Threat to democracy: Physical and mental health impact of democracy movement in Hong Kong
Kai Hou,Wai1,2,3; Hall,Brian J.4,5,6; Canetti,Daphna7; Lau,Kam Man1,2; Ng,Sin Man1,2; Hobfoll,Stevan E.8
Source PublicationJournal of Affective Disorders
ISSN15732517 01650327

Background: This study examined the prevalence and critical predictors of anxiety and depressive symptoms and self-rated health, following the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Methods: Random digit dialing recruited a population-representative sample of 1208 Chinese Hong Kong citizens (mean age=46.89 years; 63% female) in the first two weeks of February 2015. Respondents gave their informed consent and reported personal, social, and economic resource loss since the Umbrella Movement (Conservation of Resources-Evaluation), current anxiety symptoms (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory) and depressive symptoms (Patient Health Questionnaire-9), and self-rated health (1=very good, 4=very bad). Results: A total of 47.35% (95% CI=44.55, 50.17) respondents reported moderate/severe anxiety symptoms and 14.4% (95% CI=12.54, 16.50) reported moderate/severe depressive symptoms; 9.11% (95% CI=7.61, 10.86) reported "poor" or "very poor" health. Multivariable regressions revealed that personal and social resource loss was associated with higher anxiety and depressive symptoms and greater odds of "very poor" health (adjusted odds ratios/incidence rate ratios=5-102%), independent of lower education level and income and being unmarried. Limitations: This study was cross-sectional in nature and thus could not determine causality from the associations between resource loss and outcome variables. Second, the telephone survey relied on self-reports; response bias and social desirability could influence respondents' answers and discount data validity. Third, potential confounders such as preexisting mental and physical health issues and concurrent predictors like exposure to the Umbrella Movement were not assessed. Conclusions: This is one of the first studies following any recent political movement (e.g., The Arab Spring) to quantify distress and the associated correlates of distress among affected citizens. Perceived psychosocial resource losses were critical predictors of poor outcomes.

KeywordConservation Of Resources Theory Hong Kong Political Movements Prevalence Of Psychiatric Symptoms Self-rated Health
URLView the original
Indexed BySSCI
WOS Research AreaNeurosciences & Neurology ; Psychiatry
WOS SubjectClinical Neurology ; Psychiatry
WOS IDWOS:000360966400012
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Cited Times [WOS]:14   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
CollectionUniversity of Macau
Corresponding AuthorKai Hou,Wai
Affiliation1.Department of Psychological Studies, Hong Kong Institute of Education,Tai Po,Hong Kong
2.Laboratory of Psychobiology of Emotion and Stress (LoPES), Hong Kong Institute of Education,Hong Kong
3.Centre for Psychosocial Health, Hong Kong Institute of Education,Hong Kong
4.Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Macau,Macao
5.Global and Community Mental Health Research Group, University of Macau,Macao
6.Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,Baltimore,United States
7.School of Political Science, University of Haifa,Haifa,Israel
8.Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush University Medical Center,Chicago,United States
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Kai Hou,Wai,Hall,Brian J.,Canetti,Daphna,et al. Threat to democracy: Physical and mental health impact of democracy movement in Hong Kong[J]. Journal of Affective Disorders,2015,186:74-82.
APA Kai Hou,Wai,Hall,Brian J.,Canetti,Daphna,Lau,Kam Man,Ng,Sin Man,&Hobfoll,Stevan E..(2015).Threat to democracy: Physical and mental health impact of democracy movement in Hong Kong.Journal of Affective Disorders,186,74-82.
MLA Kai Hou,Wai,et al."Threat to democracy: Physical and mental health impact of democracy movement in Hong Kong".Journal of Affective Disorders 186(2015):74-82.
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