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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 1, 2012

Delinquency and problem behavior intention among early adolescents in Hong Kong: profiles and psychosocial correlates

  • Daniel T.L. Shek EMAIL logo , Cecilia M.S. Ma and Christina Y.P. Tang


Delinquency and problem behavior intention were examined in 3328 secondary one students in Hong Kong. Over 60% of the respondents had cheated and spoken foul language over the past year, but majority had never engaged in other problem behaviors, such as sexual intercourse, staying outside their home overnight, gang fighting, and truancy. A significant proportion of the respondents would attempt to engage in delinquent behaviors in the coming 2 years, including drinking alcohol and gambling. Males reported higher levels of delinquency and problem behavior intention than did females. Higher family functioning, academic competence, pro social attributes, and general positive youth development predicted a lower likelihood of delinquency and problem behavior intention. These results shed light on the importance of early intervention work at individual, school, and family levels.

Corresponding author: Professor Daniel T.L. Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong, P.R. China

Received: 2011-6-3
Accepted: 2011-8-7
Published Online: 2012-05-01
Published in Print: 2012-05-01

©2012 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston

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