In recent decades, fertility rates have declined almost everywhere in the world. Previous research has shown that the declining birth rate is related to the influence of global values on youth.
To explore how young people in Hong Kong view marriage and childbearing in the context of global and local influences, Tabitha Ng Yin-ling of Hong Kong Shue Yan University conducted focus group interviews with 40 young people aged 17-25. Her aim was to find out to what extent traditional Chinese values or global values influence how young people see parenthood as well as the challenges that they may encounter in having children.
The study found that while most young people expect to have children, their motivation is more about maintaining the marriage than continuing the family line. Furthermore, some young people may decide not to have children or delay parenthood due to such factors as personal development, long working hours, lack of money and prolonged continuing education. Most respondents also indicated they would prefer to have two children, unlike the ideal of Chinese culture, which is to have as many children as possible.
However, the participants also tended to disapprove of having children outside a marriage especially if the parents are not mature and financially capable of protecting them. This may indicate the influence of traditional Chinese values.
Overall, the study found that the decision to have children is not just a personal preference but also a matter of socio-economic factors among the current generation of Hong Kong youth. The study recommends a variety of measures such as tax allowances, maternal/paternal/parental leave and childcare services in order to encourage young people to have children.
For more information about each research, please contact:
Ng Yin-Ling, Tabitha
Department of Social Work
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +(852) 2104 8204; Mobile: +(852) 6708 4518
About Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH)
Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences & Humanities (JSSH) is published by Universiti Putra Malaysia in English and is open to authors around the world regardless of nationality. It is published four times a year in March, June, September and December. Other Pertanika series include Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science (JTAS), and Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology (JST).
JSSH aims to develop as a pioneer journal for the social sciences with a focus on emerging issues pertaining to the social and behavioural sciences as well as the humanities. Areas relevant to the scope of the journal include Social Sciences—Accounting, anthropology, Archaeology and history, Architecture and habitat, Consumer and family economics, Economics, Education, Finance, Geography, Law, Management studies, Media and communication studies, Political sciences and public policy, Population studies, Psychology, Sociology, Technology management, Tourism; Humanities—Arts and culture, Dance, Historical and civilisation studies, Language and Linguistics, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Religious studies, Sports.
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Date of Release: 28 January 2016
The Chief Executive Editor, UPM Journals