Public or departmental seminars

Research Students

Research Degrees in SS

Student PhD MPhil
Current 59 1
Graduated more than 100 PhD graduates (1995- 2022) 37


Programme Intended Objectives

PhD MPhil
Demonstrate advanced knowledge about major issues, be they political, economic, social, psychological and international, that are relevant to the student’s research; Demonstrate advanced knowledge about major issues, be they political, economic, social, psychological and international, that are relevant to the student’s research;
Demonstrate independent scholarly competencies in research design, methodological and analytical techniques and sophisticated theorizing; Demonstrate independent scholarly competencies in research design, methodological and analytical techniques and sophisticated theorizing;
Generate competitive grant proposals, seminar and conference papers, journal submissions and monographs; and

Generate seminar and conference papers; and


Analyze real world policy issues with theoretical and empirical research.    Analyze real world policy issues with theoretical and empirical research.   


Exemplary Current Research

Discipline(Sociology, Psychology, Social Work or Counselling) Student PhD / MPhil Research Year of graduation expected
Psychology CHEN Nan PhD Examining the relationships between classroom environment, control-value appraisals and foreign  language performance: Achievement emotions as mediators 2025
Psychology FAN Xuening   PhD The influence of parental practices on students’ academic burnout 2025
Psychology Ji Shiyun PhD Joint forces to combat HIV: A randomized controlled trial to improve the health-related quality of life of HIV-positive mothers and children, General Research Fund, Research Grants Council 2023
Psychology LAM, Chun Yiu Beck PhD Sound magnetic intervention on mood regulation and sleeping quality improvement: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Chakra perspective 2024
Psychology LEUNG, Lai Fun Judy PhD Effectiveness of Spiritual Intervention for Persons with Depression: A Randomized Wait-list Control Trial 2024
Psychology Qiaochu, Zhang PhD "The development of attentional  bias in Chinese children during
COVID-19 pandemic "
Sociology Guan Xin PhD Drug Taking and Trafficking 2024


Exemplary publications

Discipline (Sociology, Psychology, Social Work or Counselling) Student PhD / MPhil Year Article/chapter Journal/book
Sociology Jieyi Hu PhD 2022 Rural Chinese Children’s Flourishing: How Interaction Effects of Identity Exploration and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Sociology Jieyi Hu PhD 2022 Cross-border Travel as a Function of Exchange and Ritualistic Interaction Social Science Journal
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2022 Rural Chinese Children’s Flourishing: How Interaction Effects of Identity Exploration and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2022 Rural Chinese Children’s Flourishing: How Interaction Effects of Identity Exploration and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Sociology Guan Xin PhD 2021 Restrictive deterrence in drug offenses: A systematic review and meta-synthesis of mixed studies. Frontiers in Psychology
Sociology Guan Xin PhD 2021 An inquiry into the relationship between drug users’ psychological situations and their drug-taking behaviour. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Sociology Jieyi Hu PhD 2021 The Moderation Effect of Identity Exploration and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction on Flourishing of Chinese Rural Children Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2021 The Moderation Effect of Identity Exploration and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction on Flourishing of Chinese Rural Children Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2021 The Moderation Effect of Identity Exploration and Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction on Flourishing of Chinese Rural Children Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica
Sociology Jieyi Hu PhD 2020 Residents’ Perception of Aid and Support for Urban Renewal A Closer Look at Social Sustainability
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2020 Using Grounded Theory to Understand a Cutting-edge Issue: Effects of Integrative Tactics on Chinese Gay Men’s and Lesbians’ Social Well-being International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2020 Intrinsic Motivation of Rural Adolescents in China: How Individuation Influences? Children & Youth Services Review
Sociology Tianli Qin PhD 2020 Intrinsic Motivation of Rural Adolescents in China: How Individuation Influences? Children & Youth Services Review
Sociology Tianli Qin PhD 2020 Social Value Orientations: Paternalism, Liberalism, and Egalitarianism A Closer Look at Social Sustainability
Sociology Xinshan Jia PhD 2020 Work Support, Role Stress, and Life Satisfaction among Chinese Social Workers: The Mediation Role of Work-Family Conflict Work Support, Role Stress, and Life Satisfaction among Chinese Social Workers: The Mediation Role of Work-Family Conflict
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2020 Using Grounded Theory to Understand a Cutting-edge Issue: Effects of Integrative Tactics on Chinese Gay Men’s and Lesbians’ Social Well-being International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2020 Intrinsic Motivation of Rural Adolescents in China: How Individuation Influences? Children & Youth Services Review
Sociology Haimin Pan PhD 2019 How Effective are Helpers to Older Adults’ Life Satisfaction? Journal of Social Services Research
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2019 Negotiations Between Chinese Gay Men and Lesbians and Their Parents About Marriage International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2019 Moderation Effect of Social Capital on Flourishing Among Left-Behind and Other Children in Rural China Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work & Development
Sociology Sijia Guo PhD 2019 Teacher, Police, and Social Worker Helpfulness for Preventing Parental Physical Abuse in Shanghai Advances in Sociology Research
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2019 Negotiations Between Chinese Gay Men and Lesbians and Their Parents About Marriage International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2019 Moderation Effect of Social Capital on Flourishing Among Left-Behind and Other Children in Rural China Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work & Development
Sociology Xuan Ning PhD 2019 Marital Liberalization in Relation to Life Satisfaction Applied Research in Quality of Life
Psychology Chen Bowen PhD In press Patterns of perceived harms and benefits of the COVID-19 outbreak in Hong Kong adults: A latent profile analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Psychology Hu Jinghan PhD In press The more the better, only in the longer term: A cluster randomized controlled trial to evaluate a compound intervention among mainland Chinese immigrants in Hong Kong. Behavior Therapy.
Psychology Ma Zewei PhD In press Coronavirus-related searches on the Internet predict COVID-19 vaccination rates in the real world: A behavioural immune system perspective. Social Psychological and Personality Science.
Psychology Zhou Yanlin PhD 2022 Stressful life events and children’s socioemotional difficulties: Conditional indirect effects of resilience and executive function. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Psychology LEUNG, Cyrus Lap Kwan PhD 2021 Profiling vaccine believers and skeptics in nurses: A latent profile analysis.  International Journal of Nursing Studies
Psychology LEUNG, Cyrus Lap Kwan PhD 2021 Family caregiving during the COVID-19 pandemic: Factors associated with anxiety and depression of carers for community-dwelling older adults in Hong Kong  BMC Geriatrics
Psychology Ma Zewei PhD 2021 The COVID-19 pandemic and seeking information about condoms online: an infodemiology approach. Psychology & Health
Psychology Ma Zewei PhD 2021 The role of ingroup assortative sociality in the COVID-19 pandemic: A multilevel analysis of google trends data in the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations
Psychology Qu Diyang, Huang Jiasheng PhD 2021 Association between mother-adolescent relationship quality and subjective well-being: Resilience resources as a mediating factor among Hong Kong Chinese adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Studies.
Psychology Qu Diyang, Chen Chen PhD 2021 Congruence and discrepancy in migrant children and mothers’ perceived discrimination: Using response surface analysis to examine the effects on psychological distress. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.
Psychology Qu Diyang, Huang Jiasheng PhD 2021 Dyadic effects of fluid mindset on psychological growth in immigrant mothers and their children: Indirect effect of resilience. Family Process.
Psychology Zhou Yanlin PhD 2021 Dyadic associations between grandparent–child relationship quality and well-being in Chinese left-behind families: Mediating role of resilience. Journal of Happiness Studies.
Psychology Bu He PhD 2020 Enhancing resilience in cross-boundary families: A parent-child parallel group intervention. Journal of Social Work.
Psychology Chen Chen, Huang Jiasheng PhD 2020 Resilience moderated the predictive effect of dual stigma on distress among Chinese newly diagnosed HIV-positive men who have sex with men. AIDS Education and Prevention.
Psychology Huang Jiasheng PhD 2020 Social distance mediates the association between fear of infection and better-off-dead beliefs about people living with HIV. Journal of International Medical Research.
Psychology Liu Xingyun PhD 2020 Mediation effect of suicide-related social media use behaviors on the association between suicidal ideation and suicide attempt: Cross-sectional questionnaire study. Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Psychology Lo Siu Chung Eric PhD 2020 Development of a Psychometric Measure of the Propensity to Consciously Control and Monitor Speech Production Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Psychology Huang Jiasheng PhD 2019 Variations in dyadic adjustment among heterosexual HIV discordant couples in rural China: A latent profile analysis. AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
Psychology Liu Xingyun PhD 2019 Proactive suicide prevention online (PSPO): Machine identification and crisis management for Chinese social media users with suicidality. Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Psychology Ng Ting Kin PhD 2019 Value change in response to cultural priming: The role of cultural identity and the impact on subjective well-being. International Journal of Intercultural Relations
Psychology Zhang Jinfeng PhD 2019 Future time perspective and well-being in Chinese older adults: Moderating role of age stereotypes. Research on Aging.
Social Work Ebenezer Cudjoe PhD Online (2022) Living with parental mental illness is like a roller coaster: Reflections on children's lifeworld in the family setting Journal of Clinical Nursing
Social Work Edward Asamoah PhD 2022 Implementation of inclusive education policy in Ghana: Recommendations from Social Workers and Policy Makers International Journal of Disability Development and Education
Social Work Nelson Tam Wai Yiu PhD 2022 A multiple component positive psychology intervention to reduce anxiety and increase happiness in adolescents: The mediating roles of gratitude and emotional intelligence. Journal of Happiness Studies
Social Work Edward Asamoah PhD Online (2021) Developing social entrepreneurship as an intervention to enhance disadvantaged young people’s sense of self-worth and career competence in Hong Kong Applied Research in Quality of Life
Social Work Edward Asamoah, Ebenezer Cudjoe PhD Online (2021) A systematic review of the roles of social workers in inclusive education for children with disabilities International Social Work
Social Work Wong Yuk Yi, Fok Yuen Hung Doris, Liao Xu Mphil/PhD 2021 Positive life stories of stroke-survivor’s spousal caregiving in Hong Kong: Lessons for policy and practice. Social Sciences & Medicine
Social Work Zhou Gaungdong PhD 2021 The age and gender effect on four forms of peer victimization among Chinese children and adolescents. Applied Research in Quality of Life.
Social Work Fok Yuen Hung, Doris PhD 2020 Recipe of Life: A Relational Narrative Therapy with persons with Chronic Pain. Research on Social Work Practice
Social Work Nelson Tam Wai Yiu PhD 2020 A review of correlates of depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. . The Hong Kong Journal of Social Work
Social Work Andy Cheung Po Sze PhD 2019 A longitudinal study on the relationship among childhood emotional abuse, gratitude, and suicidal ideation of Chinese adolescents.  Child Abuse & Neglect, 94 Child Abuse & Neglect
Social Work Liao Xu PhD 2019 Child Abuse & Neglect Journal of Social Work


Research Student


2021 – 2022 Entry

Name Title Abstract
EZULIKE Chigozie Donatus Informal caregiving for older people: The lived experiences of older adults as family caregivers in Nigeria As the population of older persons continue to rise globally, the family is increasingly expected to assist ageing members. In developed countries where population ageing is more evident, empirical studies reveal that many individuals commence informal care provision at older ages or continue the caregiving role from their young age until later years for other ageing family members. However, in developing countries like Nigeria, the gains in life expectancy are not as high as is obtainable in the developed world regions. The country’s demography reflects the primacy of youth-oriented research and policy efforts. Consequently, older people's involvement in family caregiving, and indeed, the silver economy, has yet to receive research attention. The few available studies predominantly focus on the experience of burden and quality of life of young and middle-aged family carers. Hence, this study sought to explain how older family caregivers construe their caregiving experiences in Nigeria. In-depth interview data were collected from thirty family caregivers in Owerri, southeast Nigeria. Using van Manen's method of phenomenological analysis, the findings showed that the participants' assumption of the caregiving role was motivated mainly by religious and cultural reasons. From their position as caregivers, they derived such benefits as knowledge acquisition, receipt of protection and blessings. However, they were negatively impacted mainly healthwise and financially since they may be supporting their unemployed adult children or grandchildren. The caregivers coped mostly through meaning-making and received support for their role, mainly from the immediate and extended family. Given the non-existence of functional social security and social policies for older people in Nigeria, the study's findings indicate the need for the Nigerian government to recognise the increased involvement of older Nigerians in family caregiving. Welfare policies to improve their living conditions are also critical to promote ageing-in-place for older Nigerians.
FUNG Siu Cheung, Johnny Promoting Personal Development of University Students: The Value of Integrated Theatresports Program This study used Theatresports (TS) as a basis to develop a modified model of TS, namely the Integrated Theatresports Program (ITP), as an experimental method to examine the personal development of university students in Hong Kong, in particular their concepts of self, social self and creative problem-solving. The ITP is designed to apply Constantin Stanislavski acting system, improv training and the TS program as a whole and integrates the philosophical ideas of the founder of TS, Keith Johnstone, to create an application that incorporates sociological concepts and performing arts to enhance university students’ personal development. Participants attend 12 workshops and one open performance to learn and experience the ITP as a performing arts activity. Through the approach and activities of ITP, the study aims to achieve the following objectives: 1) the participants can go through the learning process of the entire and regular ITP system, 2) understand and discover their self and social self, 3) understand and recognize the interpersonal differences through building social relationships with others, 4) deal with problems by creative problem-solving means to avoid only dealing problems with inertial single solutions, and 5) adapt to different elements of society and make effective and flexible communication methods to create a society with consensus. The study adopts a qualitative research method to achieve the above research objectives. The samples are students of City University of Hong Kong. Semi-structured and open-ended interviews will be used to collect ITP participants’ firsthand experiences. In addition, thematic analysis will be used to examine the interview data and gather their insights on understanding their self, social self and creative problem-solving means through their participation in the ITP.
FUNG Wing Yi, Fiona In Developing Self-Awareness: A Heuristic Inquiry Into The Meaning Of Self-Discovery Process In Alchemical Tarot Counselling This thesis introduces a ground-breaking counselling model which uses Tarot as a mean to be the bridge between one’s conscious and unconscious inside the human psyche to start developing self-awareness based on Carl Jung’s depth psychology. Since its appearance in 15th century, without knowing its origin, Tarot had been used from playing to fortune-telling for centuries in history. Under the labelling of Western religions, consulting with Tarot had been regarded as recourse to demons and therefore should be rejected. However, its close connection with different ancient wisdom had aroused the attention and interest of mystics and mythologists in 20th century mostly in Europe, but still the development was under the shadow. It was until the first Rider-Waite deck created in 1909 that Tarot had been reorganized in a formal system with rich symbols and regained the worldwide attention. With the utilization of symbolism in the Rider-Waite deck, it has gradually become the best-known Tarot deck in its community and helped Tarot to extend its influence on the psychological field. Carl Jung first started speaking about Tarot’s psychological functions in a public lecture in 1933. His comments on the cards in Major Arcana as descended from the archetypes of transformation had led more Jungian scholars to start investigating more about Tarot’s psychological value since then. The similarities between Tarot and Jung’s analytical psychology, which both work towards the same goal of human development – individuation, have bounded them together and that makes Tarot more grounded with intellectual knowledge. The archetypal journey depicted in Major Arcana illustrates human’s self-discovery process from being unconscious to being conscious in a detailed way. In short, it provides a map for those who are eager to embark on the journey and supports them with directions and insights through self-reflection. This has totally changed the way of using Tarot and attracted more scholars and psychotherapists to incorporate Tarot in therapeutic settings. Meanwhile, even though Tarot has been more widely used by therapists in Western countries, it is still mainly focused on reading instead of counselling. A deep exploration on how Tarot helps with raising self-awareness from the level of unconscious in counselling sessions is still nowhere to be found. In order to combine counselling and Tarot with a more specific intention under a structured format, this thesis aims at not only creating a new humanistic and transpersonal counselling model – Alchemical Tarot Counselling to intentionally use Tarot as a psychological tool and expand its inherent therapeutic function, but also capturing the experiences and feelings of participants during the whole course of tarot counselling in terms of initiating self-discovery, raising self-awareness and reaching self-acceptance. A qualitative methodology – heuristic inquiry was used to enable deeper understanding of the essence of the phenomenon with humility and richness. It starts from the researcher’s personal experience and inner search and focuses on how to refine a humanistic understanding of human experiences by concerning about the human person in an experience of meaning, as well as exploring one’s own self-reflective process, growth and discovery in both researchers and co-researchers’ sides, thus it is a co-creating process. Each self-discovery journey is unique and cannot be overgeneralised. After going through six designated sessions, one interview and one recorded video, participants reported their unique realisations and profound changes in themselves and in life, including the feeling of increase in self-worth, more emotional awareness, less stress and anxiety, more self-acceptance and self-empowerment, more self-understanding, more clarity towards the future, focus more on self-reflection and improvement in relationships. Through the step-by-step sessions according to the development of the hero’s journey with Tarot cards, participants had reached the certain stages of individuation in their first cycle that helped pave the way for them to continue to contemplate in the future. They also found that Tarot was helpful and effective in diving into their unconscious worlds and making them share something that they were not aware of before. The images of Tarot could help them quickly associate with their own perceptions while they could literally see them projecting onto the cards from a 3rd person way which was broader and more objective. Those angles could not be possible to be seen via traditional talking therapy. All of them have positive feedbacks and experiences with Tarot cards and some of them even bought the decks for themselves and want further learning with them from the researcher. The supportive and non-judgemental counselling environment and the presence of the researcher also played an essential role to support the whole counselling process. Results and findings showed that with the critical elements contained in the new counselling model, Alchemical Tarot Counselling has the potential to be an alternative option for the clients who are committed to their self-discovery journey and going beyond the cognitive mind to get in touch with their unconscious, so that they can keep expanding their level of consciousness through self-reflection.
FOK Yuen Hung The Identity Construction of Teenage Mothers in the Hong Kong Chinese Context: Individual as a Site for Competing Forms of Subjectivity In light of social constructionist perspectives, the identity of teenage mothers is neither pre-existed nor only a personal intra-psyche construct. Instead, it is a product of social interactions that involve subjective processes of self-conception and discursive practices in society. This research project aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the lived experience of teenage mothers in real life and the processes of how their identity is constructed within their sociocultural context. 20 research participants were recruited, and each participant attended two in-depth interview sessions. In total, 40 in-depth interview sessions were conducted using an interpretative phenomenological research approach. The three main themes of the findings, including social processes contributing to the identity construction of teenage mothers, teenage mothers’ self-perception of their own identity and teenage mothers’ strategies for resisting and/or negotiating their stigmatized identity, had been derived from the data. The findings clearly demonstrated that the identity construction of teenage mothers was not unilateral. Individuals also contributed to the construction process and served as a site for competing forms of subjectivity in which the teenage mothers have been exposed to alternative ways of constituting the meaning of their lived experiences. Meanwhile, their subjectivity was not only constituted by dominant discourses that were underpinned by various social forces, but also subject to change by their negotiating with and resisting the dominant discourses, which helped to reconstitute the meaning of teenage mother and then (re)construct their identity. Thus, identity construction was a bilateral process in which the teenage mothers performed as an active agency to counteract the stigmatization of their identity manipulated by the dominant discourses, while social forces still have great influence on their identity construction.
LI Yumei From a contextual behavioral science perspective: Investigation and intervention on mental health and technology use behavior of Chinese rural adolescents Adolescents in rural China face many mental health problems. They also have problems with social media use, smartphone use, and online gaming. However, due to the lack of mental health counseling resources, these phenomena are often ignored or disregarded by teachers and parents. Based on the theoretical models of problematic technology use (e.g., Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution (I-PACE) Model), combined with elements of positive psychology (e.g., meaning in life), this project proposes to conduct three studies to explore how to promote mental health and reduce problematic technology use among rural youth.
The first study used a cross-sectional survey to explore the relevance of different systemic factors (social support, teacher encouragement, parental emotional neglect and abuse, peer phubbing, meaning in life, etc.) to rural adolescents' mental health and problematic technology use. Network analyses were used to explore the central and bridging symptoms of problematic technology use to provide insight into intervention priorities. Latent profile analyses were used to examine the effects of the different meaning in life profiles on mental health and problematic technology use to provide insight into psychological intervention strategies.
The second study was conducted concurrently with the third study. The second study was a longitudinal questionnaire study. It explored the potential mechanisms by which different systemic factors influenced adolescents' mental health and problematic technology use. The third study designed a brief contextual behavioral intervention based on strengths, meaning, hope, and connectedness. It was intended to explore the effectiveness of the intervention strategy through a pilot randomized controlled trial.
Overall, the current project attempts to enable us to better understand how different systemic factors influence the mental health and technology use behaviors of rural adolescents, while giving effective intervention strategies.
SUN Chaoran Examining the role of motivation intensity on cognitive flexibility, emotion regulation, and resilience: A serial-mediation model Cognitive flexibility is one of the protective factors based on resilience theory. According to the motivation-dimension theory, the cognitive broadening effect of positive emotion is played by the intensity of approach/withdrawal motivation. In the presence of intense approach/withdrawal motivation, individuals in a positive/negative emotional state tend to have lower cognitive flexibility than neutral and low approach/withdrawal motivation. Experiments were conducted to manipulate motivation intensity. Mouth-watering pictures were utilized to trigger intense approach motivation, whereas disgusting pictures were used to trigger intense withdrawal motivation. The results suggested that with the triggering of intense approach and withdrawal motivation, the cognitive flexibility of the participants declined compared to the neutral group and low intensity group. The theory and the experiments showed that motivation intensity has a significant effect on the individual's cognitive flexibility regardless of positive or negative affect. However, the experiment results have not yet been applied out of the laboratory. Speculations from the theory and experiments posit that motivation intensity may exist in real-life situation and it might have profound influence towards the individual's resilience. To address the research gap, it is important to conceptualize the concept of motivation intensity and enable it to be measured in general population. The present study plans to conceptualize motivation intensity and design a measurement to observe how motivation intensity differs across individuals. It was hypothesized that motivation intensity is a multi-layer concept. It enlists motivation, desire, and non-acceptance of failure to approach/withdrawal. A pilot-study would be conducted to test the basic hypothesis. Results of a structural equation modeling (SEM) are expected to imply the validity of the measurement. The next step of the research is to investigate the relationship between parenting, motivation intensity, cognitive flexibility, emotion regulation skills, and resilience. The data will be collected through the scale designed and cognitive flexibility scale, the emotion regulation scale and the resilience scale. Results of a structural equation modeling (SEM) are expected to support the serial-mediation model.
SYNCHAISUKSAWAT Pasyn Wellbeing in interdependent cultures: Towards a more integrated wellbeing model Wellbeing has gained more reputation for its accountability as a psychological variable to assess how well a person or a society function. Countries including the United Kingdom, Japan, and France have adopted wellbeing as an indicator of national performance. Moreover, institutions including universities, school and workplaces have increasingly utilised wellbeing measurements to evaluate the results of the educational programme. In the field of psychological research, studies on wellbeing have grown exponentially in the recent years. The significant advancement of wellbeing research implies the attention the study of happiness has gained and how important wellbeing is for people in this era. More empirical studies on wellbeing and happiness have taken into account East Asian cultural perspectives a factor that could influence subjective wellbeing of East Asian people. My study integrates the concept of interdependent self-construal and the collective nature of East Asian people to study subjective wellbeing. The role of family and the concept of interdependent happiness are introduced as a unique type of happiness based on relationship with significant others. In sum, the study will investigate how family has an impact on individual subjective wellbeing of people from Hong Kong and Thailand. In addition, the study will observe the mechanism of the relationship between family and subjective wellbeing. By integrating interdependent happiness theory and cognitive theory of anxiety; the research aims to explore the role of interdependent happiness and anxiety in the relationship between family and subjective wellbeing.
WONG Kang Li Builders of Our New Society: Civil Participation in Singapore and the Impact of COVID-19 The aim of this thesis is two-fold. It first investigates the mechanisms behind the phenomenon of civil participation. The major theoretical approaches of social capital theory and social identity are inadequate explanations for what drives people to contribute to the common good. The second aim is to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the civil participation of individuals. The study seeks to explain how COVID19 shaped both the social milieu and individual dispositions for civil participation. A critical realist grounded theory methodology was employed. 40 in-depth interviews were conducted with Singapore residents with engagement in a diverse range of civil participation. Agentic Dispositions stemming from the participants’ personal-relational identities formed the intention to take action. These include Empathetic Interfacing and Recognition of Privilege. Both involve social comparisons between self and unrelated groups in society. The pandemic activated these Agentic Dispositions through Intensifying Visibility of groups in need and Social Disruptions that stopped normal activities in one’s lifestyle. The study contributes to a theoretical integration of identity by highlighting the contribution of personal and relational identities to civil participation. This can inform both civil society groups in the community and the state on introducing civil participation opportunities in various public interests to foster broader participation in society. Disaster was also shown to reinforce or activate Agentic Dispositions that lead to civil participation. Lastly, the study underscores the importance of taking emergent civil participation into consideration in disaster response plans so as to have better coordination of resources according to the needs.
XIE Xuying Examining the impacts of parenting behaviors on adolescents’ outcomes
via Basic Psychological Needs Theory
Contemporary parenting research anchors on the Basic Psychological Needs Theory (BPNT) in the framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT). Three basic needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness) have been identified to be an important mechanism explaining the impact of parenting on adolescent outcomes. However, extant literature either examined the three basic needs overall as one construct (i.e., need satisfaction or need frustration), or separately examined one or two basic need(s) on adolescent outcomes.
The present study intended to fill in the research gap by examining the three basic needs simultaneously on the relationships between four parenting behavior dimensions (i.e., parental psychological control, parental autonomy support, parental structure, parental warmth) and adolescents’ well-being, ill-being, and reactance proneness. Well-being was indicated by adolescent positive functioning measured by EPOCH (Engagement, Perseverance, Optimism, Connectedness, Happiness); Ill-being was indicated by depression and anxiety symptoms; Reactance proneness represented the propensity to experience an aversive state comprised of feeling of anger, a rejecting attitude toward authority as well as the intention to engage in forbidden behaviors.
 By testing an integrated model with structural equation modeling, it aimed 1) to examine the unique variances accounted for each endogenous variable; 2) to identify the potential paths as well as their strengths from parenting behaviors to adolescent outcomes via the mediating roles of basic psychological need(s); and also 3) to adapt and validate Chinese version of EPOCH scale.
ZHANG Yuxuan Reducing Adolescent Aggression by Therapeutic Filmmaking Adolescent aggression is regarded as a severe problem by modern society. The growing number of teenagers with aggressive and violent behavior urgently calls for timely intervention for adolescent aggression. Yet many previous intervention approaches were based on the one-factor model of aggression, ignoring that aggression could be better distinguished as proactive and reactive aggression. Also, most of them lack a rigorous experimental design. Filmmaking is a process combining art, performing, and narrative-based therapies, to conduct participants to make short films and videos related to their personal experiences. Among the therapeutic practicing, some pioneers explored the therapeutic function of filmmaking to relieve external and internal problems in children and adolescents and achieved positive results. However, there has been no studies verifying this therapeutic method especially to reduce aggression in adolescents. To address the research gaps, the current study will use therapeutic filmmaking as an intervention approach and conduct a randomized controlled study with mixed-method (quantitative & qualitative study) to reduce adolescents' proactive and reactive aggressiveness. This study aims to verify the effectiveness of therapeutic filmmaking in lessening aggression in adolescents and lay a foundation for exploring the theoretic basis of this specific therapy.



2021 – 2022 Entry

Name Title Abstract
KAN Wan Sang A Recursive Process Model: Trusting Relationship on Drug Trafficking from Online and Offline Perspectives Drug trafficking is a serious issue worldwide. Although the reported number of drug abusers in Hong Kong has dropped since 2008, a concern of shifting to hidden drug abuse was observed. Along with the development of internet communication tools, drug trafficking has commonly appeared online. Unlike offline drug trafficking, drug abusers believed that buying drug online is safer due to anonymity. However, this raises another question: how trust is built when the trades are made in an anonymous way. In light of this, the present study aims at exploring the trust relationships in drug trafficking in both online and offline contexts. The trust theory is adopted to illustrate the trust relationship between the dealers and buyers. Previous scholars stated that trust is not a practical skill or ability, but a relational process. To better address the internal dynamics of trust-building, a recursive process model is proposed. Based on the study aims, a cross-sectional, dyadic, and qualitative research method is employed. Forty participants will be recruited for a semi-structured interview, which aims at understanding the detailed trust-building mechanism in drug trafficking. Thematic analysis will be used to analyze the interview data. Theoretically, this study proposes a new trust model of online drug trafficking, and practically tries to improve the practitioners’ understanding of trust-building among the drug dealers and buyers.
GUAN Xin Risk sensitivity and channeling mechanism of crime strategy among drug offenders: Testing a model of restrictive deterrence Deterrence by punishment aims to prevent a crime; however, it is not always successful. Restrictive deterrence explains the continuous criminal activities that occur despite deterrence; offenders enact various strategies to avoid detection, which is more typical among drug offenders given that they have a high frequency of offending and exposure to punishment. Drug offenders have shown their adaptiveness to cope and innovate ways to commit crimes. Consequently, practitioners of criminal justice and scholars need to thoroughly grasp restrictive deterrence to better respond to newly-developed patterns in drug offender behavior. To date, a body of research explores patterns and preceding factors of restrictive deterrence strategy used by drug offenders. However, the mechanisms by which restrictive deterrence lead to the variation in criminal behavior or criminal intent have not received much attention. The current thesis aims to explore: 1) what is the impact of restrictive deterrence on drug offenders’ crime intention and crime practice; 2) how restrictive deterrence exerts an impact on drug offenders’ crime intention and crime practice; 3) what are the differences and similarities between drug sellers and drug buyers, who interact in a drug-dealing context, in terms of the impact of restrictive deterrence on drug offenders’ crime and criminal intention? A model of restrictive deterrence is built to reveal the above puzzles, which depict an influence pathway from restrictive deterrence strategies to drug offenders’ risk sensitivity, and subsequently, to criminal intention.
ANDERSON Karoline Anita Transgender identity adaptation and social practice Social norms based on cisgender and heterosexual structures exclude the needs and experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals. Medical transitioning services may reduce symptoms of psychological stress; however, despite changes in appearance, transgender individuals still face exclusion from a hierarchically cisnormative society and struggle to integrate their identity socially. Butler’s performativity theory maintains that gender acceptance arises from performance and presentation. However, current research suggests that transitioning is a more profoundly complex and potentially life-long process apart from gender performativity alone. The present study addresses this gap by examining the social transitioning processes of transgender and GNC individuals through narratives of social adaptation. Using Gidden’s theory of structuration, the findings uncover participants’ in-depth knowledge of social practices and reflexive strategies to achieve greater social acceptance or fulfill agential needs. Preliminary findings suggest that social transitioning involves complex external, internal, and social reflexivity occurring over a multi-stage process regimented by the consequences of a hierarchical gender structure in social practice. This study has implications for transgender medical and counseling services, legislation affecting gender-minority groups, and policies affecting pre- or early-transition individuals, including transgender and LGBTQ+ youths.
LIAO Wangnong Organizational Socialization, Job Satisfaction, Self-actualization, and Organizational Citizenship: A Study from a Sustainability Perspective Employees expectedly do more than their in-role duties. Organ (1988) defines such extra-role behavior as organizational citizenship behavior, which refers to the employee’s discretionary behavior that can improve the organization’s functioning but is neither directly described in job definitions nor explicitly recognized by the formal reward system. However, there exist situations where extra-role behavior adversely affects the employee’s in-role job performance or personal life, such as citizenship pressure and citizenship fatigue. Consequently, organizational citizenship behavior is not sustainable at the employee’s cost. Previous research tries to find out what can drive organizational citizenship behavior while paying less attention to what can maintain it. The contributions and needs of the employee are complementary, and the employee’s contributions should not stem from an exploitative relationship. The organization and its employees must achieve a win-win situation for sustainable development. As such, this study combines the employee’s self-actualization and organizational citizenship as the dual outcome, which combines personal interest and organizational interest into a common goal, and particularly explores how the employee’s job satisfaction will affect his or her self-actualization and organizational citizenship and how to raise job satisfaction. This study integrates humanist, exchange, resource, and norm theories to provide more comprehensive theoretical explanations for these research questions.
ZHANG Han Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status, Health, and Political Values in Mainland China and Hong Kong The main body of this thesis consists of three empirical studies that closely examine intergenerational transmission, defined in this context as the way in which parents’ attitudes or life experiences are transmitted to the next generation in mainland China and Hong Kong. By applying data from the China Family Panel Study (CFPS) and the Hong Kong Panel Study of Social Dynamics (HKPSSD), these studies investigate three topics: 1) whether and to what extent the children of immigrants from Guangdong to Hong Kong achieve greater upward mobility compared with their counterparts whose parents stayed in Guangdong; 2) in what ways parents’ experiences of malnutrition during different stages in their lives is associated with the economic outcomes and health conditions of their children; and 3) how parental divergence arising from political differences shape the patterns of their children’s political attitudes. Findings from the first study (Chapter Two) show that mothers exposed to famine in utero are more likely to have lower socioeconomic outcomes. These poor outcomes are then transmitted to the next generation, as reflected in annual income and monthly salary. Moreover, it seems that the intergenerational effect of famine on children’s economic outcomes is not transmitted through the paternal line. This may be because of the lower socioeconomic status of famine mothers and their relative disadvantage in the marriage market, which in turn results in their children experiencing high levels of deprivation and fewer opportunities for social mobility. When it comes to health conditions, however, this effect appears to be driven solely by the father’s exposure. In particular, the children of fathers exposed to famine during childhood are more likely to suffer from poorer health than the children of fathers who did not experience famine. This result suggests that fathers exposed to famine in utero are positively selected compared with pre-famine fathers and also points to the vital role played by family survival strategies. In the second study (Chapter Three), the analysis shows that children of immigrants have similar occupational attainment to children of parents who stayed in Guangdong (“Guangdong stayers”) and children of Hong Kong natives, once I control for children’s educational year. In this case, children of immigrants do, however, experience advantages in regard to education. In terms of occupational mobility, the children of immigrants in this study achieved the highest level of occupational mobility compared with the other two groups of children. Furthermore, within immigrant groups, the results suggest that, regardless of how mobile the occupational status of their parents, all groups of immigrant children will still achieve similar levels of occupational attainment. In addition, all immigrant children demonstrate an upward trend, regardless of their parents’ occupation status in the origin and destination labor markets. This may be because of the change in occupational structure in Hong Kong. Furthermore, children of highly-skilled immigrants tend to track their parents’ occupational status prior to migration. Finally, children of low-skilled, stuck immigrants attain the highest level of occupational mobility, compared with other immigrants. The third study (Chapter Four) finds, first, that religious preference is associated with parents’ political divergence. Second, when it comes to the transmission of political stance, the children of parents with similar political stances have a higher probability of inheriting their parents’ political stances, except when both parents have a pro-establishment political stance. However, when parents have heterogeneous political stances, their children are less likely to remain neutral and are more likely to have a definite political stance. More specifically, when parents have different political stances—namely, when one is pro-democracy and the other is pro-establishment—their children have higher probabilities of being in the pro-democracy group. This result may be influenced by cohort and social environment changes in Hong Kong. Overall, this thesis aims to offer a novel and more comprehensive perspective on social mobility and intergenerational transmission in mainland China and Hong Kong through a combined consideration of both intergenerational and intragenerational dimensions. The findings presented in this dissertation also have policy implications for the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status, health, and political values in the East Asian context.



2021 – 2022 Entry

Name Title Abstract
LI Xuhong Understanding Professional Help-Seeking Intentions for Mental Health Problems among Young Migrants in Mainland China Chinese young migrants (aged 16–24 years old) are likely to encounter mental illness and suicide attempts due to several challenges. Given that avoidance or delay of seeking help for mental health problems is strongly associated with several negative outcomes, it is urgent to understand professional help-seeking intentions for mental health problems in young migrants. The proposed study is a mix-method study involving questionnaire survey and in-depth semi-structured interviews guided by a socio-cognitive framework Health Belief Model (HBM). Data analysis will be conducted via SPSS.26 software and Nvivo.12. Apart from advancing the understanding of mental health in young migrants who have higher risks of experiencing mental health problems, the findings will potentially provide important implications for mental health professionals (e.g., social workers), employers and policy-makers to design mental health promotion interventions, which is consistent with the aim of China’ migrants’ policy that protecting and promoting migrant’ health and WHO’s call that improving the health of young people.