Empathy, coping, social support, and mental health in local and migrant adolescents in Beijing

May Lan Alma Mary Gerardina Au, Agnes S K Wong, Man Kin Lai, Charles C H Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


While identity formation is evolving during adolescence, migration poses additional demands and challenges as well as new choices. Apart from the coping and social support, there is growing interest in the effect of social competence factors on the mental health of migrants. The current study aims to examine mental health and the relevant correlates among local and migrant adolescents in China. It is hypothesized that empathy would have incremental influence on the local and migrant students' mental health on top of the commonly known coping and social support variables. Two hundred and eighty six junior secondary school students were recruited from a public school in Beijing. Hierarchical regression was conducted to observe the influences of these variables on their mental health. The coping variables were entered as the first block and the perceived social support variables were entered as the second. Empathy (including perspective taking and empathetic concern) variables were entered as the third block to determine their unique contribution to understanding the mental health value. Empathy explained additional variances of mental health on top of coping and perceived social support factors for both local and migrant students. Results are discussed in the context of enhancing perspective taking to help with migrants' adjustment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-178
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal on Disability and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011


  • Coping
  • Empathy
  • Mental health
  • Migrants
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Sensory Systems
  • Speech and Hearing


Dive into the research topics of 'Empathy, coping, social support, and mental health in local and migrant adolescents in Beijing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this