Happy Family Kitchen: Behavioral Outcomes of a Brief Community-Based Family Intervention in Hong Kong
- 402 Downloads
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.
KeywordsCommunity-based intervention Positive psychology Behavior change Family communication Psychosocial well-being
We thank our community collaborators and research participants for their coordination, implementation, and participation in the community programs. We are also grateful to our research team (Paul Wong, Jenny Leung, Terence Li, and Joe Chiu) for their important contributions. This study was a part of the project entitled “FAMILY: A Jockey Club Initiative for a Harmonious Society”, which was funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The funder had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, preparation of the manuscript, or decision to publish.
H.H. performed the statistical analysis, interpreted the data, and wrote the manuscript; M.M. participated in the design, implementation, and coordination; A.W. participated in the design, implementation, and coordination; S.S. contributed to the conceptualization and writing of the manuscript; C.Y. participated in the design and implementation; T.H.L. participated in the design, coordination, and conceptualization and writing of the manuscript; and S.C. participated in the design, coordination, and conceptualization. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
- Census and Statistics Department, Hong Kong SAR (2010). Thematic household survey report No. 44: Relationships among family members.Google Scholar
- Christian, M. S., Evans, C. E. L., Hancock, N., Nykjaer, C., & Cade, J. E. (2013). Family meals can help children reach their 5 A day: A cross-sectional survey of children’s dietary intake from London primary schools. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(4), 332–338. doi: 10.1136/jech-2012-201604.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Cohen, J. (1977). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (rev. ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1997). Finding flow: The psychology of engagement with everyday life. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
- Dubois, C. M., Beach, S. R., Kashdan, T. B., Nyer, M. B., Park, E. R., Celano, C. M., & Huffman, J. C. (2012). Positive psychological attributes and cardiac outcomes: Associations, mechanisms, and interventions. Psychosomatics, 53(4), 303–318. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2012.04.004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS statistics (4 ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
- Fisher, L. D., Dixon, D. O., Herson, J., Frankowski, R. K., Hearron, M. S., & Peace, K. E. (1990). Intention to treat in clinical trials. In K. E. Peace (Ed.), Statistical issues in drug research and development. New York: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar
- Fulkerson, J. A., Pasch, K. E., Stigler, M. H., Farbakhsh, K., Perry, C. L., & Komro, K. A. (2010). Longitudinal associations between family dinner and adolescent perceptions of parent–child communication among racially diverse urban youth. Journal of Family Psychology, 24(3), 261–270. doi:10.1037/a0019311.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Galvin, K. M., Bylund, C. L., & Brommel, B. J. (2004). Family communication: Cohesion and change (6th ed.). Old Tappan, USA: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
- Hawkins, N. A., Smith, T., Zhao, L., Rodriguez, J., Berkowitz, Z., & Stein, K. D. (2010). Health-related behavior change after cancer: Results of the American Cancer Society’s Studies of Cancer Survivors (SCS). Journal of Cancer Survivorship, 4(1), 20–32. doi: 10.1007/s11764-009-0104-3.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Krueger, R. A., & Casey, M. A. (2000). Focus groups: A practical guide for applied research. 3 edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Nan, H., Ni, M. Y., Lee, P. H., Tam, W. W., Lam, T. H., Leung, G. M., & McDowell, I. (2014). Psychometric evaluation of the Chinese version of the Subjective Happiness Scale: evidence from the Hong Kong FAMILY Cohort. International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 21(4), 646–652. doi:10.1007/s12529-014-9389-3.Google Scholar
- Olson, D. H., & Barnes, H. L. (2004). Family communication. In D. H. Olson, D. M. Gorall, & J. Tiesel (Eds.), FACES IV packge. Minneapolis, MN: Life Innovations.Google Scholar
- Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Washington, DC; New York, NY: American Psychological Association, Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Prochaska, J. O., Evers, K. E., Castle, P. H., Johnson, J. L., Prochaska, J. M., Rula, E. Y., et al. (2012). Enhancing multiple domains of well-being by decreasing multiple health risk behaviors: A randomized clinical trial. Population Health Management, 15(5), 276–286. doi: 10.1089/pop.2011.0060.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong (2010). FAMILY: A Jockey Club initiative for a harmonious society, HKU study on family communication patterns in Hong Kong: More praise, more happiness [Press release]. Retrieved from http://www.family.org.hk/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/press-release_Eng.pdf.Google Scholar
- Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York, NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
- Seligman, M. E. P., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2004). The values in action (VIA) classification of character strengths. Ricerche di Psicologia, 27(1), 63–78.Google Scholar
- Sobal, J. (2000). Sociability and meals: Facilitation, commensality, and interaction. In H. L. Meiselman (Ed.), Dimensions of the meal: The science, culture, business, and art of eating (pp. 119–133). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen.Google Scholar
- Soong, C. S., Wang, M. P., Mui, M., Viswanath, K., Lam, T. H., & Chan, S. S. (2015). A “Community Fit” community-based participatory research program for family health, happiness, and harmony: Design and implementation. JMIR Research Protocols, 4(4), e126 doi: 10.2196/resprot.4369.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Wang, M. P., Wang, X., Viswanath, K., Wan, A., Lam, T. H., & Chan, S. S. (2014). Digital inequalities of family life information seeking and family well-being among Chinese adults in Hong Kong: A population survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(10), e227 doi: 10.2196/jmir.3386.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar