Social Indicators Research

, Volume 114, Issue 3, pp 1171–1197 | Cite as

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

  • Rachel C. F. SunEmail author
  • Daniel T. L. Shek


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.


Adolescents Positive youth development Life satisfaction Problem behaviour Longitudinal prediction 



The preparation for this paper and the Project P.A.T.H.S. were financially supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Applied Social SciencesThe Hong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHung Hom, KowloonHong Kong

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