Volume 9, Issue No. 2 (Serial No. 18) The Changing Dynamics of Family Relationships

Journal of Youth Studies

July 2006

Volume 9 . Issue No. 2

Serial No. 18


Feature : The Changing Dynamics of Family Relationships

The Arrival of the (Post) Modern Family? An Examination of the Changes and Impacts of Intimate Relationships - Sammy CHIU
Sammy CHIU
Head and Professor, Department of Social Work, Hong Kong Baptist University

[Abstract] The family as a social institution has undergone tremendous changes in the past few decades. What are more important than the changes in the family structure - from the horizontal family to the nuclear family - are the changes in the contents of intimate relationships. With their increasing participation in the labour market and economic independence, marriage and the family have lost their intrinsic attraction to women. Facing a risk society, men and women are more reluctant to commit to long-term intimate relationships. The dilemma that is now faced by many intimate partners in the West is that they need a close and intimate relationship on the one hand, but a loose bond on the other so that when they are no longer satisfied with the relationship, it can easily be dissolved. This paper discusses the changes in intimate relationships with a view to examining the diversities in families and human bonding. The paper also examines the impacts of these changes on intimate relationships in Hong Kong.
Changes in Marital Structure and Their Impacts on Hong Kong Society - Paul, S. F. YIP Kathy, S.Y. XIE
Paul, S. F. YIP
Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, The University of Hong Kong
Kathy, S.Y. XIE
Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, The University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This article discusses the changes in marital structure in Hong Kong over the past 2 decades, including the number of marriages, age and gender differences, the number of divorces, and the never-married population. These changes have had significant impacts on various aspects of society, such as a lowering of the total fertility rate, a shrinking of the labour force, an imbalance of the sex ratio, and a reduction in household size and the number of households. To reduce the unfavourable impacts of the changes in marital distribution, a concerted effort by both government and the business sector is very much needed to rebuild the family function in the community.
Responses to the Declining Family Function: Direction of Family Services - Paul K. W. TANG
Paul K. W. TANG
Director of Social Welfare

[Abstract] Family is the vital component of our society. A family that functions well in discharging its responsibilities provides a growth-conducive environment for its members and contributes to the stability and well being of society. The HKSAR Government is committed to preserving and strengthening families through the provision of a continuum of preventive, supportive and remedial services. This article outlines the direction of family services and provides an overview of the existing measures catering for family needs in response to various challenges that weaken family function.
Changes in the Family Support Function and the Revitalization of the Role of Men - Raymond K. H. CHAN Peggy LEUNG Wing Yan
Raymond K. H. CHAN
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
Peggy LEUNG Wing Yan
Research Assistant, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Due to the rapid social and economic transformation in Hong Kong, family changes, in terms of its structure, its values, and gender roles, are almost inevitable. These changes have weakened the family support function, as expected. This paper aims to examine the reasons for these changes, as well as discussing the ways that social services can address and respond to them. Special attention is given to the changing role of men in the family, and how they have reacted, and should react, to these changes.
Threats to Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Coping Strategies - TSANG Sandra Kit Man
TSANG Sandra Kit Man
Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong Clinical Psychologist

[Abstract] Parents are responsible for providing for and socializing their children. A substantive parent-child relationship can promote adolescent development, enhance adolescents' resilience when challenged with adversities, and equip them with problem-solving skills to serve the community when they grow up. Unfortunately, in recent years, parent-child relationship has been under threat from familial and social changes, and has become increasingly inadequate to support adolescents in developing into the future leaders of society. This article discusses the significance of parent-adolescent relationship, outlines the development of this relationship in Hong Kong, identifies some threats to the relationship, and proposes different strategies of management.
Family Relationships: Cross-Border Marriage Between Hong Kong and Mainland China Residents - Stephen YAU
Stephen YAU
Chief Executive, International Social Service Hong Kong Branch

[Abstract] More and more Hong Kong residents are marrying residents of Mainland China, which results in a rise in the number of cross-border marriages. Families of cross-border marriages have to face the additional challenges of geographical separation, cultural differences, changes in immigration policy, and so on. This article describes the characteristics of a cross-border marriage and its impact on family relationships.
Family Relationships and the Growth of Adolescents and Children in Disadvantaged Families: Observations from Practical Experience in Tin Shui Wai - CHENG Wai Hing, Elisa LAU Chung, Billie
CHENG Wai Hing, Elisa
Regional Supervisor, ELCHK Youth Services (Yuen Long District)
LAU Chung, Billie
Centre-in-charge, ELCHK Tin Shui Wai Integrated Youth Service Centre

[Abstract] This article attempts to delineate the family relationships and the growth of adolescents and children in disadvantaged families by looking at two service users from Tin Shui Wai. The two families became disadvantaged because of divorce and being new arrivals to Hong Kong respectively. The family relationships were tense and the children and youth were not able to develop themselves because of limited resources. After joining some activities, the children and youth had opportunities to develop themselves, and their family relationships also improved. Some service implications are made with reference to these cases and to the literature.
Children of Reconstituted Families: A Frontline Worker's Concern - Jenny TSUI
Jenny TSUI
Social Worker, Reconstituted Family Services Programme, Family Services, Caritas - Hong Kong

[Abstract] As reconstituted families become more common, understanding of this type of family and relevant services seem insufficient. While adult members of the new family have to adapt to the new marriage as well as handle the burden of housework and parenting, the negative emotions of the children are often neglected. Counsellors have to understand why these negative emotions are generated in order to help these children. They have to carry out premarital and postmarital counselling for couples and organize self-help groups for them. In addition, a friendly policy towards stepparents by schools and the promotion of more understanding and acceptance among the public will also be helpful.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : The Changes and Trends of Studying Abroad

The Development and Trends of Studying Abroad: Taiwan's Experience - Yi-Jen Ellen WANG Clarence FU Jing-Jyi WU
Yi-Jen Ellen WANG
Education Advisor, Foundation for Scholarly Exchange
Clarence FU
Education Advisor, Foundation for Scholarly Exchange
Jing-Jyi WU
Executive Director, Foundation for Scholarly Exchange

[Abstract] The total number of students going abroad each year reflects government policies on studying abroad, as well as economic and political changes in Taiwan. For 33 years, only college graduates were allowed to study abroad. However, after martial law was lifted in 1987, the Ministry of Education abolished the regulations for studying abroad. High school graduates were finally allowed to go abroad for further study. The government has recently implemented two policies that further affect students’ going abroad. The first was a low-rate interest loan for studying abroad, and the second was a government scholarship programme for talented students in designated fields to study abroad. Since 1950, the United States has been the first choice of Taiwan students. However, recently, many other countries have begun to see education as an export and have opened educational advice centres and held educational fairs to attract students.
Macao Students Furthering Their Studies on the Mainland: Changes and Trends - Steven LEI
Steven LEI
Executive Director, Chinese Educators' Association, Macao

[Abstract] Higher education began slowly in Macao in the early 1980s, with the first institution being a private university. Owing to the lack of government commitment, high school graduates had long become used to finding their own ways to further their studies in colleges or universities. Though the economy started to take off, only a few students were able to go to college then. However, as Macao becomes more prosperous, there is more demand for knowledge and therefore more students go to college. More importantly, about 80% of Macao secondary school graduates have been admitted to tertiary institutions over the past 10 years. In particular, it has become a trend for Macao students to further their studies on the Chinese mainland. This paper examines the factors influencing students’ choices, the changes in the pattern of furthering studies on the mainland, and the general trends.
Studying for an MBA in the UK: An Interview with the Newly Appointed Dean of the Oxford Said Business School and The Financial Times Top MBA Rankings - Frank HA
Frank HA
Overseas Study Expert of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Pursuing further study in the United Kingdom is a popular choice for Hong Kong students. There are currently over 18,000 students studying in the UK. This article discusses the pursuit of further study in the UK with a focus on MBA programmes, as having an MBA should be especially advantageous for the career development of young people. The discussion covers the ranking of schools, application skills, and psychological preparation.

Professional Exchange

Burnout and the Individual Correlates of Mainland and Hong Kong College Students - Yiqun GAN Jiayin SHANG
Yiqun GAN
Department of Psychology, Peking University
Jiayin SHANG
Department of Psychology, Peking University

[Abstract] The current study explored student burnout and its predictors. Participants included 273 students on the mainland and 368 in Hong Kong. Results indicated that mainland students reported less exhaustion and cynicism than their Hong Kong counterparts, but the two groups did not show any differences in the professional efficacy dimension. Students from the mainland scored higher on external locus of control, but this did not contribute to predicting their burnout. For both groups of students, the matching of strategy to situation and the subjective judgement on coping effectiveness, in addition to locus of control, together explain the substantial incremental variance in burnout.
Emulative Idol Perception: An Experimental Study among Secondary Students in Hong Kong and Shenzhen - YUE Xiao Dong Dennis Sing-wing WONG CHEUNG Chau-kiu
YUE Xiao Dong
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
Dennis Sing-wing WONG
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
CHEUNG Chau-kiu
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] This study examined the priming effect on two modes of idol worship via a frame switching experiment. 2,424 high school students from Hong Kong and Shenzhen participated in the present study. Two experimental conditions were set up: in glamour prompt condition, subjects were exposed of primes that enhance perfection and mystification of idols’ personal or ideological characteristics; in achievement prompt condition, subjects were exposed of primes that enhance emulation and identification of idols’ pro-social behaviours or desirable dispositional traits. A prominent local pop and movie star, Andy Lau, was selected as the target idol. Participants showed significantly greater desire to emulate, idealize, and to become attached to Andy Lau in the achievement prompt condition than the glamour prompt condition. It supported a hypothesized priming effect on emulative idol perception, suggesting that a star idol may be transformed into a role model depending on how the idol is perceived by young people. To conclude the paper, the psycho-social and educational implications of the study are explored.
Youth Gang Violence and Neutralization Techniques - LI Chi Mei Jessica LO Tit Wing
LI Chi Mei Jessica
Ph.D. Student, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong
LO Tit Wing
Professor, Department of Applied Social Studies, City University of Hong Kong

[Abstract] Youth gang violence has drawn public attention in recent years. Based upon the data abstracted from in-depth interviews with 9 young gangsters who were serving sentences for violent acts, we tried to understand offenders' perceptions of their criminal acts. In addition to remorse and self-blaming, we also identified a number of neutralization techniques used by the offenders to justify their criminal behaviour. In fact, from the crime prevention perspective, to detect and handle these neutralization techniques used by offenders is of great importance.
Promoting the Teaching of English in Macao through the Experiences of Singapore, Beijing, and Hong Kong - YOUNG Ming Yee Carissa
YOUNG Ming Yee Carissa
Department of General Studies, Macau University of Science and Technology

[Abstract] One of the long-term strategies of Macao SAR is to promote the learning of English. Yet no action has been taken. In contrast, several English movements have been launched in the region. In 2000, Singapore launched the "Speak Good English Movement" and Beijing launched the "Beijing Speaks to the World" campaign. Hong Kong implemented the "Native-Speaking English Teacher" (NET) scheme in 1998 to improve students’ English communication skills. This paper recommends that Macao learn from the region and promote English learning with the assistance of the authorities concerned, schools, and research bodies.
Mechanisms of Youth Development - GUAN Lei
Teaching Assistant, Youth Leaders Training Center, School of China Communist Youth League Sichuan Committee

[Abstract] The study of youth development should be placed in the contexts of both the individual and society. It should emphasize both the growth of young people and the importance of social order in the process of social development. This article examines five mechanisms underlying positive youth development: the motivation mechanism, the integration mechanism, the encouragement mechanism, the control mechanism, and the security mechanism. The society together with the government should take the agency of young people into consideration and satisfy their needs and help them solve their actual problems. The five mechanisms should be established to enhance the growth of young people and the harmonious development of society.