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This paper reports the results of a dual survey of children from Primary 4 through Secondary 3 and their parents from Hong Kong conducted from November 2011 to January 2012. It confirms the often-cited result that happiness declines as the child moves into the teens, and finds that scores indicating Love, Insight, Fortitude, and Engagement, which reflect aspects of mental capital essential to happiness, also tend to decline during adolescence. Pressures from extracurricular activities surprisingly appear to have a greater adverse effect on happiness than pressures from school work. Siblings add to disharmony at home, and parents’ education does not help enhance a child’s happiness, although perception of financial well-being does. A loving relationship between father and mother is a key driving factor for a child’s love score. Respect for the child’s opinions and respect for privacy appear to offset completely any intergenerational barrier to effective communication or negative effect from parents‘ age.


CPPS Working Paper Series No.195 (02/13)

Recommended Citation

Ho, L. S. (2013). Happiness of children as they grow into their teens: The Hong Kong case (CPPS Working Paper Series no.195). Retrieved from Lingnan University website: