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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board Member: Birch, Diana ML / Blum, Robert W. / Greydanus, MD, Dr. HC (Athens), Donald E. / Hardoff, Daniel / Kerr, Mike / Levy, Howard B / Morad, Mohammed / Omar, Hatim A. / de Paul, Joaquin / Rydelius, Per-Anders / Shek, Daniel T.L. / Sher, Leo / Silber, Tomas J. / Towns, Susan / Urkin, Jacob / Verhofstadt-Deneve, Leni / Zeltzer, Lonnie / Tenenbaum, Ariel

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Volume 25, Issue 4 (Dec 2013)


Developmental issues of university students in Hong Kong

Daniel T.L. Shek
  • Corresponding author
  • 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
  • Department of Applied Social Sciences, Centre for Innovative Programmes for Adolescents and Families, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, PR China
  • Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, P R China
  • Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, P R China
  • Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Boris P.M. Cheung
Published Online: 2013-03-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2013-0032


Four domains of developmental issues of university students in Hong Kong are examined in this paper. First, behavioral and lifestyle problems of university students are identified, including alcohol consumption, Internet addiction, cyber-pornography, irregular sleep patterns, and interpersonal violence. Second, the mental health problems of university students, including suicidal ideation, depression and anxiety problems, are outlined. Third, issues on self-determination (including establishment of personal goals), self-confidence, and materialism of the students are reviewed. Fourth, issues related to students’ connection to the society, including egocentrism and civic engagement, are discussed. The views of employers about university graduates in Hong Kong are also examined. With the emergence of developmental issues among Hong Kong university students, it is argued that promoting the psychosocial competencies of university students via positive youth development programs is an important strategy in addressing such issues.

Keywords: Chinese university students; developmental issues; positive youth development; psychosocial competencies


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About the article

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, E-mail:

Received: 2012-03-15

Accepted: 2012-04-26

Published Online: 2013-03-27

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, ISSN (Print) 0334-0139, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2013-0032.

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