Enhancing resilience in cross-boundary families : A parent–child parallel group intervention

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationJournal of Social Work
Publication statusOnline published - 14 Apr 2020


• Summary: Cross-boundary children and their parents suffer from various stressors and mental health problems. This pilot study aimed to investigate whether an emotion regulation parallel intervention for children and parents enhanced resilience and mental health among both groups. A total of 38 pairs of cross-boundary children and parents participated in concurrent but separate intervention sessions. Three waves of tests (i.e. pre-, post-, and one-month follow-up tests) were conducted, using t-tests to evaluate the time effects during the intervention. 
• Findings: The children and parents reported significant improvements in positive affect, resilience, and family harmony, as well as a reduction in depressive symptoms following the emotion regulation intervention. For both children and parents, over half of the participants who were in the high-depression category have crossed the threshold, from high to low level of depression at post-test, and participants with higher depression levels generally benefited more from the intervention. 
• Applications: Future researchers seeking to implement demand-driven and practice-based interventions in community settings should consider contextual and cultural sensitivity, and involve community stakeholders (e.g. cross-boundary family members and social workers) in all aspects of the research process with a given community-based participatory research approach. Screening based on depression may maximize the benefits to the participants. The essential components, as well as the fidelity measures of the intervention, should be refined. Randomized controlled trials are advocated in future studies to test the efficacy and effectiveness of the intervention in different contexts (e.g. clinical and community populations).

Research Area(s)

  • children and families, family interventions, mental health, resilience, Social work, social work practice