Hong Kong schools

One in four Hong Kong secondary school pupils feels like a failure, according to survey

Research director calls on parents to spend more time with their children to boost their self-esteem

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 June, 2017, 7:59pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 June, 2017, 3:44pm

One in four secondary school pupils feel like they are failures, a study has found, prompting researchers to urge parents to spend more time with their children.

Between December last year and March, the Centre for Life and Ethics Studies of the Society for Truth and Light collected 3,100 questionnaires from primary and secondary students looking at how they evaluate themselves and view relations with parents.

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The centre’s research director, Dr Michael Chan Wing-ho, said attention should be paid to the finding that one in four secondary school pupils felt like they were failures.

He added that even more worrying was that the survey found self-evaluation became more negative as students grew older.

While self-esteem is affected by many factors, Chan noted one was parental involvement.

He said the study found it was important for fathers to spend time with sons and mothers with daughters to establish self-esteem in students.

But the poll found that many children felt their parents did not spend enough time with them.

While 71.4 per cent of the boys surveyed felt their fathers took time to chat with them, 39.8 per cent thought it was not enough.

Similarly, while more than 70 per cent of the girls polled felt that their mothers made an effort to establish a relationship, 28.6 per cent felt they did not spend much time with them.

Chan therefore called on parents to free up time after work to bond with their children.

“Parents can spend time chatting or playing with their children,” Chan said, adding the quality of time spent was important, and not just quantity.