Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 383–393 | Cite as

Life Satisfaction and Self-Assessed Health Among Adolescents in Hong Kong

  • Y. K. KwanEmail author
Research Paper


Self-assessed health in four items of the Health Related Quality of Life Scale, overall health, physical health, mental health, and activity limitation, and perceived life satisfaction in six domains of the Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale, overall life, family life, friendships, school experience, myself, and where I live were examined among 4,502 Chinese adolescent secondary school students in Hong Kong. Relative to the US adolescents in Youth Risk Behavior Survey the Hong Kong adolescents had very low levels of self-assessed health and life satisfaction. Among the different domains, family and school life were associated with the lowest satisfaction level. There were strong male advantages in self-assessed health and migrant disadvantages in life satisfaction. Age was negatively related to both health and life satisfaction. Two-parent family was a positive factor for adolescents’ quality of life but economic well-being was not a relevant factor.


Chinese adolescents Life satisfaction Self-rated health Odd ratio 


  1. Ash, C., & Huebner, E. S. (2001). Environmental events and life satisfaction reports of adolescents: A test of cognitive mediation. School Psychology International, 22, 320–336. doi: 10.1177/0143034301223008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berkman, L. F., Glass, T., Brissette, I., & Seeman, T. E. (2000). From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium. Social Science and Medicine, 51, 843–857. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00065-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Centers for Disease Control, Prevention (CDC). (2000). Measuring healthy days: Population assessment of health-related quality of life. Atlanta, GA: CDC.Google Scholar
  4. Census and Statistics Department. (2007a). Table 2.5: School population by sex and age group. Hong Kong 2006 population by-census main tables. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government Press.Google Scholar
  5. Census and Statistics Department. (2007b). Table 1.6: Population by sex and age group and birthplace. Hong Kong 2006 population by-census main tables. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Government Press.Google Scholar
  6. Deiner, E. (1994). Assessing subjective well-being: Progress and opportunities. Social Indicators Research, 31, 103–157. doi: 10.1007/BF01207052.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Demo, D. H., & Acock, A. C. (1996). Family structure, family process, and adolescent well-being. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 6, 457–488.Google Scholar
  8. Ebrey, P. B. (1991). Confucianism and family rituals in imperial China. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Goodman, E., Huang, B., Schafer-Kalkhoff, T., & Adler, N. E. (2007). Perceived socioeconomic status: a new type of identity that influence adolescents’ self-rated health. Jounral of adolescent health, 41, 479–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hennessy, C. A., Morarity, D. G., Zack, M. M., Scherr, P. A., & Brackbill, R. (1994). Measuring health-related quality of life for public health surveillance. Public Health Reports, 109, 665–672.Google Scholar
  11. Huebner, E. S., Laughlin, J. E., Ash, C., & Gilman, R. (1998). Further validation of the multidimensional students’ life satisfaction scale. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 15, 118–134. doi: 10.1177/073428299801600202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Huebner, E. S., Valois, R. F., Suldo, S., Smith, S. C., McKnight, C. G., Seligson, J. L., et al. (2004). Perceived quality of life: A neglected component of adolescent health assessment and intervention. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 34, 270–278.Google Scholar
  13. Kleykamp, M., & Tienda, M. (2004). Physical and mental health status of adolescent girls: a comparative ethnic perspective. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 22, 149–185. doi: 10.1016/S0276-5624(04)22006-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kowloon Caritas Community Center. (1998a). A report on parents’ opinions on mother tongue education policy. Xianggang: Jiu-long ming ai she qu zhong xin.Google Scholar
  15. Kowloon Caritas Community Center. (1998b). A report on form 1 students’ opinions on mother tongue education policy. Xianggang: Jiu-long ming ai she qu zhong xin.Google Scholar
  16. Kwan, Y. K., & Ip, W. C. (2007). Suicidality and Migration among adolescents in Hong Kong. Death Studies, 31, 67–86. doi: 10.1080/07481180600993144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leung, S. W. (1997). The making of an alienated generation: The political socialization of secondary school students in transitional Hong Kong. Brookfield, USA: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  18. McCullough, G., Huebner, E. S., & Laughlin, J. E. (2000). Levels of demographic correlates of adolescent life satisfaction reports. Social Psychology, 37, 281–290.Google Scholar
  19. Raphael, P. (1996). Defining quality of life: Eleven debates concerning its measurement. In R. Renwick, I. Brown, & M. Nagler (Eds.), Quality of life in health promotion and rehabilitation: conceptual approaches, issues and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Sastre, M. T. M., & Ferriere, G. (2000). Family decline and the subjective well-being of adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 49, 69–82. doi: 10.1023/A:1006935129243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Seligson, J., Huebner, E. S., & Valois, R. F. (2003). Preliminary validation of the brief multidimensional student’s life satisfaction scale (BMSLSS). Social Indicators Research, 61, 121–145. doi: 10.1023/A:1021326822957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Suldo, S. M., & Huebner, E. S. (2004). The role of life satisfaction in the relationship between authoritative parenting dimensions and adolescent problem behavior. Social Indicators Research, 66, 165–195. doi: 10.1023/B:SOCI.0000007498.62080.1e.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Valois, R. F., Zullig, K. J., Huebner, E. S., & Drane, J. W. (2004). Life satisfaction and suicide among high school adolescents. Social Indicators Research, 66, 81–105. doi: 10.1023/B:SOCI.0000007499.19430.2f.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Working Group on Review of Secondary School Places Allocation and Medium of Instruction for Secondary Schools Education Commission. (2005). Review of medium of instruction for secondary schools and secondary school places allocation-Consultation document. Hong Kong, Government Logistics Department.Google Scholar
  25. Zullig, K. J., Valois, R. F., Huebner, E. S., Oeltmann, J. E., & Drane, J. W. (2001). Relationship between perceived life satisfaction and adolescents’ substance abuse. The Journal of Adolescent Health, 29, 279–288. doi: 10.1016/S1054-139X(01)00269-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zullig, K. J., Valois, R. F., Huebner, E. S., & Drane, J. W. (2004). Evaluating the performance of the centers for disease control’s core health related quality of life scale among adolescents. Public Health Report, 119, 577–584. doi: 10.1016/j.phr.2004.09.007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Zullig, K. J., Valois, R. F., Huebner, E. S., & Drane, J. W. (2005). Associations among family structure, demographics, and adolescent perceived life satisfaction. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 14, 195. doi: 10.1007/s10826-005-5047-3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied MathematicsHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHunghomHong Kong

Personalised recommendations