The effect of poverty and income disparity on the psychological well-being of Hong Kong children

Ka Yan Ho, William H.C. Li, Sophia S.C. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This study explored the impact of poverty and income disparity on the psychological well-being of Hong Kong Chinese children. Design and Sample: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 12 elementary schools from the three highest and three lowest median household income districts. A total of 1,725 pupils were recruited with 898 pupils came from low-income and 827 from high-income families. Measures: Participants were asked to respond to the Chinese version of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale for Children, the Rosenberg self-esteem scale, and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory. The data were collected from 2012 to 2013. Results: Children from low-income families reported statistically significant lower scores in self-esteem and quality of life, but higher scores in depressive symptoms than those from high-income families. Income disparity had their greatest impact on children's self-esteem. Conclusion: This study has addressed a gap in the literature by comparing the self-esteem, depressive symptoms, and quality of life among children living in low- and high-income families. The results add further evidence to the literature that poverty and income disparity may have a negative impact on the psychological well-being of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-221
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Income disparity
  • Poverty
  • Quality of life
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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