Prof. KWOK LAI Yuk Ching Sylvia (郭黎玉晶)
B. Soc Sci (HKU), M. Soc. Sci. (HKU), PhD (CUHK).
Registered Social Worker
Cert. in Emotion-focused Therapy for Individuals
Cert. in Emotion-focused Therapy for Couples
Cert. in Satir Therapy
Cert. in Introductory Narrative Therapy
PREPARE/ENRICH authorized trainer
Basic Foundation Certificate in Music Therapy
Program Leader, Master in Social Work
Visiting Fellow, Harvard School of Public Health
Visiting Fellow, University of Rochester Medical Center
Member, International Positive Psychology Association
Convenor, Positive Education Laboratory
- Jul 2008 - Jun 2012, Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong.
- Sep 1993 - Jun 2008, Lecturer, Division of Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong.
- May 1992 - Aug 1993, Part-time fieldwork instructor, University of Hong Kong (Bachelor and Master Degree).
- Oct 1988 - Aug 1990, Part-time fieldwork instructor, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Bachelor Degree and Advanced Diploma).
- May 1987 - Oct 1988, Executive Secretary, Kwun Tong Methodist Centre. Superviisor of children and youth centre, family life education services.
- Oct 1984 - Apr 1987, Programme Secretary, Kwun Tong Methodist Centre. Centre-in-charge (Children and youth centre).
- Aug 1981 - Oct 1984, Programme Secretary, Hong Kong Federatino of Youth Groups. School social worker.
Before I joined the University, I have been a school social worker, the in-charge of a children and youth centre and a family centre for a number of years. I joined the City University of Hong Kong as a lecturer in the Division of Social Studies in 1993, was transferred to the Department of Social & Behavioural Sciences (formerly Department of Applied Social Studies) as an Assistant Professor in 2008 and retitled as an Associate Professor (B) in 2012. I was promoted to Associate Professor (A) in 2017. My mission is to improve the mental health of children and adolescents from family ecological and positive psychological perspectives. My research mainly focuses on the family ecological and positive psychological factors that are related to anxiety, depression and suicide of children and adolescents. In the past years, I have published 50 papers related to children and adolescent mental health problems, parenting and positive psychology in international refereed journals with high impact factor, i.e., Child Abuse and Neglect, Prevention Science, Research on Social Work Practice, Journal of Advanced Nursing, Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Journal of Happiness Studies, Nursing Research, Social Indicators Research, Suicide and Life-threatening Behavior, Child Indicators Research, Journal of Positive Psychology, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Child and Family Studies. I was also invited as a guest speaker and a keynote speaker in about 60 conferences and symposiums. I have established the Positive Education Laboratory in 2015, aiming to promote positive education for the students, teachers, parents and the community. The laboratory has collaborated with about 200 local schools to launch positive education.
For the past years, I have implemented about 20 positive psychology projects to alleviate anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation, as well as to improve the psychological well-being of children and adolescents. The projects include: “Enhancing hope and gratitude to alleviate depression in primary and secondary school students”, , “Developing hope and optimism to decrease anxiety in secondary school students”, “Application of positive psychology for whole person development of pre-school children”, “Integrating positive psychology and elements of music therapy to alleviate anxiety and depression of students”, “Implementing positive education to nurture wellbeing and enhance mental health of primary school students”, “Application of positive psychology to mental health setting – A holistic approach”, “Application of positive education to university students”. Funded by Idea Incubator fund and based on Satir Therapy and Bowen Therapy, two board games and two computer games aiming to promote communication among family members and increase mutual understanding were developed in 2013. This project won the Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) in 2013. In addition, as the course leader, I got the Teaching Innovation Award (Team) for our innovation in teaching the CLASS foundation course awarded by CLASS in 2019. My students’ projects also got the Discovery Enriched Curriculum Award in 2015, 2017 and 2019. I was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award by the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong in 2020.
In the previous years, I got about HK$45,000,000 (US$5,800,000) from internal grants at CityU and from external grants such as MTR Corporation Ltd., General Research Fund, Public Policy Research Fund, Quality Education Fund, UGC teaching and learning related initiatives, Bei Shan Tang Foundation, Yan Tak Charity Fund Limited, contract researches from secondary and primary schools, St. James Settlement, Caritas Social Services, ELCHK, Wofoo Charity Fund, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, the Boys and Girls Clubs Association of Hong Kong, Mental Health Association, and the HK Rhenish Church Synod Social Services Department. In addition, I have been the reviewers and journal editors of different international refereed journals and the reviewer for General Research Fund and Public Policy Research proposals. Locally, I am the chief editor of the Hong Kong Journal of Social Work. I am also the board member of different social service agencies. Internationally, I am the regional representative lead in the Positive Education Division of the International Positive Psychology Association.
- positive psychology
- mental health (suicide, anxiety, depression)
- children and adolescents
- families (parent-child, marital relationship)
Award and Achievement
- Jan 2020 "Distinguished Alumni Award in Social Sciences" University of Hong Kong.
- May 2019 "Teaching Innovation Award (Team)" CLASS
Jun 2013 “Excellence in Knowledge Transfer Award” CLASS. Integration and applicatin
of family therapy and computer program knowledge- from teachers to students to counseling professionals for developing family communication and harmony. [Computer games]
Jun 1994 “Teaching Award- College Quality Award ” College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Project on enhancing quality supervision in fieldwork placement.
Services outside CityU
- 2019- Now, Executive Committee member, Hong Kong Associations of Schools of Social Work
- 2015- Now, Honorary Consultant, Caritas Social Services, Hong Kong
- 2 Dec 2013 - Now, Executive Committee Member, Hong Kong Student Aid Society Ltd..Hong Kong.
- 2009 - Now, Board member, Evangelic Lutheran Church Social Service-Hong Kong, Children & Youth Service sub-communittee.Hong Kong.
- 1 Apr 2008 - Now, Board member, Chinese Rhenish Church HK Synod Welfare Department.Hong Kong.
- 2008 - Now, Chairman, Chinese Rhenish Chursh HK, children, youth and family sub-communittee.Hong Kong.
- 1994 - Now, Board member, E.F.C.C. Neighbourhood Family Service Centre.Hong Kong.
- 2013 - 2014, Application of positive psychology to kindergarten children, The Boys and Girls Club Association.Hong Kong.
- 2013 - 2014, Application of positive psychology to parenting school age children, The Boys and Girls Club Association.Hong Kong.
- 2012 - 2013, Application of positive psychology to lessen anxiety of secondary school students, ELCHK Life Angel Education Centre.Hong Kong.
- 2011 - 2012, Application of positive psychology to alleviate elderly depression, The Chinese Rhenish Church Elderly Services Department.Hong Kong.
- 6 Jul 2014, Character strengths and learning motivation, St. James Settlement.Hong Kong.
- 5 Jul 2014, Hope and learning motivation, ELCHK Life Angel Education Centre.Hong Kong.
- 10 May 2014, Application of positive psychology to children and youth services, Christian Family Service Centre.Hong Kong.
- Dec 2013 - Jan 2014, Application of positive psychology to children, adolescents and parents, The HK Chinese Rhenish Church Choi Wan Integrated Children and Youth Services Centre.Hong Kong.
- Nov 2013, Application of positive psychology to lessen mental health problems in schools, Guidance and Discipline Section, Education Bureau, principals and teachers of primary and secondary school.Hong Kong .
- Oct 2013, Application of positive psychology to alleviate anxiety of secondary school students, ELCHK Life Angel Education Centre.Hong Kong.
- Jul 2013, Application of positive psychology to parenting primary school age children, The Boys and Girls Clubs Association.Hong Kong.
- Mar 2013, Application of Bowen and Satir family play materials in counseling, social workers, counsellors, teachers, psychologists.Hong Kong.
- Mar 2013 - Jul 2013, Application of positive psychology in nurseries and kindergartens, Chinese Rhenish Church Early Education Department teachers.Hong Kong.
Services in CityU
- 2017- Now, Committee against Sexual Harassment, Member
- 2017-2019, CLASS College Board Committee, Member
- 2015-2017, SS Departmental Staffing Committee, Member
- Sep 2014 - Now, College Magazine, Member.
- Apr 2014 - Aug 2015, CLASS Postgraduate Program Review Committee, Member.
- 3 Mar 2014 - Now, CLASS Knowledge Transfer Committee, Member.
- Dec 2013, Programme Validation Panel for the Master of Social Sciences in Development Studies, Member.
- 2012 - Now, Research Education Committee, Member.
- Jul 2011 - Now, Programme Leader (BASWMC), Programme Leader.
- 2010 - Now, Master of Social Work Programme Planning Team, Member.
- Jul 2008 - Jun 2011, Bachelor of Social Work with minor in Counseling, Fieldwork co-ordinator.
- 2008 - 2010, Master of Counseling Psychology Programme Planning Team, Member.
Research / Thesis Supervision
- 2016 - Now, PhD supervision - Andy Cheung on "An integrated model of interpersonal theory on suicidal ideation".
- Sep 2014 - Now, PhD supervision Cary Hung on "Integration of self determination and confict theories to explain suicidal ideation".
- Sep 2014 - Now, PhD supervision Coky Wai on "Integration of stress coping and positive psychology to explain adolescent anxiety".
- Sep 2014 - Now, PhD supervision Katrina Tong on "Integration of social cognitive theory on adolescent anti-social behavior".
- Sep 2014 - Now, PhD supervision Nelson Tam "Integration of ecological and wellness theory in predicting adolescent depression".
- 2012 - 2013, MSSC project supervision, Study of the influences of family on the moral development of school-aged children in Hong Kong.
- 2012 - 2013, MSSC project supervision, The correlates of childbearing decision in Hong Kong couples.
- 2012 - 2013, MSSc project supervision, Women's attitudes towards marriage: Implications for counseling.
- Sep 2011 - Dec 2014, :PhD supervision, Chloe Ling "An integrated resilience and family ecological model of child abuse and neglect".
- 2011 - 2012, MSSC project supervision, A study on the relationship between family, friends and romantic relationship with self-esteem among tertiary students in Hong Kong.
- 2011 - 2012, MSSC project supervision, Relationship of positive psychological capital, family capital and job satisfaction: Implications on counseling.
- 2010 - 2011, MSSC project supervision, A study on adaptation of mothers of children with disabilities in Hong Kong.
- 2010 - 2011, MSSC project supervision, A study on the relationship among parenting stress, perceived social support and family resilience of parents with hospitalized children in Hong Kong.
- 2009 - 2010, MSSC project supervision, A study on the correlates of depression of nursing home residents in Hong Kong.
- Sept 2016- Now, CLASS foundation course, Discovering the mystery of Applied Social Sciences
- Sep 2013 - Now, Master of Social Work, Working with individuals and families.
- Sep 2012 - Now, Bachelor of Social Work, Working with individuals and families.
- Sep 2008 - Now, Bachelor of Social Work, Fieldwork supervision.
- Sep 2008 - Jun 2012, Master of Social Work, Social work theories and practice: A critical analysis.
- Sep 2008 - Now, Master of Counseling, Student project supervision.
- Sep 2008 - Now, Bachelor of Social Work, Team building and group work skills laboratory.
- Sep 2008 - Now, Bachelor of Social Work, Working with children and families.
- 13 Nov 2014 - 14 Nov 2014, “A gratitude project to alleviate depression in adolescents with cognitive-behavioral therapy” in the International Conference New Trends in well-being Studies, Hong Kong.
- Apr 2014, Application of positive psychology to alleviate adolescent depression” Seminar presentation, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University, USA..
- Apr 2014, The moderating roles of emotional competence and social problem solving in the relationship between physical abuse and adolescent suicidal ideation” Annual Meeting, American Association of Suicidology, Los Angeles, USA.
- 9 Jan 2014 - 11 Jan 2014, "Application of positive psychology to promote whole child development in pre-primary education" at Asia Pacific Conference on Applied Positive Psychology, Hong Kong.
- 24 Jun 2013 - 27 Jun 2013, "Applying a suicidal ideation model to Hong Kong and Shanghai adolescents" presented at International Conference on Counseling Univerisity students in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, Hong Kong.
- 24 Jun 2013 - 27 Jun 2013, "Family therapy and positive psychology" presented at International Conference on Counseling Univerisity students in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, Hong Kong.
- 10 Jun 2013 - 13 Jun 2013, "Child abuse and adolescent suicidal ideation in China" presented at World Congress on Suicide, Montreal.
- 3 Dec 2012 - 10 Dec 2012, "Correlates of suicidal ideation among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong" presented at The 3rd Joint International Conference of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists & Royal College of Psychiatritsts, Hong Kong.
- 9 Nov 2012 - 11 Nov 2012, "Applying positive psychology to primary school students in Hong Kong" presented at The Second China International Conference of Positive Psychology, Beijing.
- 8 Jul 2012 - 12 Jul 2012, "Correltes of suicidal ideation among Chinese adolescents in Shanghai and Hong Kong" presented at Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact Conference, Stockholm.
- 8 Jul 2012 - 12 Jul 2012, "Integrating positive psychology with cognitive behavioral coaching to enhance hope and gratitude in primary school students" presented at Social Work Social Development 2012, Stockholm.
- 8 Jul 2012 - 12 Jul 2012, "Relationship of mothers' parenting, their experiences of fathering involvement and marital satisfaction" presented at Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact Conference, Stockholm.
- 5 Jan 2012 - 7 Jan 2012, "Positive psychology: Promoting well-being of primary school students in Hong Kong" presented at Applied Positive Psychology in Hong Kong 2012 Conference, Hong Kong.
- 10 Jun 2011 - 12 Jun 2011, Relative importance of personal and family correlates of fathering behavior among Chinese fathers in Hong Kong" presented at Social Work and Social Policy International Conference, Shanghai, China.
- 10 Jun 2010 - 17 Jun 2010, "Personal and family correlates of fathering behavior among Chinese fathers in Hong Kong" presented at 2010 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development, Hong Kong.
- 10 Jun 2010 - 14 Jun 2010, "Towards a cognitive-emotive-behavioral model of adolescent suicidal ideation in Hong Kong" presented at 2010 Joint world Conference on Social Work and Social Development, Hong Kong.
- 2 Jun 2009 - 5 Jun 2009, "Family processes and suicidal ideation among Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong" presented at International Conference on Social Work & Counseling Practice, Hong Kong.
- 12 Dec 2008 - 13 Dec 2008, "Personal and family correlates of suicidal ideation in Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong" presented at Proceedings of the International Conference on Human Development and the Environment, Hong Kong.
- • BioMed Central Public Health
• General Research Grant (GRF) proposal
• Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
• Neuropsychiatric Disease & Treatment
• Social Indicators Research
• Social Research- Journal for General Social Issues
• Social Science & Medicine
• Social Work in Mental Health
• International Journal of Psychology and Counselling
• British Journal of Social Work
• Canadian Social Science
• Studies in Sociology of Science
• Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
• International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
• International Journal of Psychological Studies
• Nursing Research
• Journal of Happiness Studies
• Journal of Advanced Nursing
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Conference committee member
- Conference Chair, International Conference on "Diverse Practices in Positive Education" 2020
- Conference Chair, International Conference on"Innovation and Discovery in Social Work Practicum Education" 2015
- International Psychological Applications Conference and Trends 2012-2019
External Academic Services
- External Examiner, Department of Social Work, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2020
- External Examiner, Department of Psychology, University of Hong KOng, 2019, 2020
- External Examiner, Department of Psychology, Lingnan University, 2020
- External Examiner, Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Health Care, Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong 2013
- Academic Consultation Panel Member, Early Childhood and Elementary Education Division, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2014.
- Assessment Panel Member, Social Workers Registration Board, Hong Kong, Jan 2014 to Dec. 2016.
- External Examiner, Master of Philosophy (Social Science) Degree, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia. 2014 to present
- Programme Validation Panel Member, Bachelor of Social Work (Honours), Gratia College
- External Academic Advisor, Associate of Social Science in Social Work, Community College of City University, 2014-2017.
Editor or Editorial Membership
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Hong Kong Journal of Social Work
- Canadian Social Science
• International Journal of Psychological Studies