What is it about?

Let's step into the unique realm of cross-boundary families in Mainland China and Hong Kong. This research takes you on a riveting exploration of the challenges faced by these families, whose children traverse borders daily for education, exposing them to a higher risk of mental health issues, including depression. Prepare to be amazed as we employ the dyadic response surface analysis method to uncover the intricate connections between child-mother relationships and depressive symptoms. We discover the power of positive bonds characterized by high closeness and low conflict, as they effectively reduce depressive symptoms for both mothers and children. But beware! Our study also uncovers the hidden risks of extreme closeness, impacting mothers' mental health. Join us on this journey of understanding and gain valuable insights into nurturing optimal child-mother bonding for the well-being of cross-boundary families.

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Why is it important?

This research unveils a marginalized group: families with cross-boundary students in Mainland China and Hong Kong. The study sheds light on the hidden struggles faced by these families as their children cross borders for education, while investigating relational resources that empower them in the resilience process. Employing an innovative approach known as dyadic response surface analysis, the study uncovers the intricate patterns of child-mother relationships and their impact on depressive symptoms. By delving into this crucial aspect, the research provides invaluable insights into the factors that can either foster or impede the mental well-being of both children and mothers. Armed with this knowledge, targeted strategies can be developed to foster healthy and balanced relationships within cross-boundary families, transforming lives and cultivating resilience.


Being in touch with this group of individuals enables us fully comprehend what "resilience" is. Cross-boundary families and children are a global phenomenon that warrants more investigation since it is a microcosm of globalization and regional integration.

Dr. He BU
East China University of Science and Technology

We care, we study, and we serve. This study is part of our series of work on challenges and family resilience of cross-boundary families. By understanding their resilience resources to overcome hardship, we have been developing, evaluating, and refining theory-driven and evidence-based intervention programs to facilitate their effective adjustment.

Dr. Nancy Yu
City University of Hong Kong

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: (In)congruence in child–mother relationships and depressive symptoms in cross-boundary families., Journal of Family Psychology, May 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/fam0001115.
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