Efficacy of Low-Intensity Cognitive Behavior Intervention for Chinese Delinquent Youth

Xiaoyu Zhuang*, Yin Yim Lau, Yu Te Huang, Cherry Hau Lin Tam, Wilson Man Ho Chan, Kenneth Kin Wa Yeung, Ting Kin Ng, Daniel Fu Keung Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Recent literature has pointed out the seriously unmet treatment needs of delinquent youth with mental health problems in Hong Kong. This study pioneers to systematically develop and evaluate the effectiveness of a structured low-intensity cognitive behavioral intervention (LICBI) to concurrently address mental health issues and delinquent behaviors among Hong Kong Chinese youth.

Method: A quasi-experimental controlled design was adopted with three assessments at baseline, postintervention, and 6-week follow-up. One hundred and eighty participants were recruited to the LICBI and 123 to the control group. 

Results: Multilevel modeling analyses showed that the LICBI might be effective in improving mental health–related factors (impulsivity, self-esteem, negative emotions, and loneliness) and delinquent behaviors. A mediation analysis suggested that LICBI might reduce participants’ delinquent behaviors through reducing their impulsivity and enhancing their self-esteem.

Discussion: The results provide preliminary evidence for the effectiveness of LICBI for Chinese delinquent youth in a community social service setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-167
Number of pages13
JournalResearch on Social Work Practice
Issue number2
Early online date22 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese adolescents
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • low-intensity intervention
  • psychological attributes
  • youth delinquency


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