Newly arrived mainland pupils work harder and make more progress in school than their Hong Kong counterparts, according to a survey. Mainlanders' Chinese-language performances were 12 per cent better than local students, and mathematics was 23 per cent better, said Chinese University associate professor of psychology Connie Ho Suk-han, who helped conduct the study. Contrary to general perceptions, there was no significant difference in the two groups' performances in English language subjects. 'We believe many are worried they may not be able to catch up with their peers in English, and their parents share the same concern, so they work particularly hard,' Ms Ho said. The survey also found new immigrants behaved better and showed less delinquent behaviour. However, they had more emotional problems. 'They are more anxious and depressed; more withdrawn and alone,' said Patrick Leung Wing-leung, an associate professor of psychology. He said emotional problems should not be overlooked. 'The findings suggest they are facing a fair amount of psychological stress, originating possibly from their difficulty in fully integrating into local society.' The findings also suggested new arrival families did not necessarily have more problems than those of the locals. Tsoi Kcon-wah, an associate professor of social work, attributed it to the immigrants' determination to cope with the change. 'But again, we should not overlook the stress and problems they have been experiencing,' Mr Tsoi said. A total of 178 adolescents were polled, of whom 101 were from Hong Kong and 77 mainlanders who have lived in the territory for between one and three years. They were junior secondary students, studying in Tsuen Wan and Hunghom.