Journal of Youth Studies

January 2006

Volume 9 . Issue No. 1

Serial No. 17

Feature : The Emerging Poverty Cycle

The Intergenerational Poverty Problem and Its Alleviation Strategy - WONG Hung
Assistant Professor, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Based on the survey data of the Hong Kong Poverty Line Study, this study selects 368 households with at least 1 youth household member between the ages of 15 and 21. The objective of this paper is to analyze the impact of adult and youth human capital, the quantity and quality of the social capital of the family, and the adult and youth social exclusion from the labour market on the poverty level of the households. The poverty level of the households is found to be correlated to human capital, social capital, and adult exclusion from the labour market, but not to youth exclusion from the labour market. According to the regression model results on the impact on the poverty level, the degree of impact is as follows: adult exclusion from the labour market, adult educational attainment, and the quantity of social capital. The author suggests that a more holistic poverty alleviation strategy should be adopted that should target both poor youth as well as their parents. Moreover, resource allocation should not just incline towards youth. It should also focus on building human capital and solving the social exclusion problem of the older generation.
Policy Responses to Intergenerational Poverty - Cherry TSE
Cherry TSE
Secretary to the Commission on Poverty

[Abstract] It is the established policy of the HKSAR Government to ensure that children’s healthy and balanced development is not compromised by the financial situation of their families. Preventing and alleviating intergenerational poverty is one of the work priorities of the Commission on Poverty. A dedicated Task Force on Children and Youth was set up in May 2005 to focus on improving the interface between existing policies and measures so that, from a life-cycle perspective, wholesome development needs of children and youth are better catered for. This article provides an overview of the existing services for children and youth in relation to tackling intergenerational poverty, as well as of the focus of work of the Task Force.
The Role of Social Policies in Alleviating Intergenerational Poverty - Christine FANG
Christine FANG
Chief Executive, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service

[Abstract] This article highlights the role of social policies in combating intergenerational poverty, and suggests "family-based," "development-based," and "community-based" policy orientations that can be adopted. The government is advised to intervene through social policies in the areas of social protection, labour, education and training, and social inclusion. These policies should respond to the material and nonmaterial needs of deprived families, and assist them to break the cycle of poverty.
Rethinking Strategy Against Poverty: Hong Kong and Abroad - CHONG Chan-yau
CHONG Chan-yau
Senior Advisor, Oxfam Hong Kong

[Abstract] Social and economic realities keep the cycle of poverty at work. Unless a society can offer a comprehensive social security programme, a family has the tendency to remain poor through the generations. his paper examines policy in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, the United States and the United Kingdom and argues that governments that adopt a multi-dimensional safety net and family-friendly policies will be more effective at combating poverty. Oxfam Hong Kong suggests the Hong Kong SAR government to consult the comparative study as a reference for policy making.
Social Exclusion and Intergenerational Poverty: Situation and Strategies - HO Hei-wah
HO Hei-wah
Director, Society for Community Organization

[Abstract] The disparity between the rich and the poor is becoming greater and greater. Since a mechanism for poverty reduction and elimination in social policy is lacking, the opportunity for grassroots people to improve their conditions by themselves is shrinking. The poor condition of the stark poor and low-income families is inherited by their children, which has even generated the problem of child labour. This paper overviews the poor condition of Hong Kong children and analyzes the structural causes of it. By looking into different public policies and opinions, it delineates how social exclusion is deteriorating while the development of children is obstructed. Finally, the paper gives some suggestions as to how to eliminate the problem of intergenerational poverty.
Strategies to Eliminate Intergenerational Poverty - Thomas S. T. CHAN
Thomas S. T. CHAN
Chief Executive Officer, World Vision International - China Office

[Abstract] Poverty affects the development of children and youth in a myriad of ways, with the result that neediness often passes from one generation to the next. Based on 10 years of experience in serving children in poor communities of China, the author describes how the lack of various resources impacts the development of children. The strategy employed by World Vision China to combat this tendency is also discussed.
Family System and Youth Poverty - Nelson W. S. CHOW
Nelson W. S. CHOW
Chair Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This article begins with the changes that have taken place in the family system in Hong Kong in the last 20 years. With the divorce rate increasing and a higher proportion of the population remaining unmarried, families in Hong Kong today take many different forms and structures. It is argued that these changes have resulted in increasing poverty among the young, not only in monetary terms but also in terms of being poor and disadvantaged in their relationships with other people and in spirit. Hence, any strategy to improve the situation must be multidimensional in its approach, putting the family at the centre.
Is Education an Effective Way to Alleviate Intergenerational Poverty? - YUEN Yuet Mui Celeste
YUEN Yuet Mui Celeste
Lecturer, Department of Educational Policy and Administration, The Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] This article discusses the relationship between poverty and education. Improved schooling can combat intergenerational poverty. In order to break through the chain effect of "social background—education achievement," schools must minimize any further disadvantages for students who are already socially disadvantaged. Alongside the role the government's education policy plays in tackling poverty, the findings show that teachers also play an important role. This article recommends that teachers pay more attention to raising students' academic self-esteem and to holding appropriate expectations of all students so as to effectively tackle the unequal educational results caused by poverty.
Poverty Reduction: An Urban Planning Perspective - Stanley C.T. YIP
Stanley C.T. YIP
President, Hong Kong Institute of Planners

[Abstract] This article discusses the relationship between urban planning and poverty reduction. It first looks at the origin of modern urban planning as a profession and as a vehicle for the implementation of public policies. It outlines the evolution of the profession’s aims and methods over the last few decades in response to the problem of urban poverty. The author suggests new perspectives for consideration by decision makers that could institute changes to the objectives, means, and processes of urban planning to enable the profession to effect poverty reduction.
A Way to Minimize Intergenerational Poverty: Helping Our Youth to Enter the Labour Market by Enhancing their Employability and Self-Confidence - Gary TANG Leung-shun
Gary TANG Leung-shun
Supervisor, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] Hong Kong's economy has been greatly affected by the 1997 Asian crisis. The unemployment problem among young people has drawn much attention. Those low academic achievers who lack work experience and job-related skills are facing difficulties in finding a job. Even worse, those who come from lower-class families are facing the intergenerational poverty problem. This paper examines different kinds of projects and supporting schemes that aim to enhance the employability and self-confidence of youth so as to minimize the intergenerational poverty problem.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : Promoting Youth Entrepreneurship

From YBI to YBC: The Practice of Youth Business Internation in China - ZHANG Hui-ling
ZHANG Hui-ling
Executive Director, Youth Business China

[Abstract] The objective of Youth Business China (YBC) is to Help Young People to Help Themselves. Youths are the most energetic group in society. Encouraging and helping them to start businesses and providing them with a good business environment will have an impact on China' economy, social harmony, and sustainable development. With this in mind, YBC has taken a first important step by starting a"'three-party winning" trial involving youth, enterprises, and society. This paper introduces the business start-up environment of mainland young people from the experience of YBC.
The Business Start-Up Environment for Youth in Taiwan - LIM Chun Hao
LIM Chun Hao
Secretary General, China Youth Career Development Association Headquarters

[Abstract] New business start-ups create new jobs and more job opportunities. In addition, the small and medium enterprises spirit, boasting a continuous stream of innovative ideas, has consistently been one of the features of Taiwan's economic environment. This paper introduces the environment of new start-up businesses in Taiwan, and focuses on the present youth start-up business situation. In addition, this paper addresses the main features of our business start-up consulting service and the results it has produced. Another main aim of this paper is to specifically analyze the opportunities and questions faced by young entrepreneurs in Taiwan.
Promoting Innovation and Enterprise Amongst Youths in Singapore - Farah Adila FAMI
Farah Adila FAMI
ACE Marketing Comms Manager, Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), Singapore

[Abstract] Encouraging a spirit of innovation and enterprise amongst youths goes beyond just talking about having more start-ups. This article investigates the key roles that innovation and enterprise play in Singapore's economic development, and the initiatives and collaborations introduced to foster innovation and enterprise amongst youths in Singapore.
Promotion of Youth Entrepreneurship: Services and Measures from the Experience of Youth Business Hong Kong - Louisa LAU
Louisa LAU
Secretary General, Youth Business Hong Kong

[Abstract] In 2005, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups enlisted the support of Youth Business International to help set up Youth Business Hong Kong (YBHK). It is envisaged that YBHK will facilitate the youth to understand entrepreneurship as an alternative to traditional modes of employment, and encourage and enable those youngsters with entrepreneurial aspirations and readiness to start a business to take their first step towards entrepreneurship. It is also envisioned that YBHK will solicit social support and recognition for youth entrepreneurs and eventually help to develop an entrepreneurial network in Hong Kong. YBHK will provide youngsters who have entrepreneurial aspirations but lack resources with financial access, a volunteer business mentoring service, and access to local business networks. As YBHK has been running for nearly half a year, the writer here tries to consolidate the experiences and difficulties encountered and discusses how to continue the promotion of youth entrepreneurship.

Professional Exchange

Avoiding Early Intrusion in the Lives of Children: The Need for Juvenile Justice Reform in Hong Kong - Wing Hong CHUI
Wing Hong CHUI
Senior Lecturer, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, Australia
Fellow, Youth Studies Net, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] In Hong Kong, children under the age of 10 are currently fully and legally excused from criminal responsibility. For children aged between 10 and 14, Hong Kong follows the English common law rule of a rebuttable presumption of doli incapax, although this presumption was abolished by section 34 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. However, vexing questions such as "At what age should young children be held responsible for criminal acts?" "Should the age of criminal responsibility be raised from 10 to 14?" and "Should the principle of doli incapax be abolished in Hong Kong?" have been raised by the public and youth justice personnel. The aim of this paper is to examine some of the issues surrounding the age of criminal responsibility in Hong Kong, thereby highlighting the need for juvenile justice reform.
Management Control in Adolescent Residential Placements - Su-Hwa PONG
Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Social Work, National Taiwan Normal University

[Abstract] The aims of this paper are to explore how workers perceive their regulations towards youths and how they manage their rules in youth residential placements. In order to achieve the above goal, the researcher interviewed 29 youth residential placements. Fifty-five participants qualitatively expressed their experiences and viewpoints. The results indicate that residential placements have recognized the need to protect the rights of youth. However, inadequate regulations still exist and are operated by the agency. Some implications of residential care are discussed in order to develop some constructive interventions for troubled youth.
Perceived Parental Behavioural Control, Psychological Control, and Parent-Child Relational Qualities in Chinese Adolescents in Hong Kong - SHEK D. T. L. LEE T. Y. CHOW J. T. W.
Social Welfare Practice and Research Centre, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
Social Welfare Practice and Research Centre, Department of Social Work, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Chinese secondary school students (N=1,192) were asked to respond to instruments measuring their subjective evaluation of parental behavioural control (including indicators of knowledge, expectation, monitoring, discipline, and demandingness), parental psychological control, and parent-child relational qualities (satisfaction with parental control, child’s readiness to communicate, parental trust of the child, and child’s trust of parents). The results show that different aspects of parental behavioural control and parent-child relational qualities are interrelated. While parental expectation and discipline are positively related to parental psychological control, parental knowledge and demandingess are negatively related to parental psychological control. Concerning the relationship between parental behavioural control and psychological control, while parental behavioural control is positively related to parent-child relational qualities, parental psychological control is negatively related to parent-child relational qualities. Relative to parental behavioural control, parental psychological control is a stronger predictor of parent-child relational qualities. The results also show that parental trust of the child and child’s trust of the parents has a direct influence and an indirect influence (via child’s satisfaction with parental control and child’s willingness to communicate) on parental knowledge.
Inclusive Education Policy - A Myth about Hong Kong Mainstream Classrooms - LAM Bick Har YEUNG See Wai, Alison
LAM Bick Har
Hong Kong Institute of Education
YEUNG See Wai, Alison
The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] A study was conducted on the affective and social domains of 152 elementary school students aged 8-11 in a school in Hong Kong. Five questionnaires from the Assessment Program for Affective and Social Outcomes (APASO) (EMB, 2001) were used to measure the students' attitude to school, self-concept, attitude to learning, interpersonal competence, and problem-solving strategies. Sixteen inclusive students who had different learning difficulties and were involved in the government remedial teaching scheme under the inclusion policy were extracted for close examination. The differences between normal (N=136) and inclusive (N=16) students were examined by a series of one-way ANOVA tests. The outcome was triangulated with teachers' perspectives through a teacher conference and school profile reports. The two groups showed significant differences in their social and academic self-concepts, which was explained by a "positive discrimination" perspective that suggested a gap between what the students perceived and what the teachers thought. Recommendations are made on how schools can promote an inclusive environment to best serve students under inclusive education.
Secondary School Pupils' Perceptions of Civic Education under Globalization - WU Siu-wai
WU Siu-wai
Lecturer, Department of Education Policy and Administration, The Hong Kong Institute of Education

[Abstract] In a globalized society, there is a need to reconstruct local civic education. But what is the youth's perception of civic values? This paper examines more than 1,000 secondary school pupils’ perceptions of civic education in Hong Kong. The following areas are investigated: civic characteristics, environmental concerns, and the value of our society.