Mental Health of Secondary School Students in Hong Kong: An Epidemiological Study Using the General Health Questionnaire

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26 Citations (Scopus)


An epidemiological study was conducted to assess the mental health status of secondary school students in Hong Kong, with a total of 2155 students recruited through the multi-stage random sampling method. The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-30), Somatic (Chronic and Acute) Scales, State-Trait Anxiety Questionnaire, Leeds (Anxiety and Depression) Scales, Beck’s Depression Inventory, Ego Strength Scale and Purpose in Life Questionnaire were used. With special focus on the General Health Questionnaire, it was found that a significant proportion of the students could be considered as psychologically ‘at risk’ (23.7% and 63.7% using Likert and 0-0-1-1 scoring methods respectively). While it was found that student mental health was related to a number of personal (specifically sex and age), school-related (form, mode of attendance and school type) and environmental (area and density) variables, the data also revealed a significant relationship between GHQ scores and subjects’ perception of parental (both fraternal and maternal) treatment methods. The findings are discussed in the social, cultural and urban contexts of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-216
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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