Reviving Parents’ Life Momentum: A Qualitative Evaluation of a Parent Education Program Adopting an Existential Approach

Siu-Ming To1, Siu-mee Iu Kan2, Kcon-wah Tsoi1, Ting-sam Chan2
1 Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
2 Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

© 2015 To et al

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distributin, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the 4/F, T.C. Cheng Building, United College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong; Tel: (852)39437375; Fax: (852)26035018;


This paper reports the results of a qualitative analysis of the participants’ perceptions and experiences of a parent education program adopting an existential approach. With a critical review of the changing social context of parenthood and the provision of parent education in Hong Kong, the paper discusses the theoretical underpinnings, key components, and the design of a growth- and meaning-oriented parent education program. This program comprised six 5- hour sessions held weekly. The participants included 43 Hong Kong Chinese parents. An evaluation study was conducted to explore the outcomes of the program, which was composed of a non-equivalent comparison group design, a subjective outcome evaluation survey, and post-intervention focus group interviews. The current paper focuses on reporting the qualitative examination of the data collected through five post-intervention focus groups. Twenty-five participants were randomly selected and invited to join the groups. The recurrent themes extracted from their narratives reveal their perceptions of the impacts of the program on their enhancement of self-understanding and personal growth, integration of life through life review, reset of life priority, affirmation of the parent-child relational connection, changes in parent-child relationships and interactions, and cultivation of mutual support and mutual learning. Based on the qualitative findings, the paper explores the relevance and potentials of this approach in re-conceptualizing parent education in the Hong Kong Chinese context.

Keywords: Existential approach, meaning, parent education, parenthood, parenting.