|Abstract as per original application
Research shows that Chinese students tend to have higher achievement than their Western counterparts, but also experience more psychological distress, with parents’ high expectations for children and exertion of control implicated as contributing factors. Most parenting and family intervention programs to date, however, were developed in the West and target behavioral and emotional problems among children. Given that children’s development and family dynamics are embedded in the larger societal and cultural contexts, and cultural differences in learning-related parenting have been documented, existing programs may not be effective in preventing and reducing parents’ exertion of undue academic pressure on children and other forms of controlling parenting in Hong Kong, thereby unlikely to mitigate students’ psychological distress.
The proposed research entails a culturally sensitive parenting intervention program to promote positive parenting especially in, but not limited to, the academic realm in Hong Kong. The program aim is fourfold: (1) enriching parenting knowledge, (2) facilitating parents’ setting of realistic goals and expectations for children across developmental domains, (3) empowering parents for effective parenting by fostering parent-child communications and promoting parental self-care and parenting efficacy, and (4) promoting self-reflection in parents. Central to the program is a 15-week mobile application-based intervention with a series of mini-modules for parents. Moreover, this mobile application-based intervention may be supplemented by parent meetings held by trained school personnel.
Participants will be about 480 parent-child dyads from 60 schools. Schools will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions in Time 1: the App-meeting condition with both the use of the mobile application and parent meetings; the App-only condition with just the mobile application and no parent meetings; the Wait-list condition with no intervention at Time 1 (to be given the mobile application in Time 2). In the App-meeting condition, about 40 school personnel will be involved as trained facilitators of parent meetings. Focus group interviews will be conducted with 64 parents in the App-meeting and App-only conditions. Short-term and long-term effectiveness of the mobile application-based intervention with and without school-based parent meetings will be evaluated based on quantitative and qualitative data obtained from parents and children before and after the intervention as well as from parents during the intervention through diary surveys. Specifically, program effectiveness will be assessed in terms of improving parents’ outcomes (parenting knowledge, other cognitions such as goals and expectations for children, parenting practices, and psychological functioning), children’s outcomes (psychological functioning), and the parent-child relationship.