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International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health

Editor-in-Chief: Merrick, Joav

Editorial Board: 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

CiteScore 2018: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.350
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.476

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A comparison of positive youth development against depression and suicidal ideation in youth from Hong Kong and the Netherlands

Cyrus L.K. LeungORCID iD: http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1998-5316 / Michael Bender
  • Department of Social Psychology, Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • School of Psychology, Gratia Christian College, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Sylvia Y.C.L. Kwok
Published Online: 2017-11-23 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0105



This study tests the buffering effects of positive youth development (PYD) factors against depression and suicidal ideation across Hong Kong and Dutch students.


We collected data on depression, suicidal ideation, history of childhood maltreatment, and PYD from 565 Dutch and Hong Kong undergraduates. The three PYD factors, prosocial attributes, positive identity, and cognitive-behavioral competence, were examined for their moderating role in the relationship among childhood maltreatment, depression, and suicidal ideation in path analysis.


Direct protective effects are found for all PYD factors in both cultures, except for cognitive-behavioral competence in the Dutch sample. A buffering effect of the PYD factors is observed in the maltreatment-depression relationship in Dutch, but not in Hong Kong students. Only behavioral competence buffers against suicidal ideation in Dutch students, while other PYD factors show no buffering effect in both groups of participants.


The differences in relationships between two samples highlights the need to consider cultural differences.

Keywords: buffering effect; childhood maltreatment; depression; positive youth development; suicidal ideation


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About the article

Received: 2017-06-23

Accepted: 2017-09-08

Published Online: 2017-11-23

Declaration of conflicting interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Citation Information: International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, 20170105, ISSN (Online) 2191-0278, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijamh-2017-0105.

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