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Prof. Angel Hor-yan LAI


BA(WUSTL), MSSc in Advertising(CUHK), MA(Tufts), PhD (Brown School, WUSTL)

Assistant Professor

Email: angelhylai@cuhk.edu.hk


ORCID: 0000-0002-0438-6591


Dr. Angel Lai is a developmental psychologist who joined the JC School of Public Health and Primary Care as an Assistant Professor in June 2020. She received her doctoral training in social work at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St Louis in the US in 2014. As a social work and developmental psychology researcher, Angel is interested in identifying ways to improve young people's positive development on the macro level, namely, via the mobilization of community/school resources, multidisciplinary collaboration, and co-production of social and health services in the community. She specializes in mixed methods research, structural equation modeling, modeling of longitudinal data and ecological analysis.

Angel works closely with local young people and ethnic minority youths in Hong Kong and indigenous adolescents in rural China and Taiwan. She is the principal investigator of three extramural fundings, with one examining the establishment of social trust among young adults in Hong Kong, and two investigating the cultivation of ethnic identity for positive psychosocial and mental health in indigenous adolescents in rural China and Taiwan.

Besides, Angel is also the Co-PI and Co-I of several internally funded and government-commissioned projects. Before joining the school, Angel was a research assistant professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. While there, She was the Co-PI of a three-year Strategic Development Fund research focusing on the building of an online database concerning the health, social mobility, and social capital of young adults in Hong Kong. The project led to the development of a youth community network for the building of social trust. For the government-commissioned projects, Angel focuses on promoting patients' holistic health through bridging social and health services. She is involved in projects focusing on improving the quality of life of patients who need ultra-expensive drugs, enhancing the delivery of health and social care services for chronic disease patients and older people in the community, and mobilizing community resources for health and social services during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Angel also had working experiences in the non-academic field, including the public and philanthropic sectors. She has extensive networks with the public and business sectors, and schools and community organizations, which significantly facilitate the transfer of empirical findings from the academic community to frontline professionals and policymakers.

Research Interests

  • Global youth psychosocial and mental health

  • Positive youth development

  • Co-production of health and social services

  • Social Capital

Recent Funded Research Projects 

  • Principal Investigator.

    • School Ethnic-Racial Socialization, Ethnic Identity, and Psychological Health in Context: Truku Indigenous Adolescents in Eastern Taiwan (Jan 2021-Jan 2023). Project Number: 12605320. Funded by General Research Fund. (HKD $591,960)

    • Platform Communities for the Co-creation of Social Trust in Young People via a Youth Neighbourhood Network: An Implementation Science Study (April 2020- October 2020). Project Number: SR2020.A2.009. Funded by Public Policy Research Funding Scheme (Special Round) (HKD 318,322)

    • Ethnic Identity Development for Psychological Resilience in Yi Orphaned Adolescents (October 2018- June 2021). Project Number: 12603418 . Funded by: General Research Fund (HKD 481,981)

Selected Publications

  1. Leung, K.M.; Orekoya, F.; Bailey, A.J.; Lai, H.Y.; Chan, K.Y.; Lam, T.L.(2020). Health of Youth in Transition in Hong Kong. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 17, 3791.

  2. Lai, A.H.Y., Chui, C.H.K*., Deng, S. Y. & Jordan, L. P. (2020) Social Resources for Positive Psychosocial Health: Youths’ Narratives of a Street Dance Performing Arts Program, Journal of Social Service Research, DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2020.1725715

  3. Fung, V., Lai, A.H.Y, Yam, C., Wong, E.*, Sian, G. & Yeoh, E.K. (2020). Healthcare Vouchers for Better Elderly Services? Input from Healthcare Services Providers. Health and Social Care in Community. Manuscript under revision

  4. Lai, A.H.Y., Chui, C.H.*, Wong, K. & Chan. C. L. W. (2019). Academic motivations of Yi youths in China: Classmate support and ethnic identity. The Journal of Educational Research, 112(4), 550-563. doi:10.1080/00220671.2019.1602820

  5. Lai, A.H.Y.*, Zhuang, K, Yam, C, Ayub, S, & Yeoh, E.K. (2017). Vouchers for Primary Health Care Services in an Ageing World? The Perspectives of Elderly Voucher Recipients in Hong Kong. Health and Social Care in the Community, 26(3):374-382. doi: 10.1111/hsc.12523

  6. Lai, A.H.Y.*,Chui, C.H., Lo, P.H.Y., Jordan, L. & Chan. C. L. W. (2017). The buffering effect of child-caregiver relationships: Social skills development of ethnic minority children with maladaptive behaviors in rural China. Children and Youth Services Review ,79, 333-340. doi: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.06.038

  7. Ho, R. T., Lai, A.H.Y.*, Lo, P. H., Nan, J. K., & Pon, A. K. (2016). A Strength-Based Arts and Play Support Program for Young Survivors in Post-Quake China: Effects on Self-Efficacy, Peer Support, and Anxiety. The Journal of Early Adolescence,37 (6) 805-824.doi:10.1177/0272431615624563

Last Updated: 27 July 2020

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