Violent behavior in Chinese adolescents with an economic disadvantage. Psychological, family and interpersonal correlates

Tan Lei Shek, Vera Tang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Two studies investigating the psychological, family and interpersonal correlates of adolescent violent behavior are reported in this paper. In Study 1, secondary school students (N=1,519) responded to established scales assessing their psychological attributes, family functioning, parenting qualities and psychosocial support and conflict. Results of Study 1 showed that: a) adolescents who showed higher levels of perceived stress and psychological symptoms displayed more signs of adolescent violence; b) adolescents who had a higher sense of mastery and existential mental health displayed less signs of violence; c) adolescents' attitudes towards poverty and traditional Chinese beliefs about adversity were significantly related to adolescent violence; d) higher levels of family functioning, positive parenting styles as well as interpersonal support and lower levels of interpersonal conflicts were associated with a lower level of adolescent violence. Results further showed that some of the above factors were more strongly related to adolescent violence in adolescents experiencing economic disadvantage than in adolescents who did not experience economic disadvantage. Some of the findings of Study 1 were replicated in Study 2, where adolescents from 229 families (either families on welfare or low income families) were recruited. These studies suggested that several psychological, family and interpersonal factors are related to adolescent violent behavior, particularly in adolescents with economic disadvantage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-233
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent violent behavior
  • Chinese adolescents
  • Disadvantaged families
  • Hong Kong

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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