Does Service Leadership Education Contribute to Student Well-Being? A Quasi-Experimental Study Based on Hong Kong University Students

Li Lin, Tan Lei Shek

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Leadership programs have become increasingly prevalent in tertiary institutions, but rigorous evaluation research on their effectiveness on student development, particularly student well-being is inadequate. This study examined the effectiveness of a credit-bearing leadership course entitled “Service Leadership” in promoting leadership capacities and well-being of university students using a pretest-posttest quasi-experimental design. Based on a sample of Hong Kong university students (experimental group: n = 75; control group, n = 105), we found that students in the experimental group (i.e., those taking the course) showed a greater improvement in service leadership knowledge, service leadership attitudes, and life satisfaction than those in the control group (i.e., those not taking the course) after taking the course. Besides, changes in life satisfaction and positive youth development were positively related to the change in service leadership attitudes but not service leadership knowledge. The implications of the findings on leadership education and holistic development of university students are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1147-1163
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Life satisfaction
  • Positive youth development
  • Service leadership attitudes
  • Service leadership knowledge
  • Service leadership model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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