Cross-border schoolchildren could face mental health issues

Posted on October 25, 2013

Two in every five children born in Hong Kong to mainland parents may grow up maladjusted if they are made to cross the border daily for classes or live away from their parents, a research specialist in youth development has warned.

The risk of psychological issues such as childhood anxiety and depression can double in such difficult environments and early action is needed to address the problem, said Polytechnic University chair professor Daniel Shek Tan-lei.

"The educational needs of these children is only one of the areas the government should look into. Their mental health is worrying. They lack parental care and are a high-risk group," he told the South China Morning Post.

He referred to his own research papers from 1995 to 2011 which he said showed that anxiety, behavioural problems, learning difficulties and other mental health issues afflicted about 20 per cent of children living under normal conditions. In the sort of environment the 200,000 children were facing, the figure could double to 40 per cent, meaning 80,000 were at risk, he said.

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Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

Source material from South China Morning Post