Happy Family Kitchen: Behavioral Outcomes of a Brief Community-Based Family Intervention in Hong Kong

Henry C.Y. Ho, Moses Mui, Alice Wan, Sunita M. Stewart, Carol Yew, Tai Hing Lam, Sophia S. Chan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Positive psychology interventions commonly involve behavioral exercises to improve psychosocial well-being. Intervention effect on behavior is unclear. The Happy Family Kitchen project, one of the community-based brief intervention projects under The FAMILY: A Jockey Club Initiative for a Harmonious Society, was conducted in Hong Kong to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a positive psychology family intervention. We have previously reported positive intervention effects on family communication, family well-being, and subjective happiness. This paper aims to explore the effectiveness of the intervention on behavioral outcomes and their associations with psychosocial well-being. A total of 23 social service units organized and conducted intervention programs for 1419 individuals from 612 families in Hong Kong. Each intervention was developed with emphasis on one of five positive psychology themes: gratitude, flow, happiness, health, and savoring. Intervention outcomes were assessed at pre-intervention, immediate post-intervention, and 6 weeks and 12 weeks post-intervention. Results showed that family communication time and frequency of meal preparation with family members increased with sustainable small effects up to 12 weeks. Theme-specific behavior change was observed in the gratitude, flow, and happiness interventions, respectively. Family communication time, frequency of eating with family members, and theme-specific behaviors, including gratitude, flow, happiness behavior, health attitude, and health behavior, were positively associated with psychosocial well-being. Qualitative data provided additional evidence of effectiveness with in-depth insights into behavior change. The positive associations between target behaviors and well-being suggest that improvements in well-being as a function of the intervention may be associated with behavior change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2852-2864
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Behavior change
  • Community-based intervention
  • Family communication
  • Positive psychology
  • Psychosocial well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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