, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 1171-1197
Date: 13 Nov 2012

Longitudinal Influences of Positive Youth Development and Life Satisfaction on Problem Behaviour among Adolescents in Hong Kong

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The cross-sectional and longitudinal influences of positive youth development and life satisfaction on adolescent problem behaviour were examined in this study. The respondents were 4,523 Chinese students recruited from 43 secondary schools in Hong Kong, and the study followed them from Grade 7, Grade 9 to Grade 11. Repeated measurements employing validated self-reported assessment tools were used. Analyses using structural equation modelling showed that positive youth development directly influenced life satisfaction and reduced problem behaviour at Grades 7 and 9. However, the direct effect of positive youth development on problem behaviour was mediated by life satisfaction at Grade 11. The mediating effect of life satisfaction on the enhancement of future positive youth development was also discovered. These pioneer longitudinal findings contribute to the existing literature in delineating the causal and mediating roles of positive youth development and life satisfaction in adolescent problem behaviour, particularly in the Chinese context.