Developing civic consciousness through social engagement among Hong Kong youths

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)651-660
Journal / PublicationSocial Science Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


It is not clear how much young people's engagement in activities in the school, youth center, family, and mass media influence their civic consciousness. To answer this question, the present study conducted 7,649 telephone interviews to collect data from 3,757 Chinese young people in Hong Kong repeatedly from 1998 to 2000. The panel study, by controlling for prior scores, allowed for examination of changes due to various forms of social engagement. Results show that in this naturally occurring setting, participation in social development activities, such as volunteering, community service, and leadership training, contributed to the average young person's civic consciousness about democracy and leadership whereas discussion with family members contributed significantly to the person's consciousness about societal progress. These results endorse the greater developmental role of the school and family than the youth center. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.