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Dr Yu Lu
PolyU Scholars Hub

Dr Lu YU

Associate Head & Associate Professor


Dr Lu Yu was trained in clinical medicine, psychiatry, education, and positive psychology. Her programme of research, grounded in a positive youth development approach and a public health perspective, has been focusing on advancing knowledge about the identification of risk and protective factors, effective prevention and intervention strategies to promote wellbeing and to address problems of Chinese youth. Dr Yu led a few projects on the development and validation of assessment tools on mental health, developmental skills, and wellbeing indicators for Chinese population. She actively works on the design, implementation, and evaluation of several strengths-based youth programmes in Hong Kong and mainland China, such as the Project P.A.T.H.S.

Her current projects concentrate on the promotion of long-term wellbeing of children and adolescents with disadvantaged conditions and their families, with specific focus on youth living with poverty, and rural-to-urban migrant children in the Greater Bay Area in China. Her research expertise includes quantitative research methods, programme evaluation, questionnaire development and validation. She has published more than 100 articles in academic journals, including Journal of Adolescent Health, Pediatrics, Child Abuse & Neglect, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Research on Social Work Practice, Child Indictors Research, and Applied Research in Quality of Life, Sex Roles, and Archives of Sexual Behavior. She also serves as the ad hoc reviewers for a number of referred International academic journals, and the external reviewers for the Public Policy Research funding scheme (PPR), and the Research Grants Council (RGC) funding schemes of the Hong Kong SAR.

Dr Yu is passionate about teaching. Her teaching philosophy has been inspired by a quote of Nikos Kazantzakis — “True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to across, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.” Learning needs to be student centered, and teachers act as facilitators who create conditions that enable students to realise their potential to learn. She has been teaching service-learning, research methods, and leadership subjects for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Dr Yu is the awardee of 2021 Gold Winner Award (Nurturing Wellbeing & Purpose) of Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards (as Deputy Team Leader), and 2018 UGC Teaching Award in Hong Kong.

Dr Yu is the recipient of China-U.S. Scholars Program (CUSP) Fellowship 2021/22. She is a Visiting Scholar at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago in 2022.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Master of Science, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China
  • Bachelor of Medicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, Anhui, China

Professional Qualifications

Certificate of medical practitioners, People's Republic of China (2000)

Research Interests

  • Positive youth development
  • Quality of life and wellbeing
  • Mental health, health, and behavioral addiction
  • Family studies, family and individual resilience
  • Rural-urban migrant children in China
  • Youth violence prevention
  • Leadership and intrapersonal development
  • Psychometrics and quantitative methods
  • General education and service learning
  • Poverty reduction

Grants (selected)

2022-2025 A Longitudinal Investigation of Quality of Life and Resilience of Rural-to-Urban Migrant Children in the Greater Bay Area Cities in Mainland China: A Holistic Positive Youth Developmental Approach. Funded by Departmental Large Project Fund, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, HK$2,000,000 (PI: Lu Yu; Co-Is: Xiaoqin Zhu, Xiang Li, Diya Dou, & Wenyu Chai)

2021-2022 Assessing the wellbeing and needs of SEN students at PolyU during COVID-19. Funded by PolyU, Online Teaching Development and Educational Research Grant, HK500,000 (PI: Lu Yu; Co-PI: Xiang Li)

2021-2022 Video-based learning in specialised training: Developing experiential VTL materials for Leadership Education and Development (LEAD). Funded by PolyU, Teaching Development Grant (TDG), HK1,200,000 (PI: Daniel Shek; Co-PI: Lu Yu)

2020 Hong Kong Junior Secondary School Students’ Attitudes Towards and Engagement in Political Activities Involving Violence and Destruction: The Associated Individual, Family, and School Factors from a Positive Youth Development Perspective. Funded by Public Policy Research Fund (PPR), Research Grant Council (RGC), HK$ 455,580.55 (PI: Lu Yu; Co-Is: Gu Mingyue & Chan Edward)

2019-2020 Social Networking Addiction among Hong Kong Adolescents: Protective Effects of Positive Youth Development Attributes and Parenting Behaviours. Funded by Research Grant Council (GRC), General Research Fund (GRF) , HK$ 433,798 (PI: Lu Yu; Co-Is: Ina H. M. Koning & Daniel Shek)


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