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    Leung et al #

109 (42%)

245 (33%)

149 (57%)

447 (59%)

3 (1%)

61 (8%)

TABLE 1. (Continued) Variable

Access to parenting education

Never Sometimes Frequently

Mean (95% CI) or No. (%)

PMR sample (n=261)

Non-PMR sample (n=753)

χ2, t, P value

χ2(2)=19.74, P<0.001

*

PMR refers to “Persons from the Mainland of China having Resided in Hong Kong for less than 7 years”

The category “stepmother/others” was excluded because of the small number of expected counts. There was a participant from the PMR sample and six participants from the non-PMR sample belonging to this category

The category “reconstituted families/others” was excluded because of the small number of expected counts. There were two participants from the PMR sample and six participants from the non-PMR sample belonging to this category

§

The category “not living together” was excluded because of small number of expected counts. There were nine participants from the non-PMR sample belonging to this category

❘❘

**

Some participants did not supply the information CSSA denotes Comprehensive Social Security Assistance

Mean

95% CI

Reliability (Cronbach alpha)

118.38 11.90 37.51 30.50 32.68

115.30-121.46 10.70-13.10 36.56-38.45 29.69-31.31 31.53-33.83

0.93 0.95 0.84 0.78 0.94

TABLE 2. Mean scores and reliability estimates of scales

Scale*

PMRsample (n=261)

ECBI-intensity ECBI-problem PSI-PD PSI-PCDI RQI

Mean

117.82

7.00 33.78 26.78 33.46

Non-PMR sample (n=753)

t, P value

95% CI

Reliability (Cronbach alpha)

116.19-119.42 6.46-7.47 33.20-34.32 26.39-27.21 32.80-34.12

0.91 0.92 0.86 0.81 0.96

t(1012)= –0.33, P=0.738 t(1012)= –8.63, P<0.001 t(1012) = –6.65, P<0.001 t(1012) = –8.65, P<0.001 t(1007)=1.17, P=0.241

  • *

    ECBI denotes Eyberg Child Behaviour Inventory, PSI-PD Parenting Stress Index–parental distress, PSI-PCDI Parenting Stress Index–parent-child dysfunctional interaction,

and RQI Relationship Quality Index

  • PMR refers to “Persons from the Mainland of China having Resided in Hong Kong for less than 7 years”

Qualitative results

In terms of their adaptation to life in Hong Kong, some PMR participants reported that they encountered few problems (Table 4, 4.1); others reported great difficulties (4.2), claiming they felt very depressed and lonel , without the support of friends and relatives (4.3). Some of the stresses were related to living with in-laws (4.4) and the crowded living environment (4.5); this in turn led to difficulties in child management and parent-child relationship, causing even more stress.

Most of the PMR participants came to Hong Kong to be re-united with their husbands. Their descriptions of marital relationship were quite varied. Some were happy with their marriages (4.6), others managed to live harmoniously with their husbands (4.7), while some reported serious difficulties (4.8).

In terms of service provisions, most PMR participants indicated the need for more training courses to enhance their language and vocational skills (4.9, 4.10), as well as assistance in seeking employment (4.11).

Discussion

Our hypothesis on the association of PMR status

with parenting stress and child behaviour problem was only partially supported. The PMR parents were more troubled by their children’s behaviour problems and their parent-child interactions were more dysfunctional, compared to non-PMR parents, even after controlling for socio-economic differences. However, there were no differences in the perceived severity of child behaviour problems and degree of parental distress. This suggests that PMR parents’ perception of child behaviour problems and difficulties in parent-child interaction cannot be explained solely by socio-economic disadvantage. One possible explanation is that some PMR parents were experiencing stress due to settlement issues and thus found the experience of child rearing more overwhelming.23 A related explanation is the lack of social support among the PMR parents. Social support is known to be

associated with immigrant adaptation,10 parenting and child behaviour problems including Another 1,24 .

possible explanation, as revealed by the qualitative data, is that the PMR parents were worried that their children’s behaviour might cause nuisance to other household members or neighbours, due to the crowded living environment in Hong Kong. Consequently, they tended to be very vigilant about their children’s behaviour, which might also cause some tension in the parent-child relationship.

368

Hong Kong Med J Vol 13 No 5 # October 2007 # www.hkmj.org

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