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postgraduate thesis: Vulnerability factors for emotional problems of adolescents in Hong Kong: a psychometric study on the roles ofpsychosocial, personality, and cognitive factors

TitleVulnerability factors for emotional problems of adolescents in Hong Kong: a psychometric study on the roles ofpsychosocial, personality, and cognitive factors
Authors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, C. E. [陳展翅]. (2013). Vulnerability factors for emotional problems of adolescents in Hong Kong : a psychometric study on the roles of psychosocial, personality, and cognitive factors. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5055889
AbstractResearch on psychopathology in children and adolescents has focused on studying the major vulnerability factors for depression and anxiety. Most previous studies have focused exclusively on single domain of the vulnerability factors, such as psychosocial, personality, or cognitive variables. Very few studies have attempted to study the various domains of vulnerability factors in combination. Thus, research data available to date have failed to address the interplay of their roles in anxiety and depression. The present study used a psychometric approach to investigate the roles of major psychosocial, personality, and cognitive vulnerability factors in anxiety and depression, with a particular emphasis on their interrelationships, as well as their primary effects and mediating roles. The psychosocial factors examined in the present study included parenting styles (permissiveness, authoritarianism, and authoritativeness), peer relations (bullying, victimization, and prosocial behaviour), and school climate (teacher support, consistency and clarity of rules and expectations, disciplinary harshness, and safety problems). The personality trait variables included neuroticism and optimism. The cognitive variables included negative automatic thoughts related to anxiety and depression, which is commonly reported by children and adolescents. A battery of self-report measures in Chinese was administered to a sample of 1,164 Hong Kong secondary school students aged 11 to 17. The measures showed good internal consistency, and the factor structures of the translated measures were comparable to the original Western measures. Among the vulnerability factors studied, psychosocial factors including parenting style (authoritarian), peer relations (bullying and victimization), and school climate (teacher support, disciplinary harshness, and safety problems at school) were found to be significant predictors for children’s negative automatic thoughts and negative emotions. As predicted, the personality traits of neuroticism and optimism mediated the effects of the psychosocial factors on negative automatic thoughts. In addition, the results showed that neuroticism was a significant predictor for both depression and anxiety, and that the respective effects were significantly mediated by negative automatic thoughts. Optimism was also a significant predictor of depression and was significantly mediated by negative automatic thoughts. In contrast, optimism did not have a direct effect on anxiety, and its effect was completely mediated by negative automatic thoughts. Structural equation modelling showed that, of the three psychosocial vulnerability factors, parenting styles and school climate had greater effects on depression and anxiety than peer relations. The results from structural equation modelling confirmed the working model, which argues that neuroticism and optimism mediate the effects of psychosocial factors and that neuroticism and optimism are in turn mediated by the negative cognitions associated with depression and anxiety. Overall, the present results suggest the need for future research to examine major domains of vulnerability factors in combination in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of their interplay in anxiety and depression. The present study provides preliminary results that can help to guide future vulnerability research and preventive interventions.
DegreeDoctor of Psychology
SubjectEmotional problems of teenagers - China - Hong Kong.
Dept/ProgramClinical Psychology

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Chin-chi, Esther.-
dc.contributor.author陳展翅.-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationChan, C. E. [陳展翅]. (2013). Vulnerability factors for emotional problems of adolescents in Hong Kong : a psychometric study on the roles of psychosocial, personality, and cognitive factors. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5055889-
dc.description.abstractResearch on psychopathology in children and adolescents has focused on studying the major vulnerability factors for depression and anxiety. Most previous studies have focused exclusively on single domain of the vulnerability factors, such as psychosocial, personality, or cognitive variables. Very few studies have attempted to study the various domains of vulnerability factors in combination. Thus, research data available to date have failed to address the interplay of their roles in anxiety and depression. The present study used a psychometric approach to investigate the roles of major psychosocial, personality, and cognitive vulnerability factors in anxiety and depression, with a particular emphasis on their interrelationships, as well as their primary effects and mediating roles. The psychosocial factors examined in the present study included parenting styles (permissiveness, authoritarianism, and authoritativeness), peer relations (bullying, victimization, and prosocial behaviour), and school climate (teacher support, consistency and clarity of rules and expectations, disciplinary harshness, and safety problems). The personality trait variables included neuroticism and optimism. The cognitive variables included negative automatic thoughts related to anxiety and depression, which is commonly reported by children and adolescents. A battery of self-report measures in Chinese was administered to a sample of 1,164 Hong Kong secondary school students aged 11 to 17. The measures showed good internal consistency, and the factor structures of the translated measures were comparable to the original Western measures. Among the vulnerability factors studied, psychosocial factors including parenting style (authoritarian), peer relations (bullying and victimization), and school climate (teacher support, disciplinary harshness, and safety problems at school) were found to be significant predictors for children’s negative automatic thoughts and negative emotions. As predicted, the personality traits of neuroticism and optimism mediated the effects of the psychosocial factors on negative automatic thoughts. In addition, the results showed that neuroticism was a significant predictor for both depression and anxiety, and that the respective effects were significantly mediated by negative automatic thoughts. Optimism was also a significant predictor of depression and was significantly mediated by negative automatic thoughts. In contrast, optimism did not have a direct effect on anxiety, and its effect was completely mediated by negative automatic thoughts. Structural equation modelling showed that, of the three psychosocial vulnerability factors, parenting styles and school climate had greater effects on depression and anxiety than peer relations. The results from structural equation modelling confirmed the working model, which argues that neuroticism and optimism mediate the effects of psychosocial factors and that neuroticism and optimism are in turn mediated by the negative cognitions associated with depression and anxiety. Overall, the present results suggest the need for future research to examine major domains of vulnerability factors in combination in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of their interplay in anxiety and depression. The present study provides preliminary results that can help to guide future vulnerability research and preventive interventions.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50558894-
dc.subject.lcshEmotional problems of teenagers - China - Hong Kong.-
dc.titleVulnerability factors for emotional problems of adolescents in Hong Kong: a psychometric study on the roles ofpsychosocial, personality, and cognitive factors-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5055889-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Psychology-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineClinical Psychology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5055889-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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