《Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2015》
Youth Trends In Hong Kong 2013
Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2013 is a compilation of statistical data and survey findings by HKFYG’s Youth Research Centre. Data is organized in 7 sections: (1) population and family; (2) education; (3) financial independence; (4) information and communication technology; (5) participation and engagement; (6) physical and mental health and (7) abnormal or deviant behaviour. Each section is followed by conclusions based on the data reported.
Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2011 is a compilation and analysis of statistical data and research findings about Hong Kong young people. Data is organized according to seven areas of concern: (1) population and family; (2) education; (3) economically independent ability; (4) information and communication technology; (5) social participation; (6) physical and mental health; (7) behavioral health. There is a review of the ways in which population, education, employment and social participation are affected by the changing social and economic environment and of problems such as Internet safety, attempted suicide, drug abuse and youth criminality.
In addition, the book includes a survey of “Indicators of Youth Values”, the tenth in the survey series which has been conducted by the Youth Research Centre since 1997. It attempts to reveal the trends in Hong Kong young people’s values. The concluding chapter is a discussion which suggests nine directions for policy change which youth workers and the authorities concerned are urged to consider.
Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2004-2006 is a compilation and analysis of statistical data and research findings about Hong Kong young people. Data is organized according to six areas of concern: (1) population and family; (2) education and potential development; (3) ability to be economically independent; (4) social participation; (5) physical and mental health; (6) behavioral health. There is a review of the ways in which education, employment and social participation are affected by the changing social and economic environment and of problems such as attempted suicide, drug abuse and youth criminality.
In addition, the book features findings of two youth surveys. The first is a survey of “Indicators of Youth Values” which has been conducted by the Youth Research Centre since 1997. It attempts to reveal the trends in Hong Kong young people’s values. The second is an “International Youth Survey” which compares the characteristics and attitudes of Hong Kong youth with those of youth in Japan, Korea, Sweden, Germany and the United States. The concluding chapter is a discussion which suggests ten directions for policy change which youth workers and the authorities concerned are urged to consider.
For the third time since 1997, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups conducted a survey in an attempt at determining an Indicator of Youth Values. As a result, along with other research and analyses done throughout the year 2000, the Federation has now released its latest findings entitled, "Ten Significant Trends Among Youth."
1. The Government gets a higher rating, from youth, but their own sense of belonging to Hong Kong decreases
According to the "Indicator of Youth Values" Survey 2000, respondents gave the SAR Government a rating higher than what it had received in 1998, up from 30% to 37%. At the same time, even though 80% of youth felt as if they belonged to Hong Kong, this figure was slightly lower than the 88% polled in 1998, while those wishing to emigrate rose from 25% to 33%.
2. Strong belief in press freedom, but not much confidence in press credibility
83% of respondents believed that Hong Kong has a free press. However, only 37 % expressed satisfaction on its performance, as compared to 61% polled in 1998. 84% of youth also believed that the media over-exaggerated stories focusing on sex and violence.
3. Agreement to abide by the law, except when it seemed unreasonable
94% of respondents agreed to abide by the law. 45%, however, would do so only if the law appeared reasonable, thereby weighing the logic of a law, over and above its simple promulgation.
4. Little confidence in employment prospects, but an increase in wishing to start own businesses
In spite of the recovery from the Asian Financial Crisis, youth still did not have much confidence in employment prospects for themselves. Only 47% of respondents believed that it was not difficult in finding a job, 67% of youth polled had the confidence in their own skills to make a living, a proportion lower than those surveyed in 1998 (75%). Yet 63% of respondents believed that starting their own businesses would be better than being employed by someone else, a figure higher than that of 1998 at 54%.
5. A lower rating for school education and little confidence in developing life-long learning techniques
While 89% believed that an education gleaned from school was useful, this was a lower figure than that found in 1998 (94%). Those in the older age bracket (from 25 to 39 years old) supported this more than those aged between 15 and 24 years old. Meanwhile, 57 % of respondents had their doubts as to whether they could sustain a process of life-long learning techniques, in spite of their greater concern with education outside the classroom.
6. Basic grasp of Information Technology applications, in spite of concerns of a "digital divide"
73% of respondents were able to access the Internet and had some basic knowledge of Information Technology (IT) applications. However a family’s socio-economic status had repercussions on how and when youth learnt about IT. As IT is seen as crucial to future employment, a "digital divide" is likely to be a potential problem among youth. As IT grows in popularity, particularly amongst youth, the level of Internet crimes would also increase.
7. More open attitudes towards sex, with greater calls for schools to provide more sex education
The Survey found that the attitude of youth towards sex was more liberal than previously. 91% of youth called on schools to provide better sex education, including information about contraception. Young people were more open to pre-marital sexual relations, with only 35% considering this type of behaviour wrong, as compared with 45% polled in 1997. 58% of respondents found abortions to be acceptable, while 22% believed that having more than one sex partner at a time was also acceptable.
8. Strong value placed on families, but some youth were unable to solve conflicts within the home
88% of respondents claimed families to be more important and stated that they had good relationships with their family members. 10-20% were not happy with their familial relationships, while 12% indicated that the relationship with parents was not so strong. Of those aged between 15 and 24, 17% claimed to be at loggerheads with their parents, while amongst 25-39 year olds, only 9.3% could not get on with their parents. Very often conflict arose as a result of differing opinions on discipline and education.
9. Psychotropic drug abuse worsening amongst adolescents
The use of psychotropic drugs, such as Ecstasy and Ketamine, increased among adolescents. There was a rise in Ecstasy use for all abusers from 2.3% to 10.9%, while those using Ketamine rose from 0.2% to 4.6%. Abuse was also found to have increased across the boarder in Mainland China, particularly Shenzhen. Statistics from the Narcotics Division indicated that the number of youth abusing drugs in the first half of 2000 was 2,047, over 80% of the total figure of 2,479 from 1999.
10. Problems in youth crimes sustained, while development of gang membership in New Towns indicate potential threat
Statistics from the Fight Crime Committee indicated that the number of 7 to 15 year olds arrested from January to July 2000, was 18% higher than the same time period the year before. Amongst 16-20 year olds, the numbers were decreasing, but remained twice that of adults arrested. Research by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups found that triad influence began with the initial development of New Towns, which could lead to the breeding of youth gangs.
In integrating the above analysis, it can be determined that youth are not confident in either their own employment prospects or their abilities towards life-long learning. This is a cause for concern. As Hong Kong becomes more of a knowledge economy based society, the current concepts on speciality and educational credentials have become outdated. The upcoming entry of China into the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will lead to competition in the human resource market of Hong Kong. A sound life-long education would be especially advantageous to youth with a lower educational standard and with little experience, to adapt to the ever-changing labour market. The education, industrial and commercial sectors should work together to provide more opportunities for life-long learning in order to increase the confidence of youth.
As the media provides much information and analysis on social and public affairs, it plays a key role in the development and participation of youth. Media education, which provides youth with independent analyses and judgements towards the media, would improve their understanding.
Mr. Paul Chan, the Deputy Executive Director of the Federation, said civil education and the promotion of voluntary services would help to increase the social participation and feeling of belonging among youth. He also claimed that conflicts between family members could erode family relationships and suggested that social workers extend the concept of "quality education" to "quality family education" in order to improve the relationship between parents and children.
The Federation was also concerned about the involvement of adolescents in the increase of Internet crimes. Mr. Chan said that while many adolescents had demonstrated a good ability at information technology, he was worried that the fictitious world of the Internet would lower behavioural principles and increase the possibility of youth committing Internet crimes. He suggested that society should emphasise moral standards in IT education, so as to reduce the potential for Internet crimes.
With regard to youth gangs, Mr. Chan said that the development of New Towns, which is set to continue, contained a high proportion of young people. He suggested that the Government take preventative steps in the initial stages of New Town development by providing necessary community facilities to youth. Police, the educational sector, social services, parents and district organisations should also communicate and collaborate frequently in order to prevent youth from joining gangs and encouraging the spread of Triad Societies.
The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups has published Youth Trends in Hong Kong 2000. It is hoped that the book will raise the awareness of society to youth problems and youth development trends. The Survey on the "Indicator of Youth Values" was conducted from 24 to 31 March 2000. 875 young people, aged between 15 and 39, were successfully interviewed by telephone through a random sampling. The response rate was 42.9 per cent and the standard error was below ±1.7 per cent.
 Hong Kong Council of Social Services. (2000). The Serious Situation of Adolescents Abusing Drugs on the Mainland. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Council of Social Services.  The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. (1999). Youth Study Series No. 23 – A Study on Youth Gangs in New Town Development. Hong Kong: the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.
Journal of Youth Studies
Serial No. 38
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