Volume 5, Issue No. 1 (Serial No. 9) Socio-Economic Development in Hong Kong and Changes in Family

Journal of Youth Studies

January 2002

Volume 5 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 9

Feature: Socio-Economic Development in Hong Kong and Changes in Family

Economic Disadvantage and the Family: Implications of Foreign and Local Studies - Daniel T.L. SHEK LAI Man Fei
Daniel T.L. SHEK
LAI Man Fei
Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This paper examines the foreign and local literature on the impact of unfavorable economic conditions (such as poverty, unemployment and financial strains) on the family. With specific reference to families with adolescent children, the impacts of economic disadvantage on: a) the physical and mental health of the parents; b) marital relations between the parents; c) parenting practices and parental behavior in the socialization process of their children; d) family interactions and functioning; and e) the psychosocial adjustment of children are examined. The available literature generally suggests that economic disadvantage affects parental health and the quality of marital relations, which in turn negatively affects parenting behavior and family functioning. These impaired family processes eventually affect the adjustment of the children in a negative manner. The implications of the literature review are discussed.
Towards the "Third Way" of a Family Policy? - Sammy CHIU Angel CHAN
Sammy CHIU
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University
Angel CHAN
Teaching Assistant, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] This paper examines the social policy principles proposed by the Labour Government of the United Kingdom, generally called the "Third Way" The authors critically discuss the ideology of New Labour, and focus their discussions on the family policy of the New Left. It is argued that the idea of extending social democracy and social justice from the traditional public domain to the family may be regarded as a progressive measure. However, the extent to which this policy could actually enlarge social equality, especially between genders in the family, without committed support from the state is very much in doubt.
Economic Development and the Trends in Family Patterns - CHAN Yan Chong
CHAN Yan Chong
Associate Professor, Department of Management Sciences, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Changes in the family pattern alter economic development. Equally, economic development also alters family patterns. This essay discusses the relationship between the two by a thorough review of the development of Hong Kong. It also suggests directions for increasing the competitiveness of Hong Kong as a whole.
Challenges to the Formulation of Policy with the Rise of "Hong Kong and Mainland Families" - CHENG Yiu Tong
CHENG Yiu Tong
Chairman, Hong Kong-China Relation Strategic Development Research Fund

[Abstract] The rapid integration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) with the Mainland triggered a significant increase in the number of "Hong Kong and Mainland families" a result of new arrivals from the Mainland, as well as Hong Kong people moving to live north. This continuous trend may affect the standard of living and employment in Hong Kong. In order to alleviate the situation and to reduce population pressure, the SAR Government should take advantage of the "One Country, Two Systems" principle, by working out with the Mainland new policy initiatives which may include, for example, the implementation of portable social programmes - such as health, education and retirement - across the border. Such new incentives may attract some new arrival families to choose to live in the Mainland instead of remaining in Hong Kong.
The Adaptation of New Arrival Families: An Exploration of Service Strategies - YAU How Boa, Stephen
YAU How Boa, Stephen
Chief Executive, International Social Service Hong Kong Branch

[Abstract] Very often the characteristics of new arrival families, and the changes they face, hinder their adaptation to Hong Kong. They need much more support to attain harmony and to perform necessary family functions. With the idea of striving for new social services, together with the consultancy report on Hong Kong Family Service Review of the Social Welfare Department, pertinent strategies should be applied to new arrival family services. More suitable service principles should also be set up by the core ideas of "accessibility" "early identification" "integration" and "partnerships" on top of the current service basis. The current services should be integrated by the three-level family service model system, or "Family Resource Unit" "Family Support Unit" and "Family Counselling Unit" in order to make full use of the resources, avoid mismatching, consolidate power and attain a united harmony.
Timing of a First Date and Changing Pre-marital Experiences - Kwok-fai TING
Kwok-fai TING
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Industrialization has made dating an indispensable stage in most people's lives. Dating is a preparatory stage for marriage, and it has profound influences on family life. This paper links the timing of a first date to the changes of dating experiences across different birth cohorts. Results reveal that young people of the recent generations start to explore their intimate relationships at a younger age. The early timing of a first date has extended the dating period. It has not only given young people more opportunities to learn how to handle relationships with the opposite sex, but it has also made marriage a remote goal in a date. Dating at a younger age also means a higher chance of dating while still at school. The conflicts between dating and school activities have led young people to a different set of expectations in their dates. Findings also indicate that young people use different criteria than in the past for selecting dating partners. These changes suggest that dating has become an independent life stage in modern times. Other than looking for a marriage partner, young people seek to learn more about themselves and their relationships with the opposite sex.
The Current Situation and Service Necessities of Single Parent Families in Hong Kong - Jessie YU
Jessie YU
Chief Executive, Hong Kong Single Parents Association

[Abstract] In recent years, the number of single parent families in Hong Kong is on the increase. The reasons include the growing divorce rate and the growing number of immigrants from Mainland China, especially children under the age of 18 with fathers who are Hong Kong residents, while their mothers remain in China. Single parents families suffer from the changes of a traditional family structure, and also encounter many problems such as financial, housing, employment and stress derived from trying to integrate into society. This paper will discuss the current situation of single parent families in Hong Kong and the problems that they encounter. It will analyse the kinds of social services that they need in order to provide them adequate and appropriate assistance to help solve the problems they face.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange: Social Policy and the Consolidation of Family Structure

Dating Violence and Family Violence - Heidi IP
Heidi IP
Coordinator, Harmony House - Community Education & Resource Centre

[Abstract] The main theme of this essay is to explore the relationship between family violence and dating violence. It is especially concerned whether it is easier for children from violent families to perpetuate that violence while dating. In fact, experience has shown that children from violent families are more vulnerable in interpersonal relationships and find it easier to use violence as a solution in daily life. However, other surveys have reflected that ordinary adolescents held many myths in terms of dating and relationships, as well as dating violence especially at the end of a relationship. The author will analyse the problems of dating violence and attempt to make service recommendations for concerned parties.
The Development of a Divorce Relief System in Mainland China - XIA Yinlan DENG Li
XIA Yinlan
Professor of Law, China University of Political Science and Law
Vice President, China Family Law Association
Master Student, China University of Political Science and Law

[Abstract] The Amendment of the Marriage Law in the People's Republic of China in 2001 established a more integrated system of divorce relief. This Act was based on a profound background, reflecting the improvement in the concept of law in the mainland. However since the Amendment is only part of a transition, the development of a divorce relief system is still a long way from perfection and much still needs to be done.
Social Policy and the Consolidation of Family in Taiwan - Joanne S. C. LIU
Joanne S. C. LIU
Department & Graduate Institute of Sociology, National Taiwan University

[Abstract] The purpose of this article is to introduce and discuss the contents and issues of a "Family Policy" in Taiwan. The article tries to provide up-to-date demographic data to construct a holistic view on Taiwan under social change and describes and analyses the current problems and needs within the family. It also introduces related policies, laws, and measures for supporting family income and providing family services. Finally, this article summarizes the comments of scholars on Taiwan's "Family Policy" and concludes that the government should make more efforts in building up consensus, and should strive to empower families through strategic planning.
The Impact of Social Policies on the Family in Singapore - OW, Rosaleen VASOO, S.
OW, Rosaleen
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Psychology, National University of Singapore

[Abstract] State welfarism, as practiced in most developed western societies, is not a model adopted in Singapore. In contrast, social policies for families in the city state are aimed at strengthening the family's resource capacity in coping with the demands of rapid social and demographic changes, the effects of globalization and the influences of the new economy through a tripartite system of shared social care involving the state, the family and the employer. This paper discusses how various social policies related to financial security, housing, healthcare, eldercare, care and protection of children and the institution of marriage and procreation, are interwoven to promote self-help among family members, kin groups and the community with the state acting as a final safety net only for the most vulnerable who have limited means of support. It also emphasizes the need for social policy makers to be proactive in anticipating social needs arising from demographic and socio-economic trends currently observed. The social policies with a social development emphasis are reviewed.
A Study on Chinese Families of Macao: Family Factors Affecting Family Relationships - Samuel Y. HUI
Samuel Y. HUI
Visiting Associate Professor, Social Work Program, School of Public Administration, Macao Polytechnic Institute

[Abstract] Under normal circumstances, families usually provide its members with emotional support and a caring and protective environment. Hence, it can be considered as an important arena that facilitates the growth and development of its members. The influences of the family are even more significant during the early stages of the socialization process. However, to foster positive "family functioning" it relies more on the establishment of a stable, concerned, and harmonious "family relationship" among its members. This paper will look at what sorts of family factors or attributes affect family relationships. The discussions are based on the findings of a previous study on the Macao Chinese families.

Professional Exchange

Family Services Review in Hong Kong: Service Integration and Diversification - Joe LEUNG
Core Team Member, Consultancy Team, Family Services Review
Head, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, the University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] In response to social needs, which arise from the changes that occur in the family, the Social Welfare Department commissioned the Department of Social Work and Social Administration at the University of Hong Kong to conduct a review of family welfare services in August 2000. The Consultancy was completed in May 2001 and recommended the consolidation of families be the focus of services. While affirming the benefit to children, it took the whole family as a point of intervention and community resources mobilization as support. In particular, it recommended, inter alia, a new service delivery model, namely the Integrated Family Service Centre (IFSC). The IFSC will integrate family welfare services with community-based services to meet the changing needs of the families in a holistic manner.
Perceived Causes of Poverty among Adolescents in Hong Kong - Daniel T.L. SHEK
Daniel T.L. SHEK
Professor, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] The views of adolescents on the causes of poverty and related correlates are examined in this paper. A total of 1,519 Chinese adolescents responded to a "Perceived Causes of Poverty Scale (PCPS)" that assesses four explanations of poverty: personal problems of poor people, social exploitation, lack of opportunities to escape from the poverty cycle, and poor fate. Results show that the participants generally held mixed beliefs on the causes of poverty. While over half of the respondents believed that the personal problems of poor people account for poverty, a majority of the respondents agreed that structural factors, such as exploitation and lack of opportunities, result in poverty. Results further show that adolescents’ beliefs about the causes of poverty were related to several correlates: (1) adolescent boys placed greater emphasis on personal problems of poor people in causing poverty than adolescent girls; (2) there was no relationship between the age and adolescents' beliefs about the causes of poverty; (3) there was no relationship between the grade level and adolescents' beliefs about causes of poverty; (4) poor adolescents and more wealthy adolescents did not differ in their perceived causes of poverty; (5) adolescents with better mental health tended to place less emphasis on external factors in causing poverty; and (6) adolescents experiencing greater stress tended to place more emphasis on external factors in the origin of poverty.
The Police and Social Workers in Juvenile Crime Prevention: Concepts and Practices - LAM Cheung-chi LI Chi-mei, Jessica
LAM Cheung-chi
Member, Sai Kung District Fight Crime Committee
Unit-in-charge, Training and Development Unit, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups
LI Chi-mei, Jessica
Ph.D. Candidate, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Policing and social work have been undertaken by two different occupational groups, each of which has its own unique work culture and practice. It is not surprising, therefore to encounter some suspicion, or even hostility, between these two groups owing to their discrepancy in perceiving and handling of juvenile crime problems. Nevertheless, in recent years, each has been moving towards the other in order to better cooperate in combating such problems. In the course of the interaction between the police and social workers, some concepts and practices will be considered in this paper.
Telling Youth Stories : Towards a Rhetorical Turn of Youth Work - SHIU Ka Chun
SHIU Ka Chun
Youth Work Officer, Tin Yuet Youth S.P.O.T., The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] The quality of youth work practice can be expanded and enhanced by recommending constructive thinking that advocates the significance of rhetorical practice, like story-telling. Philosophically, encouraging youth work practitioners to formulate and implement their youth work interventions in a socio-linguistic sensitive manner and recognize the centrality of language as its practice, is the first level. Practically, promoting a rhetorical approach of youth work is the second level. On this level, two themes will be discussed. Deconstructing the use of metaphors by revisiting the meanings of story-telling, as well as constructing new forms of social relations to construct new ways of being for youth and youth workers. The paper ends by suggesting that youth work practitioners unmask the professional bias together with a revelation of youth experience, so as to construct a holistic knowledge in a very reflexive manner.
The Relationship and Role of Family Members on the Quality of Family Life: A Report of a Study on 60 Families in Wuhan City - ZUO Bin
Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education Sciences, Central China Normal University

[Abstract] The roles of family members and their relationships have an important effect on the quality of family life. Using interviews and a questionnaire, the present study investigated sixty urban families and results showed: 1) Among five kinds of relationships in a family, matrimonial relationships were the most critical factor influencing the quality of family life; 2) The only child played a key role among family members which affected the stability in Chinese family relationships.