Enhancing need satisfaction to improve adjustment in mainland Chinese student in Hong Kong

Shuang LIU

Research output: ThesisBachelor's Theses


Objectives: With an increasing number of mainland Chinese students pursue their tertiary studies in Hong Kong, in recent years stress and depression often have been reported in this group that root in adapting into a new environment. The language barriers, academic pressure and sociocultural differences may greatly affect their normal life. The prior research mainly focused on the how conditions that facilitate need satisfaction or forestall need frustration could influence outcomes for general people, but less explore how to improve mental health and well-being for minority people through enhancing need satisfaction. Applying self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000), this research investigated the extent of a weekly need-satisfaction reflection exercise (Weinstein, Khabbaz, & Legate, 2016) can increase need-satisfying experiences and promote adjustment of mainland Chinese first year students in Hong Kong in four perspectives: academic adjustment, social adjustment, personal-emotional adjustment, and institutional adjustment. Methods: Fifty-five undergraduate students who come from mainland China at the Education University of Hong Kong in the first year (MAge = 18.20 years, SD = .404 years) were randomly assigned to receive the intervention or waitlist control. Participants filled out three sets of questionnaire in two months, which contain three parts: demographic information, Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction (Deci & Ryan, 2000), and the Student Adaptation to College Questionnaire (Baker & Siryk, 1999). Results: Results showed that 1) mainland Chinese students with higher psychological need satisfaction could predict who adjust better into Hong Kong; and 2) the 5-week-long intervention could enhance the need satisfaction related to their intrinsic motivation (autonomy and competence), and also improved their academic and institutional adjustment in college, as compared with the waitlist control group; furthermore 3) the intervention showed lasting effect on maintain need satisfaction and adjustment of mainland Chinese first year students after 5-week-long delay. Conclusion: Discussion focused on how these findings suggested that the universal importance of need satisfaction for the well-being of sojourners, and how the reflection exercise of need-satisfying experiences can help improve the adjustment of students who study abroad. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationBachelor of Social Sciences (Honours)
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • LAW, Wilbert 羅偉柏, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Motivation
  • Adjustment
  • Well-being
  • Self-determination theory
  • Basic psychological needs satisfaction
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (BSocSc(Psy))--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2018.


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