team to p1-p 6 students; (c) to develop a positive parenting program and provide online resources to support parents;  (d) to develop a “Train the Trainer” program for teachers and mental health related professionals; (e) to establish a learning community and a supportive network for teachers and related professionals; (f) to help primary schools incorporate positive education elements into their own school policies and build positive school cultures; (g) to conduct evidence-based research and establish a model for positive education in Hong Kong.
2. Targets and expected number of beneficiaries: The project serves a total of 10 primary schools in Hong Kong. The number of beneficiaries is 13,600. The targets are: (1) 7,000 students in the serving schools; (2) 500 teachers, 3,600 parents, and 20 principals in the serving schools; (3) 1,200 parents in the public; (4) 500 teachers from 100 schools and 200 mental health related professionals in schools and in the communities; (5) 600 participants of presentation and press conference.

Quality Education Fund 2017 - 2018

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. LOW Yiu Tsang Andrew The effectiveness of a school-based prevention programme to reduce adolescent suicide risk factors in Hong Kong Adolescent suicide is a great concern in Hong Kong society. Studies indicated that depression was the dominant risk factor of suicidal behaviour in secondary school students. In addition, parent-adolescent conflict has been identified as one of the relatively common precipitant of adolescents who completed suicide. Furthermore, social ecological perspective drew our attention to family support and peer support as possible risk factors among adolescent suicide. The objectives of the present study is to develop a school-based adolescent suicide prevention programme for Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong through evaluating the effectiveness of three school-based adolescent suicide prevention programmes. This includes: 1) programme for adolescent plus four weeks on-line homework exercise. 2) programme for adolescent plus four weeks parent programme, and 3) adolescent programme plus four weeks programme for peer and teacher. Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected to compare any differences in impact of the three programmes and develop a programme manual that includes content and an evaluation protocol for school social workers.


Quality Education Fund 2014 - 2015

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. CHOW Wing Yin Catering the Needs of Diverse Learners Using Interactive Dialogue and Creative Literacy Activities in English Language Education The project aims at catering for about 500 students' differential abilities and needs in English learning using interactive dialogue and creative literacy activities at P.1 and P.4 in 4 primary schools; equipping teachers in these schools with effective and innovative instructional methods in teaching English to diverse learners; as well as enhancing students' English proficiency and creativity, promoting their interest in reading and active use of English in classroom. Major deliverables include a teaching manual and website with detailed guidelines on the practical use of interactive dialogue and creative activities that local schools could employ; 2 to 3 newspaper or journal publications on HK children's English learning and creativity development; and seminars for teachers on the use of interactive dialogue and creative literacy activities to cater for learner diversity.



Contract Research 2021 - 2022

Principal Investigator Project Title Abstract
Dr. CHAN Siu Ming The Effectiveness of Experiential Learning Supported by a University in Enhancing Interest and Knowledge of Engineering and Improving STEM Education - RMGS Driven by the HKSAR Government’s initiative in the promotion of STEM education in secondary schools, the project aims to study how experiential learning supported by universities can enhance students’ interest, skills and knowledge of engineering, and eventually improve the effectiveness of STEM education. An evidence-based approach will be adopted to study the change in students’ behavior, skills and knowledge, which involves the establishment of an Engineering Talent Hub (“Hub”) under the College of Engineering of City University of Hong Kong (CityU). Not only will it serve as a lab at which an array of specially-designed experimental programmes will be provided, the Hub will also be a long-run platform to engage target participants including secondary school students, teachers and parents for continuous study. The project will provide evidence-based insights into the development of an exemplary programme and how universities can contribute to the long-term development of STEM education.


Contract Research 2019 - 2020

Principal Investigator Project Title
Dr. CHEUNG Chau Kiu Jacky Evaluation and Outcome/Impact Indicator Bank Development for the Hong Kong Jockey Club MEL Institute Project
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Volunteering, Innovation and Mental Wellness
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Affective Underpinnings of Creativity
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Moral Education Research Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia St. Peter's Positive Education Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Lions Clubs Positive Education Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia CCC Mong Man Wai Positive Education Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Pre-primary School Children Adjustment Project
Prof. LO Tit Wing The Evaluation of the Youth Career Projects
Prof. WONG Sing Wing Dennis Programme Evaluation of Brightening Hearts


Contract Research 2018 - 2019

Principal Investigator Project Title
Dr. CHEUNG Chau Kiu Jacky Evaluation Study of the HSBC Young Financial Planners Programme
Dr. CHOI Wai Man Anna Effectiveness of the "Jockey Club Co-parenting 8 Plus" - Child Focused Education Program and its Impact on the Divorced Parents
Dr. CHOI Wai Man Anna Social Work Practice Research on Young Parents
Dr. CHOI Wai Man Anna Project Evaluation of Jockey Club Project Smart Kids
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Social Impact Assessment of the "Artwork Blessing the Community" Project
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Impact Assessment Services of HSBC Future Skills Development
Dr. HO Man Yee Building More Forgiving Communities around the Globe through Engagement to Complete Do-It-Yourself REACH Forgiveness Workbooks
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia QES OSA Branch Primary School Positive Education Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia 「正向教育」計劃研究
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia QES OSA Primary School Professional Research Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia TKOCPS Whole School Research Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Research and Consultation on Provision of School Social Work Service in Kindergartens
Prof. LO Tit Wing Caregiver Support Model & Psycho-education Program on Empowerment: Development and Validation
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Sexuality Education Project 2018-2020
Prof. LO Tit Wing Survey on the Relationship between Non-Chinese Speaking Students' Self Aspiration, Stress Level and Life Planning
Prof. LO Tit Wing A Qualitative Exploratory Study on a Faith-based Drug Recovery Programme
Prof. LO Tit Wing A Social Work Practice Research on Theatresports
Prof. LO Tit Wing Caregiver Support Model & Psycho-education Program on Empowerment: Development and Validation
Dr. YEUNG Dannii Social Impact Evaluation of Jockey Club Bounce Back Intergeneration Programme
Dr. YEUNG Dannii Social Impact Evaluation of Jockey Club Bounce Back Intergeneration Programme


Contract Research 2017 - 2018

Principal Investigator Project Title
Dr. CHOW Oi Wah Esther Study on Preventive Education on Risky Sex Behaviour and Counselling Services
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong A Three-year Longitudinal Study on Rehabilitated Offenders
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong The Development of Assessment Tool, Evaluation of the Service Approach of the Project - "Begin From Family" and Translation of the Training Package into English
Dr. HO Man Yee Resilience of Parents with SEN Child
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Kindergarten Environment and Child Learning Programme for KeySteps@JC Project
Dr. KONG Yiu Wah Review on Existing Services for Young Night Drifters of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Application of Positive Psychology to Mental Health Setting - A Holistic Approach
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia HKUGA Primary School Whole School Positive Education Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia The Salvation Army Lam Butt Chung Memorial School Project
Dr. LEUNG Lai Ching Gender Auditing the Work of NGOs in Hong Kong
Prof. LO Tit Wing 澳門特區青少年現況及趨勢研究調查
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Evaluation Study on the Women's Foundation Girls Go Tech Programme
Prof. WONG Sing Wing Dennis Breaking the Cycle - Study on Violence Prevention and Education of Teens
Prof. WONG Sing Wing Dennis Prevention of Cyber Crime among Adolescents: A Quest for Intervention Model
Dr. YU Xiaonan Nancy Emotion Management Parent-child Parallel Group Intervention Program


Contract Research 2016 - 2017

Principal Investigator Project Title
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Study on Social Costs of Crime
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Life Planning of Young People in Hong Kong: Examining Propositions, Perceptions Parental Involvement and Best Practice
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Realising the Need of the Most Marginalised Children in Hong Kong (First Phase)
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Research on Evaluating the Pilot Scheme on On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Evaluation of Circle of Security Parenting Program
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Jockey Club "Giftedness into Flourishing Talents"
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Practice Research for a Suicide Prevention Project
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Evaluative Research on 333 Learning Companion Leadership Program
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Positive Education: Positive Emotions Research
Dr. LEE Tak Yan P.A.T.H.S. to Adulthood: A Jockey Club Community-based Youth Enhancement Programme Curriculum Revamping (PATHS III)
Dr. LEE Tak Yan Tin Ka Ping P.A.T.H.S. Project
Prof. LO Tit Wing Research on Rehabilitation Programme Provided for Drug Addiction Treatment Centre (DATC) Programme
Prof. LO Tit Wing The Perceptions of the Counselling Profession and Career Development in Hong Kong
Prof. LO Tit Wing 清華大學廉政與治理研究中心調查問卷服務
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Evaluation for Jockey Club Social-Tech Incubation and Youth Entrepreneurship Programme
Dr. WONG Wing Yee Rebecca Study on the Illegal Trade and Consumption Patterns of Totoaba Fish Maw in Hong Kong and Southern China
Dr. YU Xiaonan Nancy Be Good Parents


Contract Research 2015 - 2016

Principal Investigator Project Title
Dr. TSANG Yuk Ha Eileen Survey on the Child Participation Environment in Hong Kong
Dr. CHEUNG Chau Kiu Jacky Evaluation and Reporting of the "Family-Social Protective Network"
Dr. CHEUNG Chau Kiu Jacky Evaluation Study of Cyber Youth Outreach Project
Dr. CHOW Oi Wah Esther Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Program on Narrative Therapy for Building up Coping Strategies for Dealing with Pains of Elderly Clients
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Life and Career Planning among Youth in Hong Kong
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Evaluation Study on the Women's Foundation Life Skills Programme
Dr. YEUNG Dannii To STEM or not to STEM? Factors Influencing Adolescent Girls' Choice of STEM Subjects
Dr. YEUNG Dannii The Women's Foundation Adopt-A-School (Girls Go Tech) Programme Impact Assessment


Contract Research 2014 - 2015

Principal Investigator Project Title
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Study on Intervention in Youth Violence
Prof. CHUI Wing Hong Youth Well-being Research and Research on Children from Divorced Family
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Jockey Club Education Programme on Chinese Culture and Aesthetics
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia The Application of Positive Education to Nurture Wellbeing and Promote Mental Health of Primary School Students
Dr. TAM Hau Lin Cherry Survey on the Effects of Online Activities on Young People in Tai Po District
Dr. YEUNG Wai Keung Jerf Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association Jockey Club Build Your Dream Programme


Contract Research 2013 - 2014

Principal Investigator Project Title
Prof. HO Samuel M.Y. The Developmental Trajectory of Selective Attentional Bias and Psychological Well-being
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Self-healing Expressive Art Workshop for Older Adults with Early Dementia
Dr. HUI Na Na Anna Engagement in Quality Infant-Toddler and Parenting Programs with Child and Parenting Outcomes: A Strengths-based Approach
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia Enhancing Happiness Project - Application of Positive Psychology
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia An Evaluative Study on the Care and Support Service for Deprived Families
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia A Study of an Emotions Coaching Program (ECP) for Children and Adolescent with Anxiety Features - Using Protective Factors to Enhance Positive Changes
Dr. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia An Evaluation Study on the Needs of Families in Hong Kong
Prof. LO Tit Wing Research on the Development of a 10 Year Rehabilitation Programme Plan for Macau