Journal of Youth Studies

January 2001

Volume 4 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 7

Feature: Health Crisis Facing the New Generation

Theories and Policies in Combating Challenges to the Health of the Younger Generation - LEE Shiu Hung
LEE Shiu Hung
Director, School of Public Health, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Beginning with the economic and social conditions of society, this article explores the challenges to health, in particular, to adolescents, in the early 21st century. Theories and policies confronting these challenges, and the responsibilities of individuals, families, communities, government, professionals and related organizations are discussed. The article also introduces the "Health Promotion" movement and new community projects, including the "Healthy Cities project" and "Health Promotion Schools Projects" which are greatly motivated by the World Health Organization.
Stress and Mental Health Problems among Youth - Ting-pong HO
Ting-pong HO
Consultant, Department of Psychiatry, Queen Mary Hospital

[Abstract] This article attempts to explore the relationship between stress and mental health among youth. The situation of youth who often face changes in life is highly related to their background and difficulties. The changes in life in turn give rise to much more changes. Their effects, however, are often non-specific and those could be several different risk mechanisms. Genetic research has also revealed the complexity of environmental stress.
Report on Drug Abuse Trends of Young Addicts - Clarie LO
Clarie LO
Commissioner for Narcotics

[Abstract] Drug abuse is a problem of common concern with serious social, economic, medical and psychological consequences. This article briefly describes the overall trends in drug abuse and among young addicts since the early 1990s. It also introduces the work and achievements of the Narcotics Division, and other relevant government departments, which are involved in dealing with Hong Kong's drug problem.
PE Curriculum Reform (I): The Direction for Physical Education Curriculum Reform - KWOK Wai Cheung
KWOK Wai Cheung
Chairman, Committee on Physical Education, Curriculum Development Council
Principal, Pok Oi Hospital Tang Pui King Memorial College

[Abstract] Physical Education plays an important role in helping the young generation maintain an active lifestyle and good health. In a densely populated city like Hong Kong, sports development and Physical Education programmes can hardly be developed without the support of schools. We believe the Physical Education Curriculum needs to be reformed to achieve the following aims: 1. Develop an active lifestyle and acquire good health, physical fitness and bodily co-ordination; 2. Promote the qualities of desirable moral behavior, cooperation in communal life, ability to make decisions, and foster an appreciation of aesthetic movement; 3. Develop motor skills and acquire the necessary knowledge and understanding in physical and sport activities for nurturing positive values and attitudes towards an active and healthy lifestyle.
PE Curriculum Reform (II): Physical Education Curriculum Reform and the Moral and Physical Development of Youth - LAM Kwoon-sun, Anthony
LAM Kwoon-sun, Anthony
Chief Curriculum Development Officer (Physical Education), Education Department

[Abstract] Physical Education is one of the key areas that contribute to the overall personal development of students. It helps them to develop an active and healthy lifestyle and promotes desirable qualities and cooperation in communal life through participation in physical and sports activities. The new PE Curriculum also aims to help students develop their generic skills towards life long learning.
Professional Sharing in Sex Education: Rethinking Youth Sex Education - LEE Ming Ying
LEE Ming Ying
Education Officer In-charge, The Family Planning Association of Hong Kong

[Abstract] After many years of promotion, the outcome of sex education is still unsatisfactory. Rethinking the situation, this article proposes some elements that should be put under consideration for sex education that can best fulfill the needs of youth. Educators in sexuality need to accept adolescent sexuality and to see adolescents as "sexual beings" in order to understand that sex education is closely related to the daily life of youth, and to provide a friendly environment for talking about their developing sexuality. Sex education should involve the participation of peers, parents and schools.
Disordered Eating Attitudes and Behavior among Adolescent Girls in Hong Kong - Freedom LEUNG Sharon LAM & Iris CHAN
Freedom LEUNG
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sharon LAM & Iris CHAN
Research Assistants, Department of Psychology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The present study examines disordered eating attitudes and behavior among Chinese high school girls in Hong Kong. The subjects, 4,765 girls between 11 and 20, completed questionnaires assessing body concerns and disordered eating behavior. Results showed that even though Chinese high school girls in Hong Kong were relatively slim compared to Western girls, 55% of the 12- and 13-year-old girls, 65% of the 14- and 15-year-old girls, and 70% of girls 16 or older still wanted to weigh less. A great majority of these girls (84%) were very concerned about their weight and shape, 34% thought a slim body was very important, and 33% believed that their self-worth would be enhanced if they become slimmer. On weight loss behavior, 28.3% of these girls experimented with dieting and 48.7% did excessive exercises to lose weight. About half of these girls (49.5%) reported experiencing uncontrollable binge eating episodes, and 7.4% did so on a weekly basis. Pathogenic compensatory weight loss behavior (e.g., self-induced vomiting and the misuse of laxatives) were less common. Only 3.3% of girls experimented with self-induced vomiting and 1.7% tried using laxatives to lose weight. Simulated diagnostic procedures using DSM-IV criteria identified three girls (.07%) who met the criteria for anorexia nervosa, 32 (.7%) for bulimia nervosa, and 126 (2.7%) for sub-clinical eating disorders. These findings indicate that three to four out of every hundred high school girls in Hong Kong are suffering from significant eating pathologies. These problems could get worse as the traditional Chinese cultural emphasis on thinness in women has been further intensified in recent years, whereas the population weight norms are on the rise.
The Culture of Eating and the Physical Health of Adolescents in Hong Kong - Bernie KWOK
Bernie KWOK
Hong Kong Dietitians Association

[Abstract] The growing pace of Hong Kong society has brought about an alteration in people's life styles and their eating habits. Nowadays, eating out is a part of daily life. Most popular foods that youth like to eat, are high fat, high calories items, such as chicken wings, sausages, hamburgers, ice cream, chips and soft drinks. They eat very little vegetables or fruits and do little exercise. In addition, many young people also skip either breakfast or lunch, which makes it harder for them to get their daily nutritional needs. The trend of drinking alcohol and the over-enthusiastic attitude towards weight reduction medications, weight-loss products or joining weight loss classes, also pose nutritional risks. When making food selections, use of the food pyramid would help people learn what to eat and how much to eat.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange: Adolescent Health in Pan-Chinese Societies

An Overview of Adolescent Health in Mainland China - YE Guang-jun JI Cheng-ye
YE Guang-jun
Professor, Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Peking University Health Science Center
JI Cheng-ye
Director and Professor, Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Peking University Health Science Center

[Abstract] The growth status of adolescents in Mainland China has increased rapidly, with a secular growth trend occurring over the past 50 years. The growth status of those in rural areas, however, was relatively low. While infectious diseases such as trachoma, roundworm infection, iron-deficiency anemia and malnutrition decreased significantly, poor vision is prevalent and obesity is on the rise. Oral health care also needs to be improved. A mental-behavioral guidance study concentrating on puberty health care was carried out accordingly. School health promotions, focussing on the prevention of diseases, reproductive health education and school life skills education are rapidly developing in some cities.
Adolescent Health and Approaches to Health Care Delivery in Taiwan - Meng-chih LEE
Meng-chih LEE
Associate Professor and Chairman, Department of Family Medicine, Chung Shan Medical and Dental College
Person-in-charge, Adolescent Health Clinic Programme, Department of Health, Executive Yuan

[Abstract] Coupled with rapid economic growth and societal changes, adolescents in Taiwan enjoy a good nutritional standard, strong educational foundation and a good control over infections. However, they are now confronted with a series of challenging health issues, which include high risk behavior, unsafe sexual practices, unwanted pregnancies and psychiatric and conduct disorders. These challenges may be a result of broken families, dysfunctional home environments or excessive stress in schools. In order to better deal with these health problems, a bio-psychosocial approach, in education, research and services, through multidisciplinary team work and the integration of resources may be the only solution. As a first step, the Taiwanese government, Legislative system and medical and allied communities have started working together on adolescent medicine and health in recent years. They have also called upon international collaboration to achieve the goal of healthy adolescents at the earliest.
An Overview of Adolescent Health in Singapore - CHEW Pei Kiang LEE Yung Seng LOKE Kah Yin
CHEW Pei Kiang
LEE Yung Seng
LOKE Kah Yin
Department of Paediatrics, Children's Medical Centre, National University Hospital

[Abstract] Adolescent health problems in Singapore are of increasing concern, awareness of the prevalence of medical and psycho-social issues and the unique problems encountered during this difficult transition phase from childhood to adulthood increases. These problems have arisen because of the rapid socio-economic changes of globalization, increasing urbanization and a gradual decline in the extended family system in Singapore. While there is a comprehensive range of health services, these services need to be galvanized into a more cohesive programme which recognizes the physical, emotional, educational and social needs of adolescents in Singapore. The role of adolescent medicine in Singapore is now evolving, with emphasis placed on staff training, preventive-risk programmes, counseling and psychosocial support, health education, and management of the adolescents with chronic disorders.
An Overview of Adolescent Health in Macau - LO Siu Ha
LO Siu Ha
Deputy Executive Officer, Nurses Association of Macau

[Abstract] The health status of an adult is closely related to the physical and social environments, life style, physical fitness and mental development during childhood and adolescence period of the adult. Puberty is an important life course, and therefore schools, families and society should pay attention to the physical, mental and social development of adolescents. Helping them to organize their daily lives, upgrading their learning abilities and adaptability, and most importantly, paying attention to their mental health, are the key factors to developing quality characteristics.
Adolescent Health, Health Awareness and Health Education from a Clinical Perspective in Hong Kong - CHEUNG Chi Hung Patrick
CHEUNG Chi Hung Patrick
Adolescent Health Centre (A joint project of the Department of Paediatrics, United Christian Hospital & the United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service)

[Abstract] Understanding adolescent growth and development allows us to appreciate why they behave or act in a particular manner. Unhealthy behaviors and actions taken by adolescents would directly hamper their health status. Health education should incorporate elements that cultivate healthy behavior. These elements may be found in social, environmental and psychological arenas and are equally applicable at the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention levels. The concept of Health Promoting Schools could be adopted for primary health prevention. For secondary and tertiary prevention, these would require the adoption of a problem orientated, solution focused, holistic and collaborative approach for a targeted audience in an adolescent sensitive environment. The outcome evaluation for these strategies should be evidence-based.

Professional Exchange

Television Literacy of Hong Kong Youngsters - Tiger C. F. CHAN
Tiger C. F. CHAN
Researcher, Breakthrough

[Abstract] Recent research on television viewing behavior of secondary students reveals that Hong Kong youngsters highly attached to serial viewing. They even perceive that the contents of serials truly reflect particular issues of the real world. In addition, research also finds that the heavy serial watchers have the tendency to learn from those stories, particularly when dealing with problems of love affairs. These findings indicate media education to local youngsters is highly inadequate. This paper tries to discuss the problems, as well as the causes of the deficiency, in television literacy of Hong Kong youngsters, finally stating that local media education should put more emphasis on educating the parents, besides the work in school.
Old Media, New Media, New People: Utilization of the Media by Taiwan Adolescents in a Media-Rich Environment - Ying-Yi TANG Jing-Houng KUO
Ying-Yi TANG
Associate Professor, Department of Mass Media, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
Jing-Houng KUO
Professor, Department of Social Welfare, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan

[Abstract] In the last decade of the 20th century, Taiwan has experienced drastic changes through political democratization, economic freedom and social multi-culturism. These changes and the full utilizating of communication technology, has made Taiwan a media-rich environment. Adolescents in Taiwan not only have a variety of medium to choose from, but can also select different channels or content within the same type of medium. Embedded in such media rich environment, how do Taiwanese adolescents use the media? What kind of media do they use? Why do they use them? These are the questions which will be focussed upon in this study. In other words, this study attempts to illustrate a full picture of the use of media by Taiwanese adolescents. Data has been randomly selected from Taiwan's adolescent (between 12 to 17 years old prior to December 31, 1998) population. The sample size is 2,176. Statistical analyses are applied to the data to examine relationships among adolescents?media uses (medium type, channel, content, time spent), their gender, age, and residence, as well as the goal of media usage.
Sexual Attitudes, Sexual Experiences and Attitudes of Love among Chinese University Students: A Comparative Study between Hong Kong and Beijing - YUE Xiao Dong Shirley YAN
YUE Xiao Dong
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
Shirley YAN
Research Assistant, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper examines the differences in sexual attitudes, sexual experiences and attitudes of love among a sample of 507 undergraduates in Hong Kong and Beijing. Hong Kong undergraduates demonstrate significantly more openness in sexual attitudes and experiences, than their counterparts in Beijing. Males demonstrate significantly more openness than females. But Hong Kong and Beijing undergraduates differ little in their beliefs about love. Good character is the most important element in selecting a love or marital partner for young people in both cities. Following on, males care for appearance while females care for talent. Young people in both cities were found to be pragmatic in their beliefs about love. The paper concludes with a discussion on the advantages of using a combined approach of qualitative methods and quantitative methods in data collection and analysis for research studies on social issues.
A Comparison of the Systems of University Student Affairs Management in Mainland China and Hong Kong - HUANG Xiliang HUANG Juhong
HUANG Xiliang
Deputy Director, Department of Student Affairs, Nanjing University
HUANG Juhong
Director, Department of Student Affairs, the Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The paper compares the similarities and differences between the systems of University Student Affairs Management in mainland China and Hong Kong in four areas. In terms of organizational structures, mainland China adopts a hierarchical structure that distinguishes itself clearly from the more monotype structure in Hong Kong. In terms of administrative functions, there are three similarities and two differences. With the modes of management, the system on the Mainland has characteristic of "democracy combined with centralization? while in Hong Kong there is a form of "democracy plus legal practice? both of which have their own advantages and disadvantages. All these differences in turn lead to further differences in Student Affairs Management. Based on the above comparisons and analyses, the paper puts forward five suggestions for improving the University Student Affairs Management systems on the Mainland and in Hong Kong.
Youth Life-experiences and Social Cognition in Taiwan - Hua Yuan TSENG James J. H. KUO
Hua Yuan TSENG
Professor, Department of Social Work, Tunghai University
James J. H. KUO
Professor and Chairman, Department of Social Welfare, Chinese Culture University

[Abstract] Adolescence is in the developmental stage of physical and psychological growth. Adolescents need more opportunities and a suitable environment with which to foster their dialectically cognitive and moral judgment abilities. According to this survey, it was found that stress emanates from adolescents? Parents and their academic subjects. They seemed less positive in coping with their daily-life problems, participated in less social activities and got along more with their peers. Peers and parents were their major sources of trust and affection. Society seemed to have a prejudice against adolescents; nevertheless, adolescents still had confidence in themselves. Suggestions with regard to family, school and society were put forward not only in educational practices, but in social work practices, in order to promote adolescents? social-cognitive abilities to improve their social development.
Inside Out: Discoursing Youth Work - Wallace, SHIU Ka Chun
Wallace, SHIU Ka Chun
M.Phil Candidate, Social Work Department, Hong Kong Baptist University
Youth Social Worker, Tsuen Wan Integrated Youth Service Centre, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] Discourse does not exist in a vacuum, but develops in dialogue with other forms of prevalent and ongoing discussion. This paper does not focus on which discourse represents the "real"- in this case the alternative as opposed to the conventional. Rather, the author is concerned by the mechanics by which a dominant discourse is formed. How it achieves an institutional credibility, by funding, staffing and buildings, usually provided for by the state. The paper is also concerned with how the discourse is accepted and respected by the population as a whole, vis-?vis any other forms of discourse which are treated with suspicion and are relegated to the margins of society. What this paper has attempted to do is question the naturalisation of dominant discourse structures within which youth work is discussed, in order to make the excluded positions available and to gain credence and credibility for them.
Empowering Band-5 Students "Top-Teen" An Intensive Program to Improve Self-Image, Self-Mastery and Self-Motivation among Underachieving Students - Anthony LEK CHENG Kai Wai, Josephine Peter NEWBERY
Anthony LEK
Director, Don Bosco Youth Center
CHENG Kai Wai, Josephine
Social Worker, "Top-Teen" Volunteer
Executive Director, Youth Outreach

[Abstract] The article describes the "Top-Teen Program" This is a short, intensive, residential program which aims to change the self image and improve the self confidence of underachieving and poorly motivated students - popularly known as "band-5" students. The program is based on known therapeutic theories - particularly Neuro-Linguistic Programming. It focuses on the areas of ego-identity, self-mastery and self-esteem. All participants are given relevant psychological tests before participating and again afterwards. Statistical analysis of the results has consistently shown a significant improvement in all three areas after participating in the program. The authors argue that this indicates that it is possible to "re-motivate" students who had previously considered themselves as useless drop-outs.
A Study on Psychological Guidance for Developing the Concept Formation Ability of Primary School Students - SUN Zhifeng
SUN Zhifeng
Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, Suzhou University

[Abstract] This paper focuses on the effects of psychological guidance for developing the concept formation ability of primary school students, and the correlation between concept formation ability and learning performance. In the guidance of primary school students by groups, sixteen intelligence and non-intelligence aspects are considered. These include: learning habits, thinking, self-consciousness, will, capability, imagination, interest, attention, emotion, observation, ideal, memory, motivation, need, personality and creativity. The study aims to improve the psychological level of the students and to promote their overall quality. The results show that psychological guidance by groups have an impact on the concept formation ability of primary school students. The correlation between concept formation ability and achievement was higher than without guidance. There does appear, however, to be a gender difference underlying the general trend. Male students' correlations rise while female students' decline. Initial concept formation ability can exert a more profound influence on girls' future academic achievements than on boys' The research also indicates that the importance of psychological guidance by group, ranges according to the students' intelligence.