Perceptions of Adolescents, Teachers and Parents of Life Skills Education and Life Skills in High School Students in Hong Kong

Daniel T.L. SHEK*, Li LIN, Cecilia M.S. MA, Lu YU, Janet T.Y. LEUNG, Florence K.Y. WU, Hilde LEUNG, Diya DOU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Although theories and research emphasize the importance of adolescent life skills, different stakeholders’ perceptions of the related issues have not been systematically investigated, particularly in Chinese contexts. This paper presents and integrates findings from four studies examining perceptions of different stakeholders on the need for and adequacy of life skills education and perceived adolescent life skills in Hong Kong. Data from four studies were used, including a longitudinal study with senior high school students (N = 3328+) and three cross-sectional studies based on students (N = 2474), teachers (N = 568) and parents (N = 431). Participants responded to measures on their perceptions of the need for life skills education and adequacy of related education in the formal curriculum. They also rated adolescent life skills in different domains, including emotional competence, moral competence, resilience, problem-solving, life meaning, gratefulness, social competence, and integrity. Consistent across the four studies, while many stakeholders regarded life skills as important for adolescents, a majority of them also perceived life skills education as insufficient in the school curriculum. There were also views suggesting that adolescent life skills development was incomplete. Compared with teachers and parents, adolescents perceived higher levels of life skills in themselves and adolescents in Hong Kong. There is a strong perceived need to step up life skills education in adolescents, particularly in Hong Kong.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1847-1860
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
Issue number5
Early online date12 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The 6-wave longitudinal study in the Project P.A.T.H.S. is financially supported by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The three studies based on high school students, teachers and parents are financially supported by Wofoo Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


  • Adolescent thriving
  • Adolescent well-being
  • Chinese adolescents
  • Hong Kong
  • Life skills
  • Psychosocial competencies


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of Adolescents, Teachers and Parents of Life Skills Education and Life Skills in High School Students in Hong Kong'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this