Investigating challenges and family resilience among Chinese families with cross-boundary students : A multisystemic approach

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

2 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Journal / PublicationChild and Family Social Work
Online published12 Jul 2023
Publication statusOnline published - 12 Jul 2023


Targeting families with cross-boundary students (CBSs, 跨境学童) who travel daily between Mainland China and Hong Kong for schooling, this study aimed to identify (a) the challenges that CBS families experience in their daily lives, especially during and following the 2019–2020 Hong Kong protest, and (b) the key resources and the interactions of these recourses within and across family systems that strengthened family resilience. Data from semi-structured interviews with 15 parents of CBS were analysed using thematic analysis, following Walsh's family resilience framework and multisystemic resilience views. The results showed that CBS families encountered three sources of challenges: contextual challenges, chronic family challenges and structural challenges. Despite challenges, we found that six types of resources interacted across multiple levels within and outside of the family: collectivist-minded view of resilience, hope and perseverance, acceptance and strive, emotional regulation of self and others, family harmony and economic and instrumental supports. These resources helped CBS families maintain family functioning, alleviate situational stress and facilitate family transformation. This study produced new knowledge about CBS families. Findings suggest that fostering the resilience of CBS families relies as much on the families themselves as it does on other structural supports. © 2023 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • China, cross-boundary students, family resilience, Hong Kong, multisystemic resilience