Community psychology in a borrowed place with borrowed time: The case of Hong Kong

Sheung-Tak CHENG, Winnie W. S. MAK

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

5 Citations (Scopus)


The development of community psychology takes on a unique, nontraditional course in Hong Kong. Rather than being an organized field, community psychology remains to be practiced in an idiosyncratic manner by a few psychologists who are trained with a community orientation. Concepts such as sense of community, empowerment, mutual help, and prevention take on different meanings and forms within a mobile population in a densely packed society that values economic stability over social progression. Due to a lack of infrastructure and funding resources, services to disadvantaged individuals (e.g., individuals in poverty, with chronic illnesses, socially marginalized groups) are limited by international standards. It is argued that community psychology has a long way to go in contributing to community and social development in Hong Kong. Conceptualization, research, and implementation of community psychology must be done in a culturally sensitive way to imprint a lasting effect on the changing society. Using examples from community mental health and other social developments, this chapter analyzes the sociocultural backgrounds upon which community psychology must be built and discusses the challenges that lie ahead for the continued development of community psychology in Hong Kong. Copyright © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational community psychology: History and theories
EditorsStephanie M. REICH, Manuel RIEMER, Isaac PRILLELTENSKY, Maritza MONTERO
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9780387495002
ISBN (Print)9780387494999
Publication statusPublished - 2007


Cheng, S.-T., & Mak, W. W. S. (2007). Community psychology in a borrowed place with borrowed time: The case of Hong Kong. In S. M. Reich, M. Riemer, I. Prilleltensky, & M. Montero (Eds.), International community psychology: History and theories (pp. 200-216). New York: Springer.


  • Mental health
  • Community mental health
  • Community psychology
  • Mental hospital
  • Filial piety


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