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The Role of Positive Youth Development and Family Functioning in Chinese Adolescent Well-Being: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence

  • Daniel T. L. ShekEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 60)

Abstract

In many social science theories, personal and environmental factors have been proposed to be factors governing adolescent well-being. On the personal level, there are views proposing that positive youth development attributes (such as resilience, spirituality and psychosocial competence) are positively related to adolescent well-being. On the environmental level, there are family theories arguing that positive family functioning attributes (such as mutuality and communication quality) contribute to adolescent well-being. In this chapter, theories on positive youth development and family functioning related to adolescent development are described. Utilizing the longitudinal data collected in the Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong, the chapter explores the influence of positive youth development and family functioning on the well-being (indexed by life satisfaction, hopelessness and risk behavior) of Chinese adolescents in Hong Kong. The empirical findings generally suggest that positive youth development attributes and family functioning are determinants of Chinese adolescent well-being. This observation is consistent with the Confucian emphasis of “xiu shen, qi jia” (i.e., cultivation of oneself and regulation of one’s family) as fundamental cornerstone of human and social development.

Keywords

Positive youth development Family functioning Well-being Life satisfaction Hopelessness Risk behavior Longitudinal study Chinese adolescents Confucian virtues 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung HomHong Kong

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