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Parent–child relationships, friendship networks, and developmental outcomes of economically disadvantaged youth in Hong Kong


  • Ngai, Steven Sek-yum
  • Cheung, Chau-kiu
  • To, Siu-ming
  • Liu, Ying
  • Song, Han-yu


This research investigates factors conducive to the thriving of economically disadvantaged young people in Hong Kong. In particular, we examine ways in which the parent–child relationship and friendship networks, as the principal sources of support during the transition from childhood to adulthood, influence the developmental outcomes of this group of young people with regard to their mental health, positive identity, behavioral adjustment, resilience and academic achievement. Based on a survey of 479 young people recruited from community-based youth-service centers located in different districts of Hong Kong, the results of the present research support the hypotheses that parent–child relationships and friendship networks have significant positive effects on youth development among low-income young people. Our results also show that, when compared with friendship networks, the parent–child relationship is a stronger predictor of youth development, that is, a stronger parent–child relationship tends to correspond to a better developmental outcome. Moreover, our research provides empirical evidence regarding the influence that parents can have on shaping the quality of young people's friendship networks. The implications of our findings, both for future research and for service delivery to promote the well-being of economically disadvantaged young people, are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Ngai, Steven Sek-yum & Cheung, Chau-kiu & To, Siu-ming & Liu, Ying & Song, Han-yu, 2013. "Parent–child relationships, friendship networks, and developmental outcomes of economically disadvantaged youth in Hong Kong," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 91-101.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:35:y:2013:i:1:p:91-101
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2012.09.025

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johansson, Helena & Höjer, Ingrid, 2012. "Education for disadvantaged groups — Structural and individual challenges," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1135-1142.
    2. Cheung, Chau-kiu & Lam, Ching-man & Ngai, Steven Sek-yum, 2008. "Help from the parent-teacher association to parenting efficacy: Beyond social status and informal social capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1134-1152, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:cysrev:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:154-162 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. To, Siu-ming, 2016. "Loneliness, the search for meaning, and the psychological well-being of economically disadvantaged Chinese adolescents living in Hong Kong: Implications for life skills development programs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 52-60.
    3. Cheung, Chau-kiu & Ngai, Steven Sek-yum, 2015. "Four- and ten-month lagged effects of individual counseling on the prosocial behavior of young people," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 89-96.
    4. To, Siu-ming & Tam, Hau-lin & Ngai, Steven Sek-yum & Sung, Wai-leung, 2014. "Sense of meaningfulness, sources of meaning, and self-evaluation of economically disadvantaged youth in Hong Kong: implications for youth development programs," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(P3), pages 352-361.


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