Social Indicators Research

, Volume 125, Issue 3, pp 1035–1051 | Cite as

Gender Differences in Happiness and Life Satisfaction Among Adolescents in Hong Kong: Relationships and Self-Concept

  • Wing Hong ChuiEmail author
  • Mathew Y. H. Wong


This study uses survey data from adolescents (N = 1,428) in Hong Kong to test the association of gender with happiness and life satisfaction through relationship style and self-concept. While self-esteem and purpose in life are associated with higher happiness and life satisfaction, having more close friends is related to higher happiness, but not necessarily life satisfaction. On the other hand, boys with higher academic achievement are happier, but not more satisfied; the opposite holds true for girls. Our results provide a much-needed investigation of the differential effect of gender on the subjective well-being of adolescents. Contributing to the theoretical debate about the concepts of subjective well-being, we argue that happiness and life satisfaction are empirically and conceptually distinct. Life satisfaction might be characterized by more profound enjoyment and achievement in life than happiness.


Adolescents Gender Happiness Life satisfaction Self-esteem Purpose in life 

Supplementary material

11205_2015_867_MOESM1_ESM.doc (110 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 109 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied Social SciencesCity University of Hong KongKowloon TongHong Kong SAR
  2. 2.Department of Politics and Public AdministrationThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong SAR

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