Volume 14, Issue No. 2 (Serial No. 28) Economically Disadvantaged Young People -- What is the Way Out?

Journal of Youth Studies

July 2011

Volume 14 . Issue No. 2

Serial No. 28

Feature : Economically Disadvantaged Young People -- What is the Way Out?

The Economically Disadvantaged Status of Youth in Hong Kong - Rosanna Y. M. WONG
Rosanna Y. M. WONG
Executive Director, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

[Abstract] The number of economically disadvantaged young people in Hong Kong has been increasing over the past decade, raising public concern about their chance of upward social mobility. This article provides a brief overview and analysis of the current situation. It reveals that the educational opportunities and employability of some young people have lagged behind because of their vulnerable backgrounds, the economically disadvantaged status of their families, or the lack of community support. Left unchanged, this undesirable situation will affect their development. The author suggests a review of existing policies in education, employment and social welfare planning by the Hong Kong SAR government leading to steps that will meet the needs of deprived youth and their families.
[Keywords] economically disadvantaged young people; social mobility; university enrollment rate; regionalization of poverty; young vulnerable groups
Poverty and Wellbeing—Life Strategies for Young Persons in Situations of Poverty and Vulnerability - Stephanie CHEUNG Roger RICAFORT
Stephanie CHEUNG
Special Projects Officer, Oxfam Hong Kong
Director of International Programmes, Oxfam Hong Kong

[Abstract] Applying the responsible wellbeing framework to development programmes makes them more effective and has a positive impact on young people. This article demonstrates this with concrete examples. It begins by providing an overview of the major challenges that today’s youth face across the globe. It then explains the responsible wellbeing framework, the recent increase in discussion about it, its application, and its relevance in terms of providing an alternative to the current economic-focused, materially driven development models. It goes on to illustrate how the framework is applied in Oxfam’s engagement with young people in programmes in Nepal, Nicaragua, and the Philippines. Using the same framework, it introduces Oxfam Hong Kong’s initiative to engage young people through the Oxfam Club. Finally, the article shows that the responsible wellbeing framework makes possible the creation of a meaningful role for young people in their communities while at the same time addressing community-wide needs.
[Keywords] youth; wellbeing; Hong Kong; Oxfam
Alleviating the Impact of Poverty on Youth in the Remote Area of Tung Chung - Crystal CHENG Lik Man WONG Wing Kwan KWAN
Crystal CHENG
Lik Man WONG
Wing Kwan KWAN
Registered Social Workers, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Tung Chung Integrated Services

[Abstract] This article examines and analyzes the impact of poverty on Hong Kong young people living in the remote area of Tung Chung. It further discusses the effectiveness of a total integrated service delivery model and shows how it could alleviate the impact of this poverty on youth problems at the regional level.
[Keywords] youth poverty; intergenerational poverty; integrated services; total integrated service delivery model; asset-based community development model
Being Young and a Minority: A Study of the Challenges encountered by Young Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong - Dominic LEE Michelle LI
Dominic LEE
Michelle LI
Christian Action SHINE Support Services Centre for Ethnic Minorities, Tuen Mun

[Abstract] Possessing a Hong Kong ID card and being in principle a local resident, but on certain issues treated differently from local people; having a South Asian face but imbued with Chinese culture and values; having dreams but no way to realize them—these are the typical struggles and problems faced by young Hong Kong ethnic minorities (EM). Through our experience in serving EM youth, we have discovered their annoyances and frustrations about living in Hong Kong, a society that does not fully consider or accommodate their needs in education, career development, or growth. In addition, they face internal struggles in their upbringing with two sets of values, one of their own culture, the other that of the local society. In exploring these struggles and challenges, we hope to stimulate concern and awareness among both the public and policy makers about this marginalized group in order that their long-standing problems will no longer be ignored.
[Keywords] education & employment; equal opportunities; cultural values and practices; family system; identity crises
How do We Help Young People From Economically Disadvantaged Single-Parent Families? - Sau Chu YU
Sau Chu YU
Chief Executive, Hong Kong Single Parents Association

[Abstract] Most single-parent families are economically disadvantaged. Children more often live with single mothers, but the mothers are usually less educated. In addition, single-parent families face social discrimination. The government, however, puts too little emphasis on preventive education to enhance the problem-solving ability of single-parent families. Social policy cannot meet the needs of these families as long as a long-term social welfare policy is lacking. As a result, single parents are unable to obtain sufficient resources, and their children easily become poor themselves. Society should thus improve the situation of single-parent families in the above areas; it should also invest in the parents so they will be able to provide a better growth environment for their children.
[Keywords] single-parent; families; young people; investment; education
Inflation and Young People: A Reflection from the Financial Viewpoint - Raymond W. SO
Raymond W. SO
Dean of School of Business and Professor of Finance, Hang Seng Management College

[Abstract] In this paper, the salient features of the Hong Kong financial system that deal with inflation are discussed. Since Hong Kong adopts a currency board system and has an open economy, the city has no direct control over the external factors that cause inflation. Given the incapability of Hong Kong to handle inflation, the social pressure, studies, career choices, and attitudes towards investment of young people in Hong Kong are subject to its influences. For policy makers, it is vital to understand how these influences affect young people’s beliefs and attitudes.
[Keywords] inflation; livelihood pressure; social pressure
Enhancing the Competitiveness of Young People with Low Education and Skills in the Labour Market—The Experience of the Employees Retraining Board - Tat Lun NG
Tat Lun NG
Chairman, Employees Retraining Board

[Abstract] “Enhancing competencies—Providing opportunities—Facilitating adaptation” are means to help alleviate the unemployment problems of young people. The Employees Retraining Board offers services to young people according to their age and educational attainment. For those aged 15 to 20 with an education level below Secondary 5, a special programme has been tailored to rekindle their interest in learning and to cultivate positive attitudes among them. For other young people, job-specific skills training courses in line with their career aspirations are offered in conjunction with training in personal attributes. Together with placement follow ups and other support services, the placement rate of young trainees is broadly on a par with the overall placement rate.
[Keywords] Employees Retraining Board; placement-tied training for young people; Youth Training Programme; placement service; personal attributes
Sharing Column Support for Diversity Learning Activities by Fully Utilizing Resources - Kai Lok TSO
Kai Lok TSO
Principal, Elegantia College (Sponsored by Education Convergence)
Sharing Column How Social Enterprises Could Help a Young Vulnerable Group - David K. L. LAU Donald H. Y. NG
David K. L. LAU
Executive Director, Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth
Donald H. Y. NG
Policy Advocacy Officer, Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth
Sharing Column Challenges and Solutions for New Arrival Youth - Wai Shan CHAN Yee Kwan CHAN Wing Him TANG
Wai Shan CHAN
Yee Kwan CHAN
Wing Him TANG
Mission To New Arrivals Ltd.

Pan-Chinese Societies Exchange : Drug Prevention Strategy for At-Risk Youths

“Self-Regulation” as an Intervention: An Exploration of Young Macao Drug Users’ Risk Awareness and Risk Strategies - Cecilia W. Y. HO Stella L. S. O
Cecilia W. Y. HO
Lecturer, Social Work Programme, School of Public Administration, Macao Polytechnic Institute
Stella L. S. O
Outreach Social Worker, Macao Christian New Life Association – Smart Youth

[Abstract] Most drug users are reluctant to seek body checkups because of the dominant prohibitionist notion regarding drug use in society that emphasises a reduction or a total cessation of drug use. However, this does not mean that they do not care about their health. Social workers have uncovered many survival self-help strategies practiced by drug users. This essay explores drug users’ perceptions and practices of risk reduction strategies, and also puts forward the idea of publishing an innovative “controlled drug use” manual for young drug users in Macao.
[Keywords] young ab/users; self-control/regulation; drug use management; risk consciousness; harm reduction.
“Drug Free and Healthy Campus” School Project in Hong Kong - Chi Wai WONG
“Drug Free and Healthy Campus” School Project in Hong Kong Chi Wai WONG
Social Worker, ELCHK, Enlighten Centre (CCPSA)

[Abstract] A “Drug Free and Healthy Campus” is an evidence-based project in Hong Kong schools. We have designed a series of antidrug education and activities to promote a healthy lifestyle. We further apply an ecological system model, the cognitive-behavioural approach, adventure-based counselling, and a situational leadership model to achieve three objectives: (a) to develop a healthy and drug-free campus as an effective way to prevent young people from taking drugs; (b) to consolidate a healthy lifestyle among students by rejecting drug use; and (c) to provide early identification, intervention, and therapy for high-risk students and drug users in schools, which will assist them in developing a healthy lifestyle.
[Keywords] drug free and healthy campus; ecological system model; cognitive-behavioural approach; adventure-based counselling; situational leadership model
A Study on the Curriculum Development for a Drug-Abuse Prevention Programme in High Schools in Taiwan - Yung-Feng LIN Ming-Dih LIN
Yung-Feng LIN
Associate Professor, The Graduate Institute of Education, Chung Cheng University, Taiwan
Ming-Dih LIN
Professor, The Graduate Institute of Education, Chung Cheng University, Taiwan

[Abstract] Drug taking is notoriously detrimental to people’s health and development. This is especially true for adolescents, who are at a critical stage of development. Because of their less mature mental and psychological state, poor self-control ability, and strong peer pressure, adolescents are more likely to be affected by drug abuse. The main aim of this paper is to propose a drug prevention curriculum for high schools. Documentary analyses and group interviews were adopted as research methods. Current high school curriculum guidelines and different textbooks were analysed. Also, opinions of school staff were gathered. As a result, a drug prevention curriculum programme for high schools was developed, including proposed target groups, curriculum scopes, key themes, and design principles.
[Keywords] drug abuse prevention; three-level prevention strategy; curriculum design
A Review of the Current Situation of Adolescent Drug Abuse in Mainland China and Prevention and Intervention Policies and Measures - Haoran ZHANG Zhimin LIU
Haoran ZHANG
PhD Student, School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center
Zhimin LIU
Professor, National Institute on Drug Dependence, Peking University

[Abstract] The growth trend of adolescent drug abuse is increasing slowly in Mainland China. The proportion of new drug abusers aged at or below 25 has decreased. Nevertheless, we should pay close attention to the problem of “party drugs.” This paper mainly describes the current problems of drug abuse among adolescents in Mainland China and analyses high-risk adolescent groups. The strategy of prevention and intervention, which targets adolescents in Mainland China, is also explained.
[Keywords] Mainland China; adolescent; drug abuse; prevention; intervention

Professional Exchange

The Development and Analysis of Independent Living Transition for Young People Leaving Out-of-Home Care in Taiwan - Chung-Yi HU
Chung-Yi HU
Department of Guidance and Counseling, National Changhua University of Education

[Abstract] Western literature points out that young people leaving out-of-home care often experience mental problems and social maladaptation. Thus, it is important to provide leaving preparation and independent living programmes for young people. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the policy and practice of leaving care and independent living programmes in Taiwan. The author also introduces international service standards and practical models. Lastly, five suggestions are made for future practice: independent living preparation in care, a leaving care policy, case management, training, and an assessment tool.
[Keywords] independent living; leaving care; transitional service
Emotion Regulation and Uncertainty Reduction of Middle School Online Gamers - Vivian W. HUANG
Vivian W. HUANG
Professor, Department of Radio and Television, National Chengchi University Volunteered President, Cyber Angel’s Pick (CAP)

[Abstract] This paper used in-depth interviews to examine the emotion regulation and uncertainty reduction strategies of online gamers in middle school as they face miscommunication with family members, are forced to stop playing online games, and lose virtual treasures. As determined by in-depth interviews with 12 middle school teenagers, the degree of gamers’ dependence on playing online games as well as gender differences may affect their interpersonal communication strategies and emotion regulation. Teenage gamers may use passive strategies, such as being angry, in their own bedrooms. Male teenagers may interact with family members more often than female ones when facing miscommunication. Female gamers use active strategies to strive to keep on playing online games, while male gamers tend to use passive strategies. Facing a loss of virtual treasures, some male gamers tend to use active strategies to regulate their emotions, while most gamers use passive strategies. Finally, teenagers tend to have weak emotion regulation overall.
[Keywords] emotion regulation; uncertainty reduction strategy; passive strategy; active strategy; interactive strategy.