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The study aimed at examining the relationships among family environment, depression and self-concept of adolescents in Hong Kong. A multi-domain perspective was adopted. The study involved a total of 2706 adolescents. Subjects were group administered a questionnaire containing the multi-domain Family Environment Scale (Moos & Moos, 1981), the multi dimensional depression scale – Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale (Reynolds, 1987) and the Multi-domain Multi-Perspective Self-Concept Inventory (Cheung & Lau, 1996). Results showed that all the three domains of family environment (relationship, personal growth, and system maintenance) correlated significantly with the three depression aspects (emotionality, lack of positive experience, and physiological irritation). The relationship domain of FES appeared to correlate more strongly than the other two domains with the depression aspects. The FES domains also correlated strongly and positively with the four domains of self-concept: academic, appearance, social, and general. Both the relationship domain and system maintenance domain correlated more strongly than the personal growth domain with the self-concept domains. Regression analyses showed that family relationship was most predictive of various aspects of depression and self-concept. Sex difference was found in the prediction of both boys' and girls' depression and self-concept. With boys, system maintenance was predictive only of self-concept. With girls, personal growth was predictive of depression, and personal growth and system maintenance were predictive of self-concept. Analysis of variance showed that students high on family relationship, personal growth, and system maintenance were low in different depression aspects, but high in various self-concept domains. It was concluded that a cohesive, orderly, and achieving family environment is conducive to more positive development in adolescents, in terms of lower depression and higher self-concept.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2000

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