Subjective well-being among parents of children with special educational needs in Hong Kong: Impacts of stigmatized identity and discrimination under social unrest and covid-19

Frank Tian Fang Ye, Kuen Fung Sin, Xiaozi Gao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest have posed a unique set of challenges to Hong Kong. During these two social events, parents of children with special educational needs (SEN) who were already experiencing caregiving pressure, likely coped with additional stressors; they were at a higher risk of mental health problems. A pre-registered, cross-sectional survey study was carried out among 234 Hong Kong parents of children with SEN, investigating the associations of stigmatized identity, perceived discrimination, and subjective well-being under the impact of these social events. Utilizing the Bayesian modelling, we found that highly self-stigmatized parents not only perceived more daily-life discriminating behaviors against them, but also reported having higher distress, more negative emotions, and lower life satisfaction. A higher perceived impact of social events and more discrimination were also associated with lower well-being. Additionally, stigmatized identity, perceived discrimination, and perceived impact of social events demonstrated unique associations with well-being variables, indicating they were substantial stressors. The study called out for public attention to the mental health conditions among parents of children with SEN and other disadvantaged groups in society.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Disadvantaged groups
  • Hong Kong
  • Mental health
  • Parents
  • SEN
  • Social unrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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