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
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University
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
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
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.