Centre for Child and Family Science

Language Development and Learning Lab 語言發展與學習實驗室

Ongoing Research Projects 

Project: C-for-Chinese@JC 賽馬會友趣學中文計劃

Period: 2016-2021

Objectives: The project aims to provide support for ethnic minority children to learn Chinese in kindergartens, so as to facilitate the smooth transition from kindergartens into primary schools and social integration. As of June 2019, the project’s award-bearing Diploma in Early Childhood Education programme has graduated 50 multicultural teaching assistants.


Project: Early Advancement in Social-emotional Health and Positivity (EASP)

Period: 2020-2022

Objectives: To develop an evidence-based intervention that will enhance teachers’ and parents’ self-management skill, empathy, capacity in regulating children’s emotion, positive teacher/parent-child relationship, and adaptive social-emotional development of children.

Approach: We adopt randomised control trial design to examine the effectiveness of the intervention that based on the PROSPER framework in promoting kindergarten teachers’ well-being. In the first phase of the project, we recruited 77 per-service kindergarten teachers to participate in the 1-month randomised control trial with two waves of assessment (i.e., at baseline pre-intervention and at 1-month post-intervention). Participants were randomly assigned to either intervention or control condition of the intervention, this resulted in 40 participants allocated to the intervention condition and 37 participants to the control condition. The participants in the intervention condition received 4 intervention workshops over two weeks after the baseline assessment. In the next phase, we will recruit another batch of participants (i.e., 80 in-service kindergarten teachers) to join the current project in February, 2021.


Project: Healthy and Thriving: How to Promote Adolescent Sleep Quality

Period: 2020-2021

Objectives: Sleep is essential for adolescents’ cognitive development. Adolescents’ sleep problems and poor sleep hygiene habits (such as excessive media use before bedtime) have negative impacts on their learning motivation and academic performance. In order to improve both physical and psychological health of adolescents, the goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the source of stressors related to adolescents’ sleep problems, (2) examine environmental/psychological factors that undermine adolescents’ sleep quality, and (3) investigate the relationships between adolescents’ psychological characteristics (e.g., self-control ability) and sleep quality.

Approach: Using a longitudinal design, data will be collected from 400 secondary school students and their parents over the course of 4-6 months. Taking advantage of longitudinal data, we seek to further explore the linkages between family psychological functioning and adolescents’ sleep quality.


Project: Post-Lockdown: Italian and Hong Kong student’s emotional well-being and perceptions after school resumption

Period: 22 June 2020- 22 June 2021

Objectives: School suspension due to the pandemic has impacted students’ psychological and emotional well-being. To see how students “recover” from school suspension in different cities, the project aims to: (1) investigate Hong Kong students’ perceptions about the pandemic and their emotional well-being after school resumption; (2) compare Hong Kong students’ perceptions with Italian students’, and explore relational and cultural factors that may have

caused the potential differences; (3) explore personal relational factors that could potentially buffer the negative impact of the pandemic.

Approach: Using an online questionnaire platform, Qualtrics, self-reported data will be collected from around 200 – 250 secondary school students (16-19-year-olds). Students who give consent will report their emotional well-being, relational well-being, cultural orientation, use of technology, and perceptions about the COVID-19 pandemic. A parallel online questionnaire will be administrated to Italian secondary school students. Our Italian collaborators will recruit a similar number of secondary school students in Italy. Data from both samples will be compared.


Project: Resourceful youth: Psychological well-being of young people

Period: 31 May 2020- 31 May 2021

Objectives: The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges on individuals, especially students. To provide adequate support, it is imperative to understand how the pandemic is affecting their mental health. Therefore, the objectives of this project are to: (1) investigate the direct psychological impact of the pandemic on college students; (2) identify the potential underlying mechanisms through which pandemic-related stressors may indirectly affect college students’ psychological well-being. (3) explore factors that could potentially shield college students’ from the negative psychological impact of the pandemic.

Approach: Using an online questionnaire platform, Qualtrics, self-reported data will be collected from around 240 university students. Students who give consent will report their mental health such as depression, their emotional well-being, their relational well-being, and their coping resources. At least two waves of data will be collected as to compare changes of their well-being during the pandemic.


Project: Stress Management and Sleep Quality under the Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

Period: 2020-2021

Objectives: The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed individuals’ health behaviour in response to the spread of an infectious disease and relevant preventive measures of the government. We postulate that the public’s heightened risk perception and safety concerns may worsen sleep quality and exacerbate sleep problems. Using a cross-sectional and correlational design, this study aims to (1) investigate sleep quality of adult population during the 4th wave of

COVID-19 pandemic, (2) examine psychological factors related to poor sleep quality during the pandemic (e.g., perceived stress, and risk perceptions of pandemic development), and (3) further explore if coordinated social supports from the community can attenuate the pandemic impacts on individuals’ health outcomes.

Approach: This study uses a correlational and cross-sectional design. The data collection was conducted during the 4th wave of COVID-19 pandemic. The findings of the study will help inform public health policies about stress management and improving sleep quality during the pandemic.