Expanding Personal Space: A Case Study of Caregivers in Hong Kong

By Leung Kathy Kam Ping and Chan Tak-mau Simon.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Using an intensive case study method, this study examined the experiences of ten clinical counseling subjects who shared limited home space with their families. Systemic framework that embedded with stress model and privacy model was found useful to unravel the interplay between the individuals’ complicated life situations, dilemmas and use of space. The findings revealed that goal frustration, lack of decision-making power and cultural factor as filial piety that pressure subjects to adopt the caregiver role were three main factors that influence the one’s mental health. Regulate with internal stress that caused by family conflicts, subjects employed tactics to regulate and expand own living space. Personal objects in the household, keeping distance from family members or expanding personal space by going outdoors to re-energize themselves were used depending on the situation and need. Increasing price and rent of housing has led to families living in a congested space. This study could shed a light of what congested living may lead to family conflicts, and provided some references for constructive tactics to overcome the physical restraint.

Keywords: Space, Caregiver, Case Study, Families

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 12, pp.121-128. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 727.785KB).

Leung Kathy Kam Ping

Instructor, Department of Applied Social Studies, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, Hong Kong SAR, China

I moved on from working as a social work and counseling practitioner about 18 years and started my job as teacher in the University this year. I enjoy interacting with students, and envision to turn my classroom teaching into learning theatre in coming years. I treasure mutual learning with other disciplines, people from different disciplines expand my expertise and enrich my lived experiences.

Chan Tak-mau Simon

Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong SAR, China

Teaching social work and family therapy at Hong Kong Baptist University.


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