Difficulties and patterns of social support of mature college students in Hong Kong : Implications for student guidance and counselling services

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-387
Journal / PublicationBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997


The extent and nature of the difficulties faced by mature college students in a university in Hong Kong were examined. Who provided which types of support in which aspects of the lives of mature students was investigated. The results showed that time constraints were a major concern of many such students. Differences were found in the problems experienced in different modes of study and with different marital statuses. Spouses were support generalists who provided all types of support to their mature student partners, while lovers, friends and family members were support specialists who provided specific types of social support. The findings lend support to the hypothesis that the more sufficient the perceived social support received by mature students, the less the degree of difficulty they experience in their lives. Implications for service approach and for the provision of services are discussed, and recommendations on how to improve services are made.