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    Leung et al #

The hypothesis on the association between PMR status and marital relationship was not support- ed. There was no significant difference in marital satisfaction between PMR and non-PMR participants. This is contradictory to the stereotypical image depicted by the media, in which families with PMR wives experience serious marital problems. This is consistent with other local studies25,26 that the marital relationship of different couples are not homogeneous. Some couples are happily married, while others are experiencing varying degrees of difficulties.

Our findings may have implications for service planning and provisions. Services designed to target socio-economically disadvantaged parents appear unable to adequately meet the specific needs of new arrival parents. There should be components targeting their specific needs in terms of parenting in a new environment. For example, components to enhance self-efficacy (acquisition of language and culturally appropriate social skills; building up their social network) could be incorporated into parenting programmes for new arrivals to facilitate adaptation.1,14


Unlike the non-PMR sample where the MCHC register could be used as a sampling frame, the PMR sample was only a convenience sample, as there was no



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

sampling frame for participant selection. This might have resulted in selection bias. Furthermore, due to logistic difficulties, it was not possible to calculate the participation rate for the PMR sample.

The present sample consisted mainly of PMR participants from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. We were not able to access PMR families who were more affluent. However, the census indicates that in general, PMR families are more disadvantaged than the non-PMR families. The present results can therefore be regarded as relevant to most PMR families.


The present study fills a gap in the local research on parenting needs of new arrival parents of preschool children by comparing them with their local counterparts, using questionnaires with satisfactory






families are more socio-economically disadvantaged than local families, they are not worse off in all aspects of family life. However, new arrival parents were more troubled by their children’s behaviour and their parent-child interactions were more dysfunctional than those of local parents, even after controlling for socio-economic disadvantage. These factors should be taken into consideration in the planning and delivery of services to new arrival parents.

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