Youth Development Research Centre
Peking University and The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups

Comparative Study Series on Youth Development

Comparative Study Series on Youth Development 2006 (include Series No.1 to Series No.6)

Serial No.1 - Self-worth, Personality and Well Being among Mainland and Hong Kong College Students

The purpose of this research study was to explore the structure of self-worth and its relations with personality and psychological well-being of both Mainland and Hong Kong college students. The initial items on which a questionnaire on self-worth was formulated were originally generated by a more open-ended questionnaire. This was then followed by intensive interviews, rated by more than 1,300 college students from both the Mainland and the city. The analysis revealed six dimensions of self-worth, including, attractiveness and appearance, national glory, personal qualities, family economic status, school performance and affective ties. The research also found out that self-worth is significantly related to psychological well-being and personality dimensions. Significant differences in self-worth, personality, and well-being dimensions were found between Mainland and Hong Kong college students. Suggestions about the education of college students were also made in this paper.
Serial No.2 - Burnout and the Individual Correlates of Mainland and Hong Kong College Students

The current study explored student burnout and its predictors, using samples from college students on the Mainland and in Hong Kong. 273 participants from the Mainland and 368 participants from Hong Kong completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory- Student Survey (MBI-SS), Coping Flexibility Inventory (CFI), and Rotter’s Internal-External Locus of Control Scale. Results indicated that Mainland students reported less exhaustion and cynicism than their Hong Kong counterparts. These students did not show any difference on 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 sets of students, substantial incremental variance to burnout.were accounted for over locus of control by strategy-situation fit and coping effectiveness.
Serial No.3 - Work Values and Personality among Mainland and Hong Kong College Students

Values related to work were proposed as expectations and requirements and related with general values held by individuals. These were then related with how jobs were selected by graduating college students. The current research explored the structure of work values and its relation to personality among Mainland and Hong Kong graduating college students, and providing suggestions for their job selection. Thirty-two work value items were obtained through both an open questionnaire and in-depth interviews. The result from 661 Mainland students and 348 Hong Kong students indicated differences. Students from the Mainland were more idealistic in general than students in Hong Kong, while Hong Kong students were more realistic and objective than the Mainland students when it came to job selection.
Serial No.4 - Job Searching Strategies and Personal Attributes among Mainland and Hong Kong College Students

This project explored the job searching strategies, as well as coping styles and behavioral changes, after taking vocational interviews among Mainland and Hong Kong college students. It also looks at their personal attributes, job values, and outcome of employment. Results showed that the job searching strategies of Mainland students consisted of three dimensions: personal qualities, personal skills and the job interview. For Hong Kong students, their job searching strategies consisted of four parts: personal qualities, personal skills, the job interview and occupational preparation. Regression analysis indicated that personal attributes and work values could predict employment strategies, coping styles and behavioral changes. Analysis also showed that demographic data of Mainland students could be a significant variable in determining whether or not they successfully obtained a job. Suggestions for employment education in both areas were also provided in this paper.
Serial No.5 - Peer Acceptance and Theories of Mind in Adolescence

The objective of this study was to investigate the reactions of adolescents aged between 9 and 16 to peer rejection events. The method undertaken was to measure 903 adolescents’ degrees of peer acceptance by peer nomination and their interpretations to peer rejection events by means of self-administered questionnaires. 689 valid questionnaires were received. The results showed that the group of adolescents who was rejected by peers presented a similar way of interpretation to other individuals who were also rejected by peers in the aspect of attribution of rejection. However, the interpretation differed completely when compared with the group who was accepted by peers. The study indicated that the main effects of peer acceptance types were significant on objective and subjective question scores, while also highlighting a significant interaction effect based on sex, age and peer acceptance types. The conclusion is that the group of peer-rejected adolescents had learnt how to interpret other people’s behaviors in the way that may be related to their levels of peer acceptance.
Series No.6 - Coping Styles, Parental Influencing and Individual Factors of Beijing and Hong Kong Middle School Students

This study aims to compare the similarities and differences in the thinking and coping styles of middle school students in Beijing and Hong Kong. The study will also examine how these students analyze and think, as well as the influence of parents on how children cope. The findings showed that there are differences in the thinking and coping styles of students in both cities. There is also a difference amongst the parents, though both sets insist on “encouraging” their children cope. This study has the potential to facilitate the understanding of how youth today face their changing environments and how parents nurture their children.