A pilot randomized controlled trial to decrease adaptation difficulties in chinese new immigrants to Hong Kong

Behav Ther. 2014 Jan;45(1):137-52. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2013.10.003. Epub 2013 Oct 24.


Immigration occurs globally, and immigrants are vulnerable to the development of adaptation difficulties. Little evidence is available for effective programs to enhance immigrant adaptation outside of the West. This pilot randomized controlled trial tested the effectiveness of two interventions used to decrease adaptation difficulties by (a) providing knowledge of resources that are relevant to the Hong Kong context or (b) enhancing personal resilience in immigrants to Hong Kong from Mainland China. A total of 220 participants were randomly assigned to three conditions: information, resilience, or control arms. They completed measures on adaptation difficulties, knowledge, and personal resilience at baseline, immediately after the intervention (postintervention), and at a 3-month follow-up. The information intervention resulted in higher increases postintervention in knowledge than did the other two arms. The resilience intervention reported greater increases in personal resilience than did the control arm at both postintervention and 3 months later; it also reported greater increases than the information arm did at the 3-month follow-up. Although both interventions reported greater decreases in adaptation difficulties than the control arm did at postintervention and 3 months later, no significant differences were found when they were compared with each other at both time points. Both programs had high acceptability and were feasible to implement in the community. Change in knowledge had no significant mediation effect on adaption difficulties, but change in personal resilience from baseline to postintervention mediated the effect of the intervention on the outcome of adaptation difficulties at the 3-month follow-up. These findings indicate evidence for benefits of the information and resilience interventions, and they inform further development of our programs.

Keywords: Chinese; adaptation; immigrants; randomized controlled trial; resilience.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Altruism
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / psychology*
  • China
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Pilot Projects
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Self Efficacy
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult