Quality of life of the hidden youth in Hong Kong

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)951 - 969
Journal / PublicationApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number4
Online published19 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


Hidden youth was a phenomenon which originated in Japan and later spread to Hong Kong. The youth were described as being in a state of social isolation, marginalization, and prone to emotional disturbances. This may imply that they were suffering from a poor quality of life. However, direct contact with the hidden youth found that some of them are satisfied with their lives. The present study aims to investigate the relationship between the hidden youth's quality of life and their period and level of social withdrawal. A total of 588 of the hidden youth took part in the study. With the use of mean plots in ANOVA, correlation analysis, regression analysis, and mediation analysis, it was found that the longer the period of social withdrawal, the better the quality of life. The positive correlation between the two variables was mediated by positive emotions derived from social support. On the other hand, as the level of social withdrawal increased, the quality of life decreased. The negative association between the two variables was mediated by negative emotions caused by low levels of social support and a high sense of loneliness. These findings suggest that being "hidden" is the preferred lifestyle of young people and it should not be regarded as a problem that undermines their quality of life. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS).

Research Area(s)

  • Hidden youth, Hikikomori, Quality of life, Social support, Social withdrawal

Bibliographic Note

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