Happy family kitchen: A community-based research for enhancing family communication and well-being in Hong Kong

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Urban families worldwide are often characterized by busy working lives which leave little time for family gatherings and communication. The Happy Family Kitchen project, which emphasized cooking and dining with family members, was conducted in a deprived district in Hong Kong. We hypothesized that the community-based family intervention, derived from a positive psychology framework, can improve family communication, family well-being, and subjective happiness. Twenty-three social service units organized and delivered the intervention programs for 1,419 individuals from 612 families. The core intervention was developed with emphasis on 1 of 5 positive psychology themes: gratitude, flow, happiness, health, and savoring. Intervention outcomes were assessed at preintervention, immediate postintervention, and 6 weeks and 12 weeks postintervention. Results showed that family communication, family well-being, and subjective happiness improved with small effect sizes which were sustained up to 12 weeks. The gratitude intervention improved all of the outcome measures. Qualitative data provided additional evidence for effectiveness with in-depth insights into family dynamics. We concluded that this brief intervention was a low-cost and simple approach to improve family communication and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-762
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2016



  • Community-based intervention
  • Family communication
  • Family well-being
  • Positive psychology
  • Subjective happiness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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