Exploring the culturally specific factors of mental health in South Asian minority students in Hong Kong: 探討影響香港南亞裔學生精神健康的文化相關因素

Gizem ARAT, Lucy P. JORDAN, Paul W.C. WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Ethnic minority mental health in Hong Kong is understudied. This study assessed the mental well-being of minority youth in Hong Kong and explored culturally relevant factors that may promote or adversely affect this well-being. Four focus groups (including Pakistani and Indian students) were involved in this pilot qualitative study. Thematic analysis generated five main themes, related to: positive mental health outcomes for students: (1) peer and family support; (2) adolescents’ recreational activities; (3) adolescents’ sense of humour; (4) strong religious beliefs and (5) local Chinese community support. Adolescents’ adverse life experiences emerged as a significant theme in the assessment of risk factors in relation to the mental health of the students involved in the study. Two unique findings should serve to guide future research on culturally specific factors that promote positive mental health among Indian and Pakistani minority ethnic groups. First, religion and sense of humour were seen to be important to young male individuals. Second, research suggests that support from local Chinese is a significant factor in the promotion of positive mental health. The findings of the study offer insights to guide further larger scale quantitative research, and innovative and empirical driven social work practice.


Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Early online date29 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors. The writing of this manuscript was partially supported by the University of Hong Kong Research Postgraduate studentship and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

This manuscript is based on a part of Gizem Arat's unpublished PhD thesis ‘Culturally specific resilience processes of health risk behaviours among Pakistani and Indian youth in the Hong Kong context: a mixed-methods study’, The University of Hong Kong.


  • ethnic minority youth
  • Mental health
  • protective factors
  • risk factors
  • 精神健康
  • 少數族裔青年
  • 保護因素
  • 高危因素


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